With the initial releases now come and gone in most big-box stores, the Wave 2 of this year’s NASCAR Authentics from Lionel sees some of the sport’s biggest names and most iconic rides make an early season debut. That said, the newest set of cars on store shelves still features some of the same interesting choices that made Wave 1 a strange mix.

As with the initial release of the season, Wave 2 features nine cars, including one 2017 race-winning ride. I don’t tend to collect the race-used vehicles, but Kyle Busch’s M&M’s Caramel car was one of the most striking paint schemes of last year, and it was undoubtedly a nice inclusion as last year’s All-Star Race winner pairs well with Austin Dillon’s Coca-Cola 600 winner from Wave 1.

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The big season debuts in Wave 2 are seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon, 2015 champion Kyle Busch, defending Xfinity Series champion William Byron, and Paul Menard (in a rare car of his not to feature a Menards primary sponsorship). All five of these drivers’ rides feature their most identifiable, if not most used, paint schemes of the 2018 Cup Series season.

That said, we’re already into driver repeats in Wave 2 as Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman also return to the line. Keselowski’s Wurth car from Wave 1 is supplemented by his Discount Tire scheme here, and Newman’s Caterpillar ride from the first set is joined by his Grainger car this time around.

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Kevin Harvick is the third and final driver to make his second appearance so far this year, but not with his Stewart-Haas Racing ride from the Cup Series. Instead, his Hunt Brothers Pizza ride in the Xfinity Series joins the line, frustratingly designed number and all. It’s the first Xfinity car of the new season, and probably one of only a handful that we’ll see in 2018.

For those chasing Xfinity cars, last year’s lineup was a mixed bag of old and current cars. We saw 2016 throwbacks from Ryan Reed and Bubba Wallace, 2016 rides from Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones with the champion and rookie of the year logos on the roof, and 2017 entries from Harvick (Hunt Brothers Pizza and Textron), Cole Custer (Haas), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Degree), Reed (Lilly Diabetes, in a race-used version), Ty Majeski (iRacing), and Justin Allgaier (Brandt). With Majeski’s 2017 Bit-o-Honey car coming in Wave 3, we might see more of the same this year. If anything, fans might need to wait for the nearly impossible to find bonus waves for more Xfinity cars to show up; last year’s included Earnhardt Jr.’s Goody’s ride, Keselowski’s Discount Tire car, and Elliott Sadler’s Hunt Brothers Pizza machine.

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The full roster for the 2018 cars included in Wave 2 is as follows:

No.

Driver Name

Primary Sponsor

Races

2

Brad Keselowski

Discount Tire

10

3

Austin Dillon

Dow

24*

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s

30*

21

Paul Menard

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

14

24

William Byron

Axalta

10

31

Ryan Newman

Grainger

6

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe’s For Pros

36

98

Kevin Harvick

Hunt Brothers Pizza (Xfinity)

4

*primary sponsor will likely cycle in alternate paint schemes in duration of agreement

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