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Danica and the Rookies

March 13th, 2010

James Buescher in Nationwide Rookie Lead

Points Position  Name    Starts   Finish: Daytona   California  Las Vegas
11 James Buescher 3 8 13 29
17 Brian Scott   3 19   10   31
26 Colin Braun   3 34   18   28
34 Danica Patrick   3 35   31   36
36 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  3 36   39   30
38 Parker Kligerman  2 dns   22   35
57 Chrissy Wallace   1 43   dns   dns

Brian Scott in Nationwide eriesThere are five drivers running for the Raybestos Rookie of the year in the Nationwide Series. After the first three races and since Danica is only a part-time stock car driver and Full time Indycar driver & swimsuit model we thought right now is the time to compare statistics for rookies in the first three races of the season.

Colin Braun in Nationwide (formerly Busch Series)Both James Buescher and Brian Scott have scored Top Tens. Parker Kligerman did not start the race at Daytona due to qualifying being rained out. Chrissy Wallace and Danica Patrick are running limited schedules (hence the did not starts for Chrissy) and neither will be running for Rookie of the year.
One Rookie note is this is the first time a rookie has not scored a top-10 finish in the last four consecutive Nationwide Series races at Las Vegas. Last year four rookies finished in the top 10:  Michael McDowell, 6th; Brendan Gaughan, 7th;
Justin Allgaier, 8th; Scott Lagasse Jr., 9th.Danica Patrick, Godaddy Girl
In the Rookie stats Danica is fourth. Below many peoples expectations and on par for others but what did you expect? Her highest finish was 31st at California. Every other rookies has a higher finish than her except Chrissy Wallace who has only one start.
Another comparison is the teams. James Buescher is driving the #1 car for Phoenix Racing owned by James Finch, in a basically unponsored car. Phoenix Racing owned the car Brad Keselowski won with at Talledage last year. This year is Cup competition they have struggled to qualify for races with Aric Almirola as driver.
Brian Scott drives the #11 for Braun Racing. Braun competes only in the Nationwide series although it at times has shared  connections to Sprint Cup teams as it has been a part of driver development programs.
Colin Braun, a Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series, is in the #16 for Roush Fenway Racing. It should be noted Colin has six previous starts (7 or less starts in a season keeps you qualified for Rookie of the year) in two seasons where he earned two poles and a top five finish. Jack Roush and Roush Fenway Racing is well knowned in NASCAR. Since 1988 it has earned Championships in all three of NASCAR’s top series. They have competed not only in NASCAR but drag racing and sports cars. Anyone remember Tommy Kendall’s 12 SCCA Trans-Am wins in 1995? That was a Roush Ford.
Ricky Stenhouse in NASCAR Nationwide SeriesDanica Patrick is driving the #7 car for JR Motorsports which is “in partnership” with Hendrick Motorspors. JR Motorsports is co-owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Rick Hendrick. Hendrick Motorsports competes in all three of NASCAR’s top series. They have earned nine Sprint Cup, one Nationwide (driver only) and three Camping World Truck Series championships. They have 188 wins in Sprint Cup competition, 29 in Nationwide/Busch and 25 in the truck series. They build and supply engines and chassis for many other top teams.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drives the #6 car for Roush Fenway Racing. See above for details.
Parker Kligerman in NASCAR Nationwide SeriesParker Kligerman is a Penske Racing development driver driving the #42 car for Team 42 Racing, formerly known as Smith-Ganassi Racing. Because of sponsorship issues he is not set to compete in the entire season. The sponsor of his car Smith Iroworks is a company owned by team owner Eddie Smith. It is unknown how much involvement Penske has with the #42 car. Penske racing competes currently not only in NASCAR but in Indycar as well. They Crissy Wallace in Nationwide Serieshave had no NASCAR championships but have earned them in Indycar, CART and USAC. They also have on the Indianapolis 500 fifteen times. Did you know that the first car in NASCAR from Penske was an AMC Matador? Some may ask, “What’s a Matador?” Justin Allgaier won the 2009 Rookie of the year in a Penske Racing car.
 Next week is Bristol. Danica Patrick and Chrissy Wallace will not be at that race. The remaining Rokkies will battle it out short track style. Should be a good one!

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