This season, the NASCAR Nationwide Series could have a winless champion. A season where only four races were won by Nationwide Series drivers actually running for the Championship has made this season hard to watch for some NASCAR’s most diehard fans. So what will the championship come down to?
Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr. are at the top of the standings with only one win between the two. Dillon currently sits eight points ahead of Hornish with one race left on the schedule and that race will determine who sits at the head of the table at the awards banquet next week.
Driving for grandfather Richard Childress, Dillon has been rumored to move up to the Sprint Cup Series in 2014. The 2011 Camping World Truck Series Champion is currently winless this season with 13 top-5′s and 22 top-10 finishes. His strength this season has been consistency and finishing races. With one DNF coming at Richmond in the spring, Dillon has completed 99.2% of the laps this season.According to statistics from Racing Reference, Dillon’s average start is 4.8 and in a seven week stretch through the summer, Dillon sat on the pole six of those weeks.
In his second full season in the Nationwide Series, the 3-time IndyCar Series Champion has a NASCAR Championship within reach. Sam Hornish Jr. has had a wild ride in NASCAR since joining the series full-time in 2008. With one win this season at Las Vegas, Hornish has been fairly consistent this season. According to Racing Reference, Hornish has 16 top-5 and 24 top-10 finishes. His downfall this season has been the two DNF’s he has acquired. With an average finish of 9.0 and 97.6% of the laps completed this season, it shows just where he has fallen short compared to Austin Dillon.
Barring a wreck or mechanical failure for either of our two championship contenders, the winner will be decided in the closing laps at Homestead-Miami Saturday night. Both drivers are equally deserving of being at the top and with just eight points separating the two, the slightest mistake could cost someone the big trophy.