Probably the most popular driver, with the Twitter followers to prove it, to step full-time into NASCAR Nationwide action this season is Travis Pastrana. Of course, his popularity comes primarily from his days as an extreme sports star and as producer of the popular MTV show, "Nitro Circus."
Pastrana will drive the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing in 2013. In nine starts, his best performance was a 13th-place finish last season at Indianapolis.
In July 2011, he was scheduled to make his series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, but he broke his right foot and ankle a couple days prior to the race. He ended up delaying his debut until April 2012 at Richmond International Raceway. He finished 22nd in the race.
Saturday's race will be his first series race at Daytona International Speedway, but not his first competition on the track. His first win in the Pro Ranks was at Daytona in the AMA Supercross Series 125 East Class.
Although Pastrana is extremely competitive, he's going into the year with realistic goals and hoping to learn from his experiences.
"The NASCAR Nationwide Series is the most competitive series I've had the opportunity to be a part of," Pastrana said. "This year I'm going in with open expectations. My goals this season are to do the best I can every race and to learn every race."
Nelson Piquet Jr. might only have four starts to his credit in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but he's the most accomplished out of the four drivers in their new home series.
In only four starts, the 27-year-old from Brazil already has one NASCAR Nationwide win, which came at Road America last season.
In 2012, he competed in the truck series where he won twice (Michigan, Las Vegas) and captured three poles before being named the series' Most Popular Driver at season's end.
He is the first Brazilian to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race, and the first to run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide schedule, driving the No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet.
"I'm so ready for this season to finally start," Piquet said. "Running full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series is a dream come true for me."
NASCAR D4D alum Darrell Wallace Jr. embarks on his first NCWTS season this weekend
Darrell Wallace Jr. has found a lot of success on the race track in his relatively short career. However, none of that success has come while driving in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The reason? It's pretty simple. He's never competed in the series.
Wallace appeared in four races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last season, becoming the first African-American to a win pole in the series. In three of those races he had top-10 finishes, his best a seventh-place finish at Iowa. His worst finish in the series, twelfth.
In only 36 career starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Wallace captured six wins and 25 top-10 finishes. In 2010, he became the youngest winner in series history.
That same year, as a member of Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, Wallace won rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Not bad, either.
However, when Wallace finds himself at the wheel of the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota for Friday's NextEra Energy Resources 250, he'll be in unfamiliar waters. But, based on his success up to this point, no one can or should count Wallace out.
"I can't wait to get started," Wallace said. "I appreciate everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports for working this out and providing me the opportunity to compete for rookie of the year and the championship in the truck series."
Although the 2013 season will be filled with learning opportunities for Wallace as he navigates the different nuances of the series, don't be surprised if somewhere along the way he happens to find his way to Victory Lane.