The NASCAR Nationwide Series has been off for the last two weeks, but this Friday night they head to the Texas Motor Speedway.
Carl Edwards is the defending winner of this race. But he isn’t racing on Friday. Kyle Busch has won five of the last eight races at TMS. But he also isn’t racing Friday.
Four of the first five races this season have been won by non-Cup drivers. There’s a good chance that after Friday night that a non-Cup driver is in victory lane again.
Elliott Sadler has been very strong to start of the season, already grabbing two wins at Phoenix and Bristol. Defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also has a win after dominating the later stages of the Las Vegas race. Defending Camping World Truck Series champion and NNS rookie Austin Dillon is also off to a strong start. Dillon sits third in points in the familiar black, three car. Dillon has three top-fives and four top-tens in the first five races.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his return to the series on Friday night in the number five Degree car with Tony Eury Sr. as his crew chief. Kurt Busch is making his debut in the number 54 Monster Energy car owned by his brother, Kyle. Kurt will be in this car for most of the rest of the season.
As the Nationwide Series heads to Texas for Friday night’s race, Trevor Bayne and Kenny Wallace do not.
Lack of sponsorship is keeping Bayne and his number 60 Roush-Fenway Racing Mustang off the track. This is isn’t the first time that Bayne and RFR have had sponsorship issues this season. But it is the first time that it is keeping them from racing. Bayne was supposed to miss Bristol and Auto Club Speedway, but a last minute sponsorship deal came about to allow him to run both of those races.
According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, the goal for RFR was to run Bayne in the first five races of the season and hope to lure a sponsor into coming on for most of the rest of the year.
Bayne is currently fourth in points heading into this weekend’s race.
Kenny Wallace is also not racing on Friday night because of sponsorship issues. He is being replaced by Ryan Truex who brings Grime Boss with him as a sponsor.
Wallace made it known via his Twitter account about a month ago that his team, RAB Racing, was having sponsorship issues and may miss a few races. He has been using his Twitter account to try to find sponsorship for his team.
Wallace’s next race will be at Talladega in May.