By Brandon Butler – The ball has dropped and 2014 is officially here!
Meaning we leave behind 2013, which had brought us a memorable Nationwide Series season. From moments like the horrific Daytona crash, to the dogfight for the championship between Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr., there were certainly some great moments that made the 2013 NNS season memorable.
With 2014 here and the start of the new season just a month and a half away, lets take a look at some of the storylines for the upcoming season:
Who Will Replace Nationwide As The Title Sponsor In 2015?
Nationwide Insurance announced in October that 2014 would be the final season that the insurance company would sponsor NASCAR’s number two series. Heading into next season, the question still remains, who will be the new title sponsor? NASCAR has been looking for potential sponsors since the announcement and there should news at some point in 2014.
Is 2014 Regan Smith’s Year to Win It All?
With Austin Dillon headed to the Sprint Cup Series full-time and Sam Hornish Jr.’s 2014 plans uncertain, Regan Smith could be the favorite to win the NNS title in 2014. Smith was the only full-time NNS driver to win more than one race in 2013. The majority of the season was dominated by Cup veterans like Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano.
As long as the JR Motorsports driver can win races and avoid a mid-season dry spell of bad luck finishes like he did in 2013, then more than likely he will be there at the end of the season competing for the title in 2014.
Ty Dillon Making His Step Up To Nationwide Series
As older brother Austin makes the jump to Cup in the iconic No. 3, younger brother Ty Dillon is going to move up to the NNS full-time in 2014. Ty has had some experience in the NNS running a limited schedule in 2013, so it’s going to be very fun to see what he can accomplish running the full schedule in 2014. He may very well be a dark horse contender for the title.
Will Sam Hornish Jr. Return to the Nationwide Series For Penske or Someone Else?
After falling short of winning his first NASCAR title, Sam Hornish Jr. is now looking for a ride. With no sponsorship in place for Hornish after the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Penske Racing owner Roger Penske has allowed him to speak with other teams about rides for next season.
We are now into the new year and time is beginning to run out for Hornish to make a decision. Hopefully he is able to find a ride either in the Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series.