Regan Smith returned to the Nationwide Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for competing with JR Motorsports in 2013 - and promptly went out and won the race.
Think the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers don't have their own identity? Think again. The group started the 2012 NASCAR season with wins by Nationwide Series regulars in the opening trio of races. But then the drivers solely focused on the series held their own overall in wins for the year. Which drivers grabbed the checkered flag in the Nationwide ranks this season? We take a look.
Joey Logano, nine wins
Joey Logano celebrates in Victory Lane after winning one of his multitude of races this season. Logano has been on a tear in the Nationwide ranks. He won at Auto Club Speedway and then waited a few weeks before reappearing in Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway. Then he won at Darlington Raceway. And Dover International Speedway. And Michigan International Speedway to set the tone for the year. Since that time, he has added victories at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dover, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway for a stunning year of double-duty driving.
Getty Images for NASCARJohn Harrelson
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., six wins
The defending series champ wasted little time returning to top form in 2012. He won in the season's third race of the season, the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, becoming the first Nationwide-only driver to win at the track. He continued his hot hand as he quickly added wins at Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway. A strong late surge put him in control of the title race entering the season finale. Stenhouse added wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway to push up his tally.
Elliott Sadler, four wins
Elliott Sadler became a part of Richard Childress Racing for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. In the second race of the season, the Bashas Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, he took the team to Victory Lane. Two weeks later, he was back in Victory Lane at Bristol. Then he followed that up at Chicagoland, overcoming a week of feeling unwell to surge to the win. He then won again at Iowa Speedway to keep himself in championship contention.
Brad Keselowski, three wins
Brad Keselowski picked a high-profile moment to take his latest Nationwide Series win. The former series champ took the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. He followed that with a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Keselowski then topped his Nationwide season by winning the inaugural series' race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch, two wins
Kurt Busch took his brother with him to Victory Lane this year. Busch won in the Kyle Busch Motorsports entry at Richmond International Raceway in April. He then followed that up with a victory while driving for Phoenix Racing at Daytona in July.
Getty Images for NASCARJeff Zelevansky
Austin Dillon, two wins
Austin Dillon took his turn at winning for Richard Childress Racing, taking the victory at Kentucky Speedway in June. He won again when the series returned to the track for the 2012 Kentucky sweep.
Kevin Harvick, two wins
Harvick enjoyed success when he forayed into the Nationwide Series this season. He first won at Richmond International Raceway, then continued a stellar closing segment of the season with the victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
Justin Allgaier, one win
Allgaier took the victory on one of NASCAR's most difficult tracks - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Allgaier's lone win of the year came on the road course.
James Buescher, one win
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver James Buescher earned his first career series win at one of NASCAR's most prestigious tracks. Buescher celebrated in Victory Lane after surviving a last-lap crash and winning the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
Carl Edwards, one win
Edwards enjoyed just one Nationwide victory as he limited his double-duty weekends this season. He took his victory at Watkins Glen International.
Nelson Piquet Jr., one win
Nelson Piquet Jr. is focusing his effort on the Camping World Truck Series, but emerged victorious in the Nationwide Series road race at Road America in June for his first win.