By Lee Montgomery
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - I've always been one who wanted to see the NASCAR Nationwide Series stand on its own, and I've often proposed some radical ideas.
NASCAR doesn't listen to me, of course, and that's probably a good thing.
But NASCAR does listen Nationwide Insurance, the title sponsor of the No. 2 racing series in the United States. And the folks at Nationwide have some pretty good ideas, including the Dash 4 Cash, which will be contested for the first time this weekend.
In tonight's Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway, four drivers will be gunning for a $100,000 bonus. And none of them are Sprint Cup drivers.
No, the top four drivers in series points - Reed Sorenson, Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier - are eligible for 100 grand. The highest finishes gets the cash.
There are three other Dash 4 Cash races:
For future races, the four drivers eligible will be the winner of the Daytona bonus, plus the next three highest finished Nationwide drivers.In other words, we'll know a month ahead who will be competing for $100,000. And so will they.
It's a great idea that will put the spotlight on Nationwide drivers even more than the current points standings. And it forces ESPN to focus a little more on Nationwide drivers, too.
The added publicity can only help the series. Thank goodness.