Lagasse Challenges Cup Raiders
Nashville – With eight Sprint Cup drivers in the field along with at least two more former big-leaguers, Saturday’s Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway has the strongest lineup in its 10-year history.
But one Nationwide-only driver, Scott Lagasse, had this to say about that:
“Bring ‘em on.”
“Personally I look forward to racing against the Cup drivers,” said Lagasse who drives for the Nashville-based team of Baker Curb Racing. “I like the challenge.”
Gary Baker, who co-owns the team with Mike Curb, in the past has been outspoken about the uneven playing field created by the Cup challengers. In recent years they have totally dominated NASCAR’s second-tier series, winning all the championships, most of the races, and draining off sponsors and prize money.
Baker said if NASCAR allows the situation to continue unchecked, some already financially-strapped Nationwide teams will struggle to survive.
Going into Saturday’s 5th stop on the 35-race schedule, two prominent Cup drivers are 1-2 in the Nationwide standings. Carl Edwards holds a 26-point lead over Brad Keselowski.
In addition to Edwards and Keselowski, other full-time Cup drivers who are taking advantage of an open date in their series to race here include Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Joe Nemechek, Michael McDowell and Joey Logano. Reed Sorenson and Scott Riggs, former Cup regulars who lost their rides, also are entered.
Greg Biffle, a top Cup racer who is running a limited Nationwide schedule for Baker Curb Racing, will skip the event. Johnny Sauter will take over the ride Saturday as Lagasse’s teammate.
In addition to the Saturday Nationwide race, a Friday night Camping World Series truck race will also be run on the 1.3-mile concrete track.
Lagasse, who over the winter moved from his home in St. Augustine, Fla., to Nashville to be near the team, said the race is especially important because it’s in his bosses’ back yard.
“They consider this their home track and that makes the race special,” said Lagasse, who is 13th in the standings. “There’s always extra incentive when you race in your home town.”
Biffle is 6th in the standings and has flirted with victory this season as Baker Curb chases its first in three seasons. Lagasse said Biffle’s good runs have boosted the team’s confidence.
“It proves that this team is capable of fielding cars that can run up front,” he said. “If we can keep doing that, the next step is winning. I think we’re getting close.”
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgNo Comment