Time is the one constant in our lives. You, me, your second-cousin Fred, Daryl Harr--we're all subject to time. Especially the Nationwide Series' drivers. Here's a preview!
Championship Time: Teams with legitimate shots at the Driver's Championship
3 Austin Dillon--Advocare, Bass Pro Shops. This is Austin's last chance to win the Nationwide Championship. Well, last chance until five years from now when RCR collapses and he's forced back to the lower series.
6 Trevor Bayne--Cargill, Valvoline, Ford. After running part-time in both the Cup and Nationwide Series last year, Trevor gets a shot at a championship in 2013, followed by a shot at running an unsponsored, underfunded Cup car for RPM in 2014.
7 Regan Smith--TaxSlayer, Hellman's/Unilever. Regan goes from an underfunded Cup team to a top-funded Nationwide team, aka "Doing an Elliott Sadler". No word on if Regan plans to become insufferable in post-race interviews.
11 Elliott Sadler--OneMain Financial. Elliott goes from playing second-fiddle to the Dillon Bros. at RCR to playing fifth-fiddle at JGR.
12 Sam Hornish, Jr.--Alliance Truck Parts, Wurth. Sideways Sam had an impromptu chance at a Cup ride last year, but didn't impress enough to keep Joey Logano from getting his ride. Now if only he can find an intermediary to give Joey those "energy pills"…
20 Brian Vickers--Dollar General. Brian Vickers continues his fight back to a full-time Cup ride after an impressive part-time schedule last year. To be fair, simply going an entire race without spinning would be impressive compared to how Brian Scott raced.
30 Nelson Piquet Jr.--Sponsors Unknown. I wonder if Turner-Scott execs will try to pitch Nelson to sponsors by pointing out, "He can't walk down the street in South America!"
31 Justin Allgaier--Brandt. Due to a lack of available Cup rides, the Little Gator has been stuck in Nationwide for the past few years. He's becoming this generation's Randy LaJoie (well, without the pot).
"Championship" Time: Teams with a legitimate shot to win the Owner's Championship with multiple drivers
5 Kasey Kahne, Brad Sweet, Jimmie Johnson--Great Clips. Just think--if these guys win it all, they'll be the most-successful people with $5 hair cuts since Bill Gates.
18 Matt Kenseth, Darrell Wallace Jr., Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell--Reser's, Interstate Batteries, Pizza Ranch. The defending Owner's Championship team tries to repeat without Joey Logano. I get the feeling that Brian France completely forgot about the separate Owner's Championship last year, then had to run out to a trophy store to get something on Saturday morning.
22 Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano--Discount Tire, Hertz. The combination of these three drivers seems to portent a Nationwide Series juggernaut. Then you realize that being a Nationwide Series juggernaut is kind of like being a 22-year-old dominating high school basketball.
33 Ty Dillon, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Max Papis--Hunt Brothers Pizza, Menards. No word on if this team will be sharp like Paul Menard's sideburns, or recede like Kevin Harvick's hairline.
54 Kyle Busch (and someone else?)--Monster Energy. Kyle's on the books for 25 races in the Nationwide Series, where he's always a threat to win. Will they put someone in the car for the rest of the schedule, or will they let Kyle focus on winning a Nationwide Champ--oh, right, he can't do that anymore.
Time to Step Up: Drivers who are threats for the top-10 in points, if anybody still cared about the top-10 in points
2 Brian Scott--Shore Lodge. Apparently the Scotts are some of the most-powerful people in the state of Idaho. Not powerful enough to get their son some driving lessons, but still…
43 Michael Annett--Flying J/Pilot. If I suddenly become omnipotent, able to figure out the great mysteries of the universe, one of the first things I'd want to know is why Pilot/Flying J has sponsored Michael Annett all these years.
60 Travis Pastrana--Early-90's Neon Colors. For all that people complain about Danica Patrick being hyped, at least she's had more success than Pastranathon has. Oh, and she doesn't date anybody named Lyn-Z.
77 Parker Kligerman--Toyota. After being shoved out of a ride at BKR in the Truck Series by Ryan Blaney, Parker moves up to Nationwide, where he'll get shoved out of a ride at KBM by Darrell Wallace Jr.
Time is Money: Drivers who'd need more money, resources, and support to have a serious shot at the top
01 Mike Wallace--Sponsors Unknown. After previously running a "Cowboys vs. Aliens" car, maybe Mike can find sponsorship from other Harrison Ford movies. I'd like to see a paint scheme honoring the special edition DVD release of "Morning Glory".
4 Danny Efland, Daryl Harr--Sponsors Unknown. What did the guy say when he was tired of hearing about land rights? "Eff Land!" Oh, Harr dee Harr Harr.
14 Eric McClure--Hefty/Reynolds Wrap. When the most-memorable moment of your career is a vicious wreck, you might want to think about another career. Just ask Michael McDowell.
39 Jeffrey Earnhardt--Sponsors Unknown. To avenge his father Kerry, Jeffrey's entire life is leading up to the moment he can punch Terry Bradshaw in the face.
44 Hal Martin--American Custom Yachts. Yep, that's how you reach your target market--yachts for Nascar fans.
50 TJ Bell--Sponsors Unknown. Fun fact--I met TJ at an event at the Dover Mall about 9 years ago. Sadly, that remains a highlight of HIS career.
51 Jeremy Clements, Ty Dillon--Sponsors Unknown. Well, if Jeremy is running well enough, maybe they'll keep Ty out of the car--NAH.
52 Joey Gase--Sponsors Unknown. It took awhile, but its nice to finally see some Gase in Nascar.
70 Johanna Long--Foretravel Motorcoach. No word on if Johanna will have to share her ride with Derrike Cope again this year. Because really, who could POSSIBLY look good next to Derrike Cope?
87 Joe Nemechek--Blank Blue Paint. Joe returns for a full Nationwide Schedule, funding it by making steam shoot out of Bruton Smith's ears.
99 Alex Bowman--Sponsors Unknown. Very little is known about Alex, though I'm guessing that he's going to whine MUCH less than Kenny Wallace.
Part Time: These drivers will only compete in a few select races, making you say, "Oh, I didn't know that (INSERT DRIVER HERE) was running this weekend", before returning to your nap
1 Kurt Busch--Guy Roofing. Looks like Kurt was able to talk, curse, and swear his way into a super-speedway schedule with Phoenix Racing.
8 Scott Lagasse Jr, Corey LaJoie--Boy Scouts of America, HybridLight. So how is it a hybrid light? What, does it combine light and darkness somehow?
15 Driver Unknown--Sponsor Unknown. Can Rick Ware finally field a team capable of winning? Spoiler Alert--No.
21 Driver Unknown--Sponsor Unknown. Richard Childress may or may not run this team in 2013. It mostly depends on if he can find someone to fill the shoes of Johnny Sauter.
23 Robert Richardson Jr, Scott Riggs--Sponsor Unknown. I don't know what the "R3" in "R3 Motorsports stands for, but I'm guessing its "Reading, Righting, and Recking".
29 Kenny Wallace--Sponsor Unknown. Well, at least we'll know that ESPN has a few races where they can fill time during a rain delay.
32 Jeb Burton--Sponsor Unknown. Jeb's restarting his career with a top-notch team (Turner-Scott Motorsports), but can he succeed without the support of the State?
53 Andrew Ranger--Waste Management. Alright, the garbage truck returns to Nascar!
66 Steven Wallace--Richard Tocado Companies. Alright, the human chicane returns to Nascar!
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr--TaxSlayer/Great Clips. Dale might wind up sharing this ride with Danica Patrick, but if they really want a marketing dream-team, they should REALLY recruit Stuart Kirby.
98 Kevin Swindell--Sponsor Unknown. The open-wheel standout had some impressive runs last year, but I'm just hoping that he returns with that cool black-and-gold Shelby paint scheme.
Time To Go: These guys will likely run a few laps, then pull into the garage to cash their checks.
10 Jeff Green--If you don't talk to your team owner about Past Champions Provisional Abuse, who will?
19 Mike Bliss--TriStar? More like GoldStar.
40 Eric Darnell--This team is called "The Motorsports Group". As opposed to a race team called The Frisbee Jugglers Group.
41 Driven Unknown--Who will dare to stand in the long shadow of Steve Grissom?
89 Morgan Shepherd--I miss Morgan's old sponsor, Cater's Royal Disposeall. Sounds like an insult--"Yeah, that Kurt Busch, he's a real Carter's Royal Disposeall!"