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Head2Head: Who will be next for first Nationwide victory?

May 23, 2011, ,

It took 12 races, but Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finally became the first Nationwide-only driver to win when he took the checkered flag at Iowa last Sunday. In doing so, Stenhouse Jr. also won his first career Nationwide race, giving him his first win in 51 starts.

Which driver will be next to score first Nationwide Series victory?


Brian Scott would seem to be the logical choice to follow Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as the next driver to score his first Nationwide Series victory, since he finished second to Stenhouse in the 2010 rookie of the year race.

It's only been five years since Scott made the transition from open-wheeled dirt cars to stock cars on pavement, but he's shown to be a quick learner. The native of Boise, Idaho, moved to Charlotte in 2006 and was racing in the Truck Series within a year. After finishing second to Colin Braun for 2008 rookie of the year, Scott scored his first victory at Dover in 2009.

Since moving up to Nationwide in 2009, Scott's been just as impressive, even though he went through a situation last season where he wound up as the odd man out when the team for which he was driving was sold at mid-season. He scored his first top-10 finish at Fontana and had a career-best third at Chicagoland.

Now with Joe Gibbs Racing, Scott finally has the equipment to showcase his potential. And so far, he's been fast nearly everywhere. He's had four top-10 starts, including a third at Richmond.

He knows how to go fast, and he has the equipment to run up front. The big question is putting together the whole package. If he does, there's no reason why Scott can't be the next up and coming Nationwide regular to record a victory.

Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

The next Nationwide-only winner will come from JR Motorsports and it will be in the No. 7 -- but it's not who you think.

Danica Patrick steals all the headlines in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, and rightfully so, but Josh Wise is quietly proving he belongs in the Nationwide Series and you can see him earning his way into Victory Lane very soon.

Wise primarily drives the No. 7, but when Patrick is in the car, Wise moves to Go Green Racing's No 39. Despite being in inferior equipment for five races, Wise posted two 18th-place finishes and was involved in three crashes not of his doing. But with JRM, Wise has two top-10s, six top-20s and even led at Nashville and Dover.

Wise is on pace for a career high in top-fives, top-10s, and average finish. Even though he is bouncing between two race teams, Wise finds himself 10th in points -- a goal he set for himself before the season.

"I set two goals for myself at the beginning of the year. With all these part-time schedules and everything, I really hate setting a goal for 10th, but realistically with what I'm doing, that would be a pretty amazing feat," Wise said earlier this month.

His other goal for the season? His first victory. Look for him to accomplish both of those this season.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

So now that Stenhouse Jr. can check a victory off his to do list, who will be next? There are plenty of drivers still looking for their Nationwide victory and Bill Kimm and Mark Aumann selected who they think will visit Victory Lane next. Read their selections and then make your own in the comments below. And don't forget to vote in the poll at the right.