NASCAR

Nationwide title battle intense

NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Elliott Sadler (left) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (right)
Elliott Sadler (left) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are in a title battle.
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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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With just a few races to go in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, there's a great battle going on, but no one should overlook the battle that we’ve seen in the Nationwide Series, which has basically come down to a three-car race with Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the defending champion, and Elliott Sadler.

In the series most recent race, at Kansas Speedway, everyone talked about how Kansas could have been a wild card as far as Sprint Cup is concerned, but it turned out to be a wild card and a missed opportunity, I think, by Richard Childress Racing to pick up some valuable points in the Nationwide Series.

During the course of the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wound up being a couple of laps down. Because of some missed calls by Richard Childress, they allowed him to get back on the lead lap and eventually to win the race. Some might say Roush Fenway Racing did a better job managing the race than Richard Childress, and that might be the case. If it is and Ricky Stenhouse comes back and defends his title, we may have to go back to Kansas and say because of that missed opportunity and him staying out and allowing him, basically, to get in front of the leaders to get the wave-around, it really changed the outcome.

At one time, the best Ricky could have finished would have been 18th and even if Elliott didn’t win and finished fourth, the points he would have gained would have put him in a pretty enviable position with a handful of races to go.

In the Nationwide Series, their point battle is going down to the wire and a missed opportunity by anybody on any of those three teams could have disastrous results as we get closer and closer to Homestead.

No different than what we’ve got in the Sprint Cup, each race, it seems like we’re turning the heat up on the stove and this water, it’s getting ready to boil and it’s going to boil over on somebody if they’re not careful.

Tagged: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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