Blog: Time to get excited about the NNS

By Paul Corliss

Dale Earnhardt Jr

It's time to get excited about the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

For several years, NASCAR writers and media pundits have criticized NASCAR's second-tier for lacking identity and essentially serving as "Cup Lite" … a lesser version of the Sprint Cup Series. This negative stigma is rapidly changing before our eyes.

This weekend in Daytona, NASCAR debuts new Nationwide Series cars - including a Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger - that are designed to look and feel more like what you see on the showroom floor of your favorite auto dealership. It's a return to the roots of NASCAR and really … the cars look sweet.

"We're all anxiously anticipating a great first event," NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said of the historic official points race for the new car, Friday night at Daytona International Speedway. "We've had numerous tests on various-sized tracks. We've had a lot of great participation from the teams and manufacturers. That tells us the project is headed in the right direction."

The new muscle cars aren't the only throwback item the Nationwide Series will debut at Daytona. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will take fans back in time when he competes behind the wheel of a No. 3 Chevy Impala with a Wrangler Jeans paint scheme designed to look just like the ride his father made famous in the 1980s. The Wrangler ride - which will only run once before being retired - has set records for NASCAR Nationwide Series merchandise sales over the past few months and promises to be a highlight for Junior fans in Daytona this weekend.

But NASCAR isn't just bringing back oldies but goodies in the Nationwide Series, there's plenty of new blood - namely exciting new talent - in the series. Topping that list, of course, is the Valley's own Danica Patrick. The long-time IndyCar driver will race at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 13 in the Nationwide Series as part of a partial-season of stock car racing for her in 2010. Justin Allgaier is another fresh face to watch in NASCAR and he's the highest-ranked Nationwide Series driver that doesn't race in Sprint Cup events, sitting in third place behind Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards.

In Phoenix, the inaugural WYPALL* 200 on Nov. 13 at PIR promises to bring several new twists and promotions from one of the Nationwide Series' newest title sponsors. Local fans that visit the WYPALL* Wipers Facebook page can enter to win an all expenses paid trip to PIR and VIP experience at the event. Nationwide Series races - typically about 2/3 the distance of a Sprint Cup event - are also great introductory events for kids and NASCAR newbies. But perhaps best of all, Nationwide Series tickets at PIR start at just $15.

NASCAR's new Nationwide Series cars debut Friday in the SUBWAY Jalapeno 250, televised on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. in Arizona.

Sign up to receive PIR's monthly newsletter and stay up to speed with the latest news happening at: http://www.phoenixraceway.com/About-Us/Email/Email-Newsletters.aspx

Related PIR News

  • 1/13/15

    PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY LAUNCHES FAN-FOCUSED WEBSITE REDESIGN

    In an effort to enrich communication with fans, Phoenix International Raceway launched a new design for its website, PhoenixRaceway.com, to kick off the 2015 season. Featuring a data-driven, more engaging user experience, the new site includes a crisp, vibrant design as well as streamlined navigation and enhanced fan content.

  • 11/12/14

    QUICKEN LOANS RACE FOR HEROES 500 A WINNER ON AND OFF TRACK

    Kevin Harvick drove his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet car to Gatorade Victory Lane in Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, but the race itself was a winner for Phoenix International Raceway. The track sold out of grandstand seats a week before the race and sold out of reserved camping spots more than two months early.

  • 11/09/14

    HARVICK TAKES CHECKERS AT QUICKEN LOANS RACE FOR HEROES 500

    Kevin Harvick dominated Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, leading 264 of the 312 laps in his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet on the way to Gatorade Victory Lane to conclude Phoenix International Raceway’s 50th anniversary season. The win clinched a place for Harvick in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Round next Sunday in Miami.

  • 11/08/14

    KESELOWSKI STEALS DAV 200 WIN: ELLIOTT YOUNGEST NATIONWIDE CHAMP

    Brad Keselowski, a second-place runner nearly all afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway, flew by Kyle Busch on the beginning of the last lap of an unexpected green-white-checkers finish to steal victory in the DAV 200 Honoring America's Veterans, NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday.

  • 11/08/14

    JONES DOMINATES LUCAS OIL 150 AT PIR

    Erik Jones dominated from the pole in the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night. Leading 114 of 126 laps, Jones made his way through the night under a full moon and won for a second straight time at “ZOOMTOWN USA.”

Facebook

© 2015 Phoenix International Raceway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites