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Five things to watch in Nationwide series

1 Carl Edwards. Right now, there are only two Cup regulars who have announced an intention to complete a full season in Nationwide. They are Edwards and Kyle Busch. Edwards, who won the championship two years ago, seems more serious about winning this year’s than Busch.

2 Rusty Wallace Racing. Steve Wallace had a quietly good season in 2008. He finished 14th. This year, the team has added truck series veteran Brendan Gaughan, which is welcome news on the competition front and on the wonderful quote front. Gaughan went to the Rusty Wallace School of Talking.

3 Rookies. The series currently lists seven drivers in contention for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. Some of them _ like Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, John Wes Townley and Gaughan _ come in with high expectations.

4 Iowa. Iowa Speedway, located west of Des Moines, has been added to the 2009 schedule. The race will be held on Aug. 1 so fans who make the trip up there will be able to leave the down jackets at home.

5 Engines. The series has adopted a new engine rule, which will go into effect on March 25th. After that date, teams will be allowed to only use new engines in three consecutive races. After that, they must use an engine that has been used previously. The intention is to cut costs.

| Jim Pedley, jpedley@kcstar.com

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