Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane
after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and
the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Kevin Harvick Wins 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: In a storybook finish to conclude a revamped Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, #4-Kevin Harvick won the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday to claim his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. To win the title, Harvick needed to finish ahead of his fellow Championship 4 - and a win was the only way that would've happened. #31-Ryan Newman finished second, #11-Denny Hamlin finished seventh and #22-Joey Logano ended the night in 16th.
After finishing a career-best third in the standings in three of the last four seasons, the 14-year series mainstay finally broke through for the premier series title in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing. A veteran of all three of NASCAR's national series, Harvick joins Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as the third driver to win both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series crowns. Harvick, 38, is the 30th champion in the 66-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevy driver showed off his speed throughout 2014, pacing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led and poles. Following a two-win regular season, Harvick entered the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as its No. 6 seed. He adeptly navigated his way through the Chase's Challenger and Contender Rounds highlighted by his victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but would still be searching for a championship without his clutch performance in the Eliminator Round cutoff race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Entering the penultimate showdown at the one-mile tri-oval last among Chase qualifiers, Harvick needed a win at Phoenix to advance to the Championship 4. He responded to the pressure by leading 264-of-312 laps and beating four-time series champion Jeff Gordon on his way to Victory Lane. The Bakersfield, California, native carried his momentum to Homestead, becoming the first title-winner under NASCAR's new playoff format.
Harvick's championship is the second for Stewart-Haas Racing. The racing outfit jointly owned by three-time premier series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas won its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title behind the driving efforts of Stewart in 2011. #4 team crew chief Rodney Childers, also in his first season with SHR, won his first series crown as well.(NASCAR)(11-16-2014)
Newman's Crew Chief named 'Problem Solver of the Year': Sprint Cup racing's youngest crew chief is now also one if its most celebrated, as Luke Lambert of the #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy team clinched Federal-Mogul Motorparts' $100,000 MOOG Steering and Suspension "Problem Solver of the Year" Award during Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 31-year-old Lambert, in just his second full year as a Cup Series crew chief and first with driver Ryan Newman, finished 2014 with a series-leading four weekly MOOG "Problem Solver of the Race" Awards. He will receive his $100,000 Problem Solver of the Year check and a handcrafted MOOG ball joint trophy during the NASCAR Myers Brothers Award Ceremony December 4 in Las Vegas. The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and Problem Solver of the Year awards recognize the vital in-race contributions of Sprint Cup crew chiefs. The weekly Problem Solver of the Race award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The prestigious year-end Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the season. Four crew chiefs - Jimmy Fennig (#99 Ford, Carl Edwards), Chris Heroy (#42 Chevy, Kyle Larson), Chad Knaus (#48 Chevy, Jimmie Johnson) and Steve Letarte (#88 Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) - tied for second in the final Problem Solver standings with three wins each. Eighteen different crew chiefs won a weekly MOOG award in 2014.(PR)(11-22-2014)
Almirola nominated for Premios Univision Deportes Award: Univision Deportes, the sport division of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, announced that Cuban American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #43-Aric Almirola is nominated for the Best Car Racing Performance Award in the inaugural Premios Univision Deportes awards. The two-hour show is the ultimate sports award show for U.S. Hispanics honoring top athletes and teams from the leagues and sports that Hispanics care about most. Nomination is based on athletic performance and accomplishments in 2014. Almirola became the first Cuban American driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when he captured his first win in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway in July. The win secured him a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's official playoffs, another first for a Cuban American driver in the sport. Premios Univision Deportes will air on UniMás on Thursday, December 18th at 9:00pm/et with a simulcast on UDN (Univision Deportes Network).(RPM)(11-22-2014)
What are Sprint Cup plans for Chase Elliott? In a Thursday interview on SiriusXM Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel, Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt said the team planned to field a car for Chase Elliott in a handful of Sprint Cup races next season under the guidance of Kenny Francis (who was promoted Wednesday from crew chief of the #5 to vehicle technical director by Hendrick). Duchardt didn't speculate further on the future for Elliott. The 18-year-old son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will run the rebranded Xfinity Series next year for JRM. "We'll see what the right steps are for the future, but right now, we're just going to take 2015 and take a look at how things are progressing," Duchardt said. "It's like having a prospect in Triple A batting .380 and when's he going to come up to the club. I get it. But we'll work on that and see where that all heads. Right now, he'll run the NAPA Camaro in '15, and we'll run some Cup races and see where that leads us. I understand it's part of the fun and speculation of what could or should be done. I completely understand it. We're going to try to make sure we put him in the best position to be successful when he does come here full time."
Hendrick also has signed Jimmie Johnson through next season. At a Thursday event to announce more than $500,000 in education grants from his foundation, the six-time series champion indicated he hoped to have an extension soon and said he had been unaware of Kahne's deal. "That's good news for Kasey," he said. Asked if Elliott was in line for his #48, Johnson said with a laugh, "No. I think there's maybe somebody else in line to retire before I do."(USA Today)(11-21-2014)
Jimmie Johnson Foundation announces grants: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra, announced the recipients of the 2014 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grants. The grants, which are awarded to K-12 public and charter schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson's respective hometowns of Muskogee, Oklahoma, El Cajon, California, and where they currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, totaled $556,623. The announcement took place at Garinger High School. Garinger is one of five schools in the Charlotte area to receive a Champions Grant. Students and staff from the five local schools were in attendance as the Johnsons made the announcement on behalf of the Foundation and program partner Lowe's. The Johnsons shared that these schools, along with seven others from Muskogee and the San Diego area, have been selected to receive the grants. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $257,870 toward science and technology needs, $168,316 for health and fitness activities, $80,458 toward arts programs and $49,979 toward literacy initiatives. The funded projects for 2014 range from constructing an outdoor classroom and kitchen to creating a district-wide e-library to creating a visual arts program. Several schools also received technology grants to purchase new computers. Nearly $3.7 million has been contributed through the Champions Grant program since 2009. To see a detailed list of the 2014 Champions Grant projects, visit Jimmie Johnson Foundation.(Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(11-21-2014)
Tyler Walker gets 13th postponement for plea: At a hearing Tuesday, 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow postponed taking a plea on behalf of Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker for the 13th time as he did not appear in person and his defense attorney said his paperwork had not yet been received. Tyler was arrested after leading law enforcement on a high speed chase in January 2013. "This will be the 13th time he's missed this," Walker's defense attorney Douglas Terry said. Ludlow gave Walker until Dec. 2 to deliver his plea-by-mail. "He has until the 2nd, then he has to appear in person and we'll go from there," Ludlow said. Charges against Walker stem from the January 2013 incident in which he is accused of fleeing from officers and drug possession. At the time, the Nevada Highway Patrol was alerted to be on the lookout for a reckless driver on northbound Interstate 15. Once located, a pursuit began and one Nevada trooper clocked the car, a BMW, traveling at 140 mph. The BMW passed into Arizona and then into Utah where the tires were spiked at Utah mile post 2 and all four tires were blown. The car then pulled over at mile post 6 and, once stopped, Walker attempted to flee on foot but was quickly subdued by an Arizona Highway Patrol trooper. His girlfriend at the time, Raelle McDonald who was traveling with him, was taken into custody without incident. According to a UHP statement, a subsequent search of the BMW produced alleged methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol.(St. George News)(11-21-2014)
Cheez-It returns as sponsor at Watkins Glen: Watkins Glen International and Kellogg Company announced Cheez-It renews its place as the title sponsor of The Glen's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. WGI's marquee event, Cheez-It 355 at The Glen returns August 6-9. This will be the company's third-consecutive year as the race's entitlement sponsor, while the iconic snack brand's parent company, the Kellogg Company, has been involved with NASCAR since 1991. "NASCAR provides a great way for Cheez-It crackers to reach our fans and Watkins Glen provides an amazing venue that is unlike any other," said Melissa Pawlowicz, senior director of integrated promotions for the Kellogg Company. "Cheez-It is proud to be associated with 'The Glen' and to play a role in bringing the excitement of the Cheez-It" 355 to life."(Watkins Glen International)(11-21-2014)
#17 team has parts confiscated, could face penalty UPDATES: NASCAR announced late Friday that officials have confiscated the rear-end suspension parts on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s #17 Ford Fusion after finding an issue during prequalifying inspection for Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Saturday afternoon that NASCAR will take Stenhouse's rear-end suspension back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation early next week. Any penalties resulting from the issue on Stenhouse's car will likely be handed down on Tuesday -- two days after the season's final race -- and could affect the final points standings.(FoxSports)(11-16-2014)
UPDATE Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. faces a likely points penalty for rear suspension pieces confiscated during pre-qualifying inspection Friday. Pemberton said NASCAR will begin its review of the Stenhouse suspensions pieces Monday. Having unapproved rear suspension parts is considered a P5 penalty on NASCAR's penalty system, meaning it could be as much as a penalty of 50 points, a fine of up to $125,000 and a six-week suspension for crew chief Mike Kelley.(Sporting News)(11-17-2014)
UPDATE 2: The #17 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during pre-qualifying inspection Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This infraction is a P3 level penalty which is outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the 2014 NASCAR rule book:
Violations resulting in P3 penalties tend to fall between serious and intermediate in nature. While they might include general "categories" of infractions similar to those in P4 (e.g. unauthorized parts; failing to meet specs; etc.), they tend to pertain more to secondary componentry or systems; modifications of lessor significance; go/no-go measurement failures of an intermediate nature.
This infraction violates Sections:
12-1 - Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
20-12 - Suspension: All front end and rear suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension/drive line component beyond normal rotation or suspension/drive line travel.
As a result of these violations, crew chief Mike Kelley has been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for six months starting Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. Additionally, car chief Patrick Magee has also been placed on NASCAR probation for six months starting Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015.(NASCAR)(11-20-2014)
LiftMaster to sponsor Kahne: LiftMaster, the number-one brand of professionally installed residential garage door openers, will join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver Kasey Kahne and his #5 Chevy SS team. The new relationship will feature LiftMaster, which is headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois, as a primary sponsor in three Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons. In 2015, the #5 LiftMaster Chevy SS will appear in Sprint Cup Series races May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 11 at Kentucky Speedway and Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(11-20-2014)
Kahne signs 3 year extension with Hendrick: Hendrick Motorsports and Kasey Kahne have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep the driver with the #5 Chevy SS team through the end of the 2018 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
"It's extremely gratifying to work with a driver like Kasey," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "I think the world of him both as a driver with championship-level talent and an overall terrific young man. Our whole organization has a great deal of respect for how hard he works, the professionalism he displays with our partners and the way he carries himself every day. We're committed to winning races and competing for titles with him for many years to come."
Kahne, 34, originally signed with Hendrick Motorsports in April 2010 and officially joined the team's four-car stable for the 2012 season. Over the past three years (2012-14), he ranks among the top-10 drivers in Sprint Cup wins (5), pole positions (4), top-five finishes (26) and laps led (1,177). The Enumclaw, Washington, native has 17 career wins in NASCAR's top division.
"I've found a home at Hendrick Motorsports," said Kahne, who since 2012 has earned at least one victory each season while securing three consecutive Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths. "We have incredible people and partners supporting us, and I couldn't be more excited about the direction we're headed as a team and a company. It's the right place for me, and I'm looking forward to being here for a long time." Kahne's contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire following the 2015 NASCAR season.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-20-2014)
Greensboro Leads ESPN's NASCAR Ratings for 2014 Season: For the seventh time in eight years, the Greensboro, N.C., television market led the nation's metered markets with the highest average rating for ESPN's 17 weeks of NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts, according to Nielsen Media. The 2014 season concluded Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Greensboro market averaged an 8.5 rating for the 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races on ESPN's schedule (including three Saturday night races that aired on ABC), edging out Greenville, S.C., (8.4) for the top spot. Indianapolis was third with a 7.7 average rating, followed by Birmingham, Ala., at 6.3 and Charlotte, N.C., at 6.2. Rounding out the top 10 markets were Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 6.0; Richmond, Va., 5.8; Knoxville, Tenn., and Nashville, Tenn., tied for eighth at 5.5; and Orlando, Fla., Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., and Norfolk, Va., tied for 10^th at 5.1.
Over the eight years of ESPN's NASCAR TV contract, which expired at the end of this season, Greensboro led the nation with the highest average rating every year but 2009, when Knoxville, Tenn., took the top spot. Greensboro slipped to fifth that year but bounced back the following year and led every year afterward.
The Greensboro market also led the nation with the highest average rating this year for the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, averaging an 8.2 rating. Greenville, S.C., was again second at 7.7, with Indianapolis (6.6), Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham (tied at 6.0) completing the top five.
ESPN averaged a 2.9 U.S. household rating for its 17-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule for the fourth straight year in 2014, while the Chase averaged a 2.7 U.S. household rating for the third straight year.(ESPN)(11-20-2014)
2014 First Team All Pit Road: After 4 weeks of peer voting, PitTalks.com has announced the names that got the most votes. They received over 350 votes from pit crew members and feel this is the most accurate and legit All Pit Road Team there is. Thanks to all the crew members who helped vote and congratulations to all the award winners:
Gas Man: Justin White #14
Jack Man: Nate Bolling #11
Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise #11
Front Tire Carrier: Kevin Harris #88
Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks #11
Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry #11
Pit Coach of the year: Mike Lepp, Joe Gibbs Racing
Pit Crew of the Year: 1st. Team-#11 car of Joe Gibbs Racing For 2nd team, 3rd team and honorable mention, see the lists at PitTalks.com
and see the latest pit crew lists on Jayski.com's 2014 Pit Crew Chart page.(11-20-2014)
Stump named technical director at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately. Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization's research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology. Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor's degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master's degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s. When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the #2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993. By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.(Stewart Haas Racing)(11-20-2014)
NASCAR Goes Orange to Recognize World COPD Day: NASCAR announced on World COPD Day that it is joining the fight to help NASCAR fans with COPD breathe easier. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a life threatening lung disease, is the fourth leading cause of death globally and affects more than 300 million individuals worldwide. Within the United States, COPD ranks as the third leading cause of death, with more than 24 million Americans affected and approximately half that number remaining undiagnosed. However, a simple, painless breathing test, called spirometry, can determine whether or not a person has COPD. DRIVE4COPD has been the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR since 2010 and has been responsible for screening nearly three million NASCAR fans. NASCAR and DRIVE4COPD are embarking on activities this month to help generate awareness and encourage fans to get screened, including:
" NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte will be lit orange throughout the remainder of the month
" SiriusXM will run PSAs encouraging fans to be screened
" NASCAR will recognize World COPD Day across its digital platforms
" DRIVE4COPD to host sweepstakes with NASCAR-themed prizing
World COPD Day is an annual global event that aims to raise awareness of COPD. World COPD Day 2014 takes place around the theme "It's not too late." This positive message was chosen to emphasize the meaningful actions people can take to improve their respiratory health, at any stage, before or after a COPD diagnosis. DRIVE4COPD is a public health initiative that aims to help people identify symptoms of COPD and take action by utilizing public health screenings offered by the nonprofit group. For more information about the COPD Foundation and DRIVE4COPD, please visit www.drive4copd.org.(NASCAR)(11-20-2014)
Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive Has New Look, Same Goals: This year's Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive will have a new look and feel, but the goal will remain the same: to brighten Christmas morning for as many children as possible in Martinsville and Henry County. The centerpieces of the 2014 toy drive will be five online auctions of VIP race experiences at Martinsville Speedway and toy collection at the Lowe's in Martinsville between 11am and 2pm on December 13 complete with Santa Claus, the Martinsville Speedway pace car and a mock victory lane for photos. The auctions, which will be on eBay, will make the fundraiser a national event, drawing from Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR fans from all over the country, which in turn should mean the ability to raise more money. The auctions will be announced on Martinsville Speedway's website, www.martinsvillespeedway.com and via social media. Some of the items included in the auctions will be pre-race passes, pit passes, suite tickets and victory lane passes. All proceeds will go to the Grace Network, an association of more than 100 churches in the Martinsville and Henry County area, to help families in need at Christmas. Fans will still be able to drive their personal cars around the historic Martinsville Speedway as part of the toy drive, but this year the window of opportunity is much larger. Beginning Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 12, Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm, five laps around the track will be offered for the donation of a new, unwrapped toy or a $10 donation.(Martinsville Speedway)(11-20-2014)
Kurt Busch meets with Delaware police: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has met with Delaware police investigating an allegation by his ex-girlfriend that he assaulted her. Police say Busch and his attorneys met with investigators Tuesday afternoon. An attorney for Busch says he was cooperative and continues to deny the allegations by 36-year-old Patricia Driscoll. Police spokesman Mark Hoffman says the investigation is continuing and that no decision on whether to file charges has been made. Driscoll claims she was assaulted inside Busch's motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September, just days after the couple broke up.(Associated Press)(11-19-2014)
Harvick does Top 10 on Letterman: Tuesday night, #4-Kevin Harvick appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to give the Top 10 List.
His subject: Top Ten Tips For Becoming An Auto Racing Champion
10. Hands at 10 and 2 when driving. 11 and 1 when celebrating
9. Reduce weight of the car -- take out the brakes
8. During a race, save your energy for the post-race brawl
7. There's no rule about slashing your opponents tires
6. No sex the night before the race -- or during the race
5. Don't waste time learning to parallel park
4. A pit stop should only last long enough to lick the windshield clean
3. Resist the temptation to take a mid-race selfie
2. Remeber: If you lose, you don't have to do 'Letterman'
1. Accept the fact that your ass will never stop vibrating
View the video on the Late Show with David Letterman site.(11-19-2014)
Crew chief change for Kahne? UPDATE: Since #5-Kasey Kahne's struggles earlier this season, rumors have persisted that Hendrick Motorsports would make a crew chief change on the #5 Farmer's Insurance Chevy. Although Kenny Francis has guided Kahne to 16 wins and five Chase appearances, this season the team barely made the playoffs after pulling off a last-minute victory at Atlanta. After eight seasons with Francis, the success the pair once enjoyed appeared to evaporate after team engineer Keith Rodden left to join Ganassi Racing as crew chief for #1-Jamie McMurray. But if the rumor mill is right, Rodden could be returning to Hendrick Motorsports next season as Kahne's crew chief. The trio of Kahne, Francis and Rodden moved to HMS three seasons ago. Francis, who has a year remaining on his contract, would remain on in a technical director type of role. When asked about his status for next year, Francis declined comment. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick said on Sunday morning, "I don't know what we're going to do yet. Doug Duchardt is working on some projects...nothing is done. Nothing is signed. We're looking at some options, but we're really happy with what we have." When asked whether Rodden was returning to HMS, Hendrick said, "I'm not sure." Ganassi Racing reps offered a similar reply. Long-time Hendrick Motorsports engineering director Rex Stump is moving to Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season.(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)
UPDATE: In preparation for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and revised rules that affect race car development and on-track testing, Hendrick Motorsports has named Kenny Francis to the new position of vehicle technical director and Keith Rodden as crew chief of the #5 Chevy SS team of driver Kasey Kahne. The roles take effect immediately. Francis, 44, will oversee organization-wide car design and development with day-to-day management of Hendrick Motorsports' chassis, body, research and development, on-track testing, vehicle engineering and simulation programs. Reporting to general manager Doug Duchardt, he will serve as the primary liaison between Hendrick Motorsports' crew chiefs and its vehicle group. Rodden will return to Hendrick Motorsports where he worked alongside Francis in 2012 and 2013 while the lead engineer for Kahne and the #5 team. For 2014, he was named crew chief for the #1 team at Chip Ganassi Racing where he won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, earned two pole positions and helped driver Jamie McMurray set a career-best season in laps led.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-19-2014)
Gustafson talks about decision to pit Gordon at Homestead: Crew chief Alan Gustafson said his mistake late in Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway cost #24-Jeff Gordon a chance to win. Gustafson discussed his late-race strategy Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive." Gustafson told Gordon not pit during a caution 19 laps from the finish. The move kept Gordon first but with most of the field taking tires, it left him at a disadvantage. During the next caution a few laps later, Gordon pitted from second to get four new tires. He didn't have time to recover. Gordon finished 10th despite leading a race-high 161 laps. So what happened?
"Really, the error was made, I stayed out when the majority of the field pitted and that put us in a bad situation," Gustafson said of the caution 19 laps from the finish. "Jeff felt like (on the following caution) we weren't in a very good position to succeed, so we made a decision to come pit. Really the first stop, when us and Denny (Hamlin) and ... a few other cars stayed out, that was the one that really hurt us. That's on me. It was a mistake I made. I tried to keep the track position. I felt like that was going to be the highest percentage decision and it ended up not being. That put us behind unfortunately. I think we had the best car. The team deserved to win the race. It was a bad decision from my part and I'm going to learn from it. It would be really easy for me to make a lot of excuses and say, 'Hey there's a lot of circumstances that play into it - and there are and it is a very tough thing to do - but that's my job and in that situation I feel like I didn't do it to the best of my capabilities."(MRN)(11-19-2014)
ESPN's Live NASCAR Race Coverage Takes Checkered Flag: After 28 years and 398 races, ESPN's live telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing took the checkered flag Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the telecast of the 2014 season finale. The race marked the end of ESPN's eight-year contract with NASCAR, which began in 2007. Previously, ESPN had televised live NASCAR racing from 1981-2000. Beginning in 2015, Fox and NBC will split the NASCAR season.
"We've enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with NASCAR," said John Skipper, ESPN president. "NASCAR was a fundamental building block for ESPN during our first two decades and will always be an important part of our history. We have tremendous respect for all in the sport and wish them well. While we won't be televising NASCAR races after this season, the only thing ending in our relationship with NASCAR is the live racing. NASCAR coverage will continue to live on all ESPN platforms going into the future."
ESPN's history with NASCAR began in March of 1981, less than two years after the network launched in September of 1979, with the tape-delayed airing of its first NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Rockingham, N.C. At the time, only the Daytona 500, NASCAR's biggest race, aired live in its entirety, and that had only started in 1979. Selected other events either aired live in part or on a delayed basis, sometimes weeks later, on broadcast network television. After three more delayed telecasts in 1981, ESPN aired its first live flag-to-flag telecast of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Nov. 8, 1981, from Atlanta. From that race forward, with a few exceptions, the NASCAR races airing on ESPN were live and the entire race was shown, setting a pattern that resonated with viewers. And as ESPN added races to its schedule in the next several years, and other networks did as well, the NASCAR premier series schedule was on its way to being fully televised. ESPN televised 262 races from NASCAR's premier series from 1981-2000, an era of unprecedented growth for both NASCAR and ESPN. During a time when individual racetracks made their own deals for television, ESPN introduced a national audience to races telecast from classic NASCAR tracks such as Bristol, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Rockingham and others that had seldom been seen on TV. In 1990, ESPN aired its all-time high of 20 events.
Bob Jenkins was a central figure in ESPN's live NASCAR race telecasts for the first 20 years as the lap-by-lap announcer, joined by analyst Larry Nuber in the early years and then later by former NASCAR champions Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons in the booth as analysts. Dr. Jerry Punch, who joined ESPN in 1984, was a pit reporter for 17 of ESPN's first 20 years of NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage and also called some races from the booth, including the memorable Talladega race in 2000 that was the last win for the late Dale Earnhardt. Punch remains with ESPN today and was the only announcer who worked on Sprint Cup race telecasts in both ESPN eras. Dr. Dick Berggren and John Kernan also had long runs as pit reporters during ESPN's first 20 years in NASCAR while Nuber, Jack Arute, Bill Weber and Ray Dunlap also contributed to coverage from the pits. Bestwick and analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were the voices calling the race in ESPN's NASCAR booth in recent years, with pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Punch. Analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty joined host Nicole Briscoe on the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program. Among other announcers who contributed to ESPN's NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts over the past eight seasons: analysts Tim Brewer, Ricky Craven and Ray Evernham, anchor Marty Reid, pit reporters Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake, reporter Marty Smith and pre-race show hosts Brent Musburger and Suzy Kolber.
Along the way in both periods of NASCAR on ESPN, the network has been a leader in innovations to elevate the coverage of the sport, with the live racing honored with 19 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors, including the NASCAR Award of Excellence (1989) and the National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Award (1987). Notable innovations and firsts in ESPN's NASCAR coverage:
1981 - ESPN airs its first live, flag-to-flag telecast of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Atlanta on Nov. 8.
1985 - ESPN is first network to have live telecast of qualifying for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race
1989 - Introduction of "crew cam" attached to a member of Rusty Wallace's crew at Rockingham - followed by other unique innovations including telemetry, "CableCam," "FootCam," "RoofCam," "SuspensionCam" and the use of an infrared camera and roving reporters.
1991 - Introduction of "Tread Cam" buried in the asphalt at Indianapolis Raceway Park for telecast of a NASCAR Nationwide Series race - the innovation won a Sports Emmy Award for Point of View Technology.
1996 - "rpm2night" becomes TV's first daily motorsports news show
2007 - First time a single network had televised entire NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule
2007 - ESPN is first network to televise NASCAR fully in high definition with the first use of HD in-car cameras
2007 - First network to record/have available for playback all 43 team radios during a race telecast
2007 - First network to have enclosed mobile studio for cutaway race car and demonstration of technical elements of racing (Emmy Award-winning ESPN Tech Garage)
2008 - First network to have two female pit reporters on NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts (Jamie Little and Shannon Spake)
2009 - ESPN2's NASCAR Now originates live from the White House, the first regularly-scheduled ESPN program ever to do so. President Obama is interviewed on the program.
2011 - Introduction of "NASCAR NonStop" for split-screen commercial breaks during second half of all Chase races (ESPN pioneered split-screen commercial breaks in IndyCar coverage in 2006)
2011 - Introduction of dual path technology in Sprint Cup coverage, allowing views from two different onboard cameras in same shot for first time
2013 - NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson becomes first active athlete to guest host ESPN's signature news and information program SportsCenter
Discount Tire renews with Team Penske: Team Penske announced that it has reached a multi-year extension with Discount Tire, the world's largest tire and wheel retailer, to continue as a key marketing partner with the team. Discount Tire will remain a primary sponsor of the #22 Team Penske Ford Mustang for at least 24 races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and serve as an associate sponsor for both the #2 and #22 Ford Fusions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A long-time NASCAR supporter, Discount Tire established a successful relationship with Team Penske after joining forces for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. That year, the #22 Discount Tire team earned a series-record 26 top-five finishes en route to the NNS Championship with Brad Keselowski, which gave Roger Penske his first NASCAR title as a team owner. In 2013, Discount Tire and Team Penske continued their success together, earning the NNS Owners' Championship and 12 wins with four different drivers, including Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger. The production continued this season with the #22 Discount Tire Ford team once again claiming the 2014 NNS Owners' Championship with Keselowski, Logano, Blaney, Alex Tagliani and Michael McDowell sharing driving duties.(Team Penske)(11-19-2014)
Homestead TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 16, the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, had a rise in viewership for the second straight year, leading to an increase in overall viewership during the 10 races of the Chase. The Miami event averaged 5,223,000 viewers, up from 5,119,000 for last year's race and 4,769,000 for the race in 2012, according to Nielsen Media. The race telecast earned a 3.1 U.S. household rating, the same as last year, but up from a 3.0 rating in 2012. The 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup averaged 4,408,000 viewers, up from 4,283,000 for last year's Chase. The 10 races averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating in both years. For the Miami race, Greensboro, N.C., led the nation's 56 metered markets with a 9.9 rating, followed by Greenville, S.C., at 9.0 and Indianapolis at 8.9. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., (7.6) and Charlotte, N.C., (7.2) were fourth and fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Richmond, Va., 6.7; Knoxville, Tenn., 6.6; Norfolk, Va., 5.9; and a tie at 5.5 among Jacksonville, Fla., Dayton, Ohio, Birmingham, Ala., and Tampa-St.Petersburg, Fla.(ESPN)See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(11-18-2014)
McCall named new crew chief for McMurray: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Matt McCall has been named crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #1 team. McCall will assume the role effective immediately to prepare for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. McCall joins CGRFS from Richard Childress Racing where he most recently has been the race engineer for the #31 Chevy that made it to the Championship round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ultimately finishing the season second in the championship point standings. McCall is also a former driver who has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series. In fact, racing has been in his blood from an early age as he began racing go-karts at age nine and eventually joined the World Karting Association Dirt Series where he would ultimately win the honor of Grand National Champion. He would also go on to race in Super Sport events as well. The Denver, NC native graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in mechanical engineering. The 33-year-old McCall is also passionate about fitness and holds a third-degree black belt in karate.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-18-2014)
Crew member suspended for substance abuse violation: Kelly Johnson, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Nov. 17, 2014, Johnson was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2014 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(11-18-2014)
Borland to move over to Haas' F1 team UPDATE: One of Gene Haas' first hires for his Formula One, Matt Borland, was recruited from right next door, Stewart-Haas Racing. Although Borland, 43, has straddled his duties between SHR and Haas F1, the engineer turned crew chief and now vice president of competition on the NASCAR side will take of the role as vice president of special projects for the F1 team at seasons end. "Formula One is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge," Haas told Motorsport.com. "He's been doing this a long time and even I have been doing NASCAR a long time and I look at Formula One, like next year we'll have a whole year to see how these cars are built. I've already had a couple of opportunities to see how the cars are built and they're just very fascinating. It's going to give us an opportunity to take some of our NASCAR crew people and say, 'hey, here's an opportunity to learn something new, can you apply that to Formula One and vice versa. The Formula One people from Ferrari are also interested in how we do things." Haas and Borland attended the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas last month. Haas also visited the Maranello-based Ferrari during the Italian Grand Prix. In Austin, Borland preferred to remain under the radar while on his fact-finding mission.(Motorsport)(11-13-2014)
UPDATE: Veteran motorsports engineer Matt Borland has been named vice president of technology for Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing. In this role, Borland will serve as a liaison between the two organizations - Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Borland will oversee the transfer of Formula One technology to Stewart-Haas Racing while providing Haas F1 Team with deep engineering resources. Concurrently, the highly-respected Borland will serve as a gatekeeper, ensuring the privacy of proprietary information respective to each team. Borland joined Haas CNC Racing, the precursor to Stewart-Haas Racing, in May 2007. He has served in numerous capacities, including crew chief, competition director, technical director and, most recently, vice president of engineering, where he oversaw all of the team's technical initiatives and research and development projects. Borland came to Haas CNC Racing with significant NASCAR experience, first with Team Penske from the end of the 1999 season through 2006 and then with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007. Prior to coming to NASCAR, Borland was the race engineer for driver Mark Blundell at PacWest Racing in Champ Car and before that, Borland was at Pi Research, a well-known engineering organization specializing in motorsports.(SHR)(11-18-2014)
Brian France: 'like a grand slam in the ninth inning': NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France didn't think Kevin Harvick just hit a home run Sunday in winning the first Sprint Cup championship under the new elimination format. No, with the dramatic way Harvick took the lead on the closing laps and then held on for his first-ever Sprint Cup championship, it was much more in France's mind. "It might have been a grand slam in the ninth inning," France said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "I really thought that in past times and late in the season - I go back to Tony Stewart when he not only had to beat Carl Edwards and win (2011 championship), and some other performances - I really thought whoever was going to come away with the championship was going to need a win."
"It was amazing," France said. "The amount of excitement and drama, watching that, even for long-time fans like myself, that has you on the edge of your seat, who's going to do this thing. That's the beauty of this format." It's unlikely there will be any further major revisions to the format, although some minor tweak(s) may still occur once NASCAR reviews all elements of how the Chase played out in the next month or so. Certainly, having sold-out venues at the final two tracks - Phoenix and Homestead-Miami - ended the Chase on an especially high note. And then with Harvick's dramatic push to the front, the race win and ultimately the championship, France and NASCAR look forward to more of the same kind of excitement and drama in subsequent editions of the Chase to come. "As we go down the road, that's going to be the Chase," France said. "If you go back through (this year's edition of) the Chase, there were plenty of big moments where teams stepped up to move on - (Brad) Keselowski when he had to do it at Talladega, for example. I think the teams like that environment. I know it's stressful for them, but at the end of the day, they get excited and elevated themselves."(NBC Sports)(11-18-2014)
Kyle Busch says JGR needs an affiliation: #18-Kyle Busch says that Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing need to work more closely together if they are to compete against the Hendrick Motorsports-Stewart Haas Racing conglomeration and other teams next season. While Busch's teammate, #11-Denny Hamlin, raced for the championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there was a disparity in victories among the Toyota teams and others, including Stewart-Haas Racing, which won the championship with #4-Kevin Harvick. "We have four cars going next year and in reality we should have six, no ifs, ands, or buts,'' Busch said Monday, alluding to the addition of #19-Carl Edwards to JGR, which gives that organization four teams, and MWR's two teams. "We need to have as much as we can have.'' Busch views Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing as one eight-car entity. Stewart-Haas Racing receives chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports and shares information. "We need to have an affiliation,'' Busch said during a luncheon before Monday night's Nationwide and Camping World Truck banquet. "It would be nice if MWR ... made us all eight. It would be better for all of us. There's a couple of reasons that we're fighting internally why we're not mingling with those guys quite yet, but hopefully that gets resolved here soon.'' Busch described the information shared between Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing as "informal. It's like ... "Hey we're running these four springs and bars and shocks,' but in reality what's your pivots, what's this, what's that, what's everything else?'' Busch said that aero information from a wind tunnel is shared among the two teams but other areas of information doesn't transfer as well. Busch noted that the two teams have different chassis simulation programs.(in part from MRN)(11-18-2014)
Frankie Kerr consulting for Renegade Sprints: To clear up any recent confusion, Frankie Kerr has been picked as the Renegade Sprints series director for the near future. However, he is currently enjoying the series and will not be leaving NASCAR at this time. Renegade Sprints President Shane Helms is the point man with Kerr acting as an advisor until he can officially come on board. "Every decision made is still going to go through Frankie Kerr," Helms said. "We are very excited to have him helping the series right now before he can completely take the reins."(Renegade Sprints series)
AND: been told that Kerr has offered to advise, but that's it. He's plans to stay in NASCAR.(11-18-2014)
Gordon moves into 2nd in the all-time top-tens list: During his 22-year Sprint Cup career, #24-Jeff Gordon has collected 454 top-10s, which is now 2nd all-time in that statistical category, with Mark Martin (453) now in 3rd and 258 behind Richard Petty (712). Gordon has collected 23 this season, which is the series-best.(11-18-2014)
Kenseth goes from seven wins to zero wins: After winning a series-high seven races last year, #20-Matt Kenseth was winless in 2014. It was one of the greatest turnarounds in series history. Only Carl Edwards' falloff in 2008 would be greater. Edwards won a series-high nine races in 2008 and then went winless the following season. Kenseth is the eighth driver in series history to win at least five races one season and go winless the following year (while running the full schedule).
Carl Edwards (nine wins in 2008, zero in 2009)
Matt Kenseth (seven wins in 2013, zero in 2014)
Jeff Gordon (six wins in 2007, zero in 2008)
Kasey Kahne (six wins in 2006 zero in 2007)
Mark Martin (five wins in 2009, zero in 2010)
Bill Elliott (five wins in 1992, zero in 1993)
Dale Earnhardt (five wins in 1980, zero in 1981)
Richard Petty (five wins in 1978, zero in 1977)
(MRN and updated)(11-18-2014)
Eight drivers who won in 2013, did not win in 2014: Eight drivers were shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2014 after winning at least one race in 2013:
#14-Tony Stewart last won at Dover in June 2013 and lost a 15 season win streak, the 4th longest in NASCAR history.
#31-Ryan Newman last won at Indianpolis in July 2013 and lost a 4 season win streak.
Other drivers who won in 2013 and failed to do so in 2014: #20-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle, #34-David Ragan, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #55-Brian Vickers and #1-Jamie McMurray.(11-18-2014)
Kevin Harvick's Racing Championships:
The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship is Kevin Harvick's eighth driving title in his 33 years of racing.
His titles are:
2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
2006 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship
2002 IROC Series Championship
2001 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship
1998 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship
1993 Late Model Track Championship at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, California
1987 World Karting Association National Championship
1985 World Karting Association National Championship.(SHR)(11-18-2014)
Atlanta Motor Speedway Offering Free Fourth Ticket With Purchase Of Any 3: In celebration of Kevin Harvick's 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship win, Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering a free fourth ticket with the purchase of any three reserved grandstand tickets for the Sunday, March 1 Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets may be purchased at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, Ticketmaster or at the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office. This extremely limited-time offer will only be available through midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Tickets must be purchased in blocks of four to take advantage of this offer. NASCAR racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, including a Camping World Truck Series race and Xfinity Series race doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sprint Cup Series racing action on Sunday, March 1. For more information or to purchase tickets today, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(11-18-2014)
Sonoma Raceway Tickets Now On Sale: Race fans looking to enjoy some of the best events in motorsports are in luck, as Sonoma Raceway has opened its ticket office for the 2015 race season just in time for the holidays. Tickets for all major events are now available, including the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (June 26-28), NHRA Sonoma Nationals NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series (July 31-Aug.2) and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, the Verizon IndyCar Series' season finale (Aug. 28-30). Plus, to help ring in the holidays, anyone who purchases race tickets through Dec. 19 will receive a 2014 commemorative Sonoma Raceway ornament (one per account). Sonoma Raceway will continue its Buy-Early-and-Save options in 2015 for all three major event weekends. By purchasing tickets well in advance of NASCAR, NHRA or INDYCAR, fans can secure the best seats at the best prices. In addition, all Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend pass buyers will receive a complimentary Friday and Saturday Cold Pit Pass. Fans can purchase individual or weekend tickets, as well as secure camping and ticket packages, for all 2015 major events by calling 800-870-RACE (7223), visiting an account representative at the raceway or by purchasing tickets online at racesonoma.com/tickets.(Sonoma Raceway)(11-18-2014)
NASCAR Next Alumni Sweep Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards: For the first time since the NASCAR Next initiative was created in 2011, three of its alumni captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards in NASCAR's national series. Kyle Larson took home the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Chase Elliott added the accolade to his resume in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Ben Kennedy earned the recognition competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
"The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class is a testament to the massive effort put towards developing our next generation of stars through the NASCAR Next initiative," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president of Industry Services. "We congratulate all three honorees and look forward to watching them accomplish great things in the future."
The winner of last season's NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Larson, 22, is only the sixth driver to also claim the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He defeated runner-up Austin Dillon by 88 points behind eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. A graduate of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity (D4D) program, Larson placed second in three races and won a Coors Light Pole Award. He pilots the #42 Target Chevrolet SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Elliott - 18 years, 11 months and 18 days - became the youngest and first rookie champion in NASCAR national series history when he captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series title. The #9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet driver won three races and ended his season on a streak of 14 top-10 finishes. A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott will return to the series next season to defend his title. He finished 47 points ahead of second-place Ty Dillon in the final NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award standings.
Kennedy, 22, was the highest rookie finisher in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-best eight races. Kennedy tied Tyler Reddick atop the rookie standings, winning the tiebreaker thanks to a final championship points position of ninth. Kennedy drove his #31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado to a career-best third-place finish at Martinsville in March.
"Sunoco has been a proud supporter of NASCAR's rising stars through the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program for the past decade," said Cynthia Archer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Sunoco. "This year's award winners represent the youthful exuberance and competitive drive that define this award and we couldn't be more excited to see what the future holds as their careers advance."(NASCAR)
See the 2014 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(11-17-2014)
Chevrolet Wins NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' Championship: With the conclusion of the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet clinched the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' Championship. It marks the 12th consecutive year and 38th time overall that the Bowtie Brand has won the prestigious title in NASCAR's premiere series. It is the second Manufacturers' award for the Chevrolet SS race car.
"Winning the Manufacturers' championship is one of the goals we set at the beginning of every season," said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "This championship is the result of great teamwork by the owners, drivers, crew chiefs, crews and technical partners. Special thanks to the Chevrolet powertrain team, along with the engine shops at Hendrick Motorsports and Earnhardt-Childress Racing for delivering the right combination of power, fuel economy, and reliability throughout the entire season. Congratulations to everyone who has made this special achievement possible for Chevrolet."
In the 2014 season Chevrolet drivers captured 20 victories. Chevrolet won its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' award in 1958 and now with the 2014 Cup secured, Chevrolet has reached an unprecedented 38th title. The Team Chevy drivers that have contributed to the manufacturers' points that achieved the title for Chevrolet are: Kevin Harvick (five wins), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (four wins); Jeff Gordon (four wins), Jimmie Johnson (four wins), AJ Allmendinger (one win), Kurt Busch (one win), Kasey Kahne (one win); along with top finishers Landon Cassill, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.(Team Chevy)
see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' championship rules, standings and stats on Jayski.com's Manufacturers' Standings page.(11-16-2014)
Ancient Chaseology, seasons before 2004 and the Chase: Way back in 1975, NASCAR decided to change its points system, using an idea jotted down on a cocktail napkin at the Boot Hill Saloon in Daytona Beach, Fla. Pretty humble beginnings, no?
What if the Chase had become a part of NASCAR back in 1975? How would history have changed with a Chase back then?
Drivers probably would have driven differently, which would have led to changed results and altered points championships during the years covered here. But let's play the "what if?" game and take the historical results and translate them into the current Chase system.
See the following articles for each:
same champs in 1975-1979, but in 1980-1984, 3 of the 5 would have had different champions, none for Earnhardt, 3 for DW and Gant would had won one; in 1985-1989 all five chase's produce the same champ as the regular system did.
Whew, some shake ups in the 1990-1994 chases, Earnhardt, who won 4 championships in the classic points, Earnhardt would had won only two Chase in that span and Kulwicki would not had won his championship with Kyle Petty winning in 92, Gant in 1991 and Rusty Wallace in 1993.
in the 1995-1999 block, Earnhardt would had won in 1995 instead of Gordon, but Gordon would had won in 1996 instead of Terry Labonte, in 1997 Jarrett would had took it and not Gordon, Gordon in 1998 and Bobby Labonte would had won in 1999 not Jarrett, so only Gordon in 1998 would had been the same.
and in the final block 2000-2003: Bobby Labonte still wins in 2000, Marlin beats out Gordon in 2001, Kurt Busch in 2002 instead of Stewart and in 2003 Johnson would had gotten his first championship, Kenseth, who won using the old system that year, would had been 8th in the 2003 chase. Here are the links to each block, with standings:
Ancient Chaseology: 1975-1979
Ancient Chaseology: 1980-1984
Ancient Chaseology: 1985-1989
Ancient Chaseology: 1990-1994
Ancient Chaseology: 1995-1999
Ancient Chaseology: 2000-2003
as Matthew Willis calculated all the seasons 1974 thru 2003 and see more histoy on Jayski's Chase History page and the 2014 Chase page
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 21, 2015, TBA pm/et
Born in NOVEMBER:
22 Laurie Weil, Luke Kosner, Jake Elder, Rick Viers, Ryan McGlynn, Jamie Skinner, Scott Moyer
23 Ron Bouchard, Chris Spencer, Conrad Burr, Tony Roper
24 Buddy Parrott, James Ince, Nathan Haseleu
25 Skip Eyler, Joe Gibbs, Mike Joy, Carl Gansert
26 Dale Jarrett, Chip Bolin, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael, Kaitlyn Punch
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy, Mason Mingus
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer, Ryan Ellis, Tanner Berryhill
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover
Born in DECEMBER:
1 Stanton Barrett Jr, Kenny Francis, David Evans, Danny Gill, Larry Gunselman
2 Erik Darnell, Kelly Kellis, Victoria Trickle
3 Bobby Allison, Cody Cook
4 Dean Johnson, Evelyn Andrews, Doug Keller
5 J.D. McDuffie, Jim Paschal, Jim Hurtubise
6 Stacey Witzke, Christian Elder
7 Geoff Smith, Paul Moore, Richmond Gage
8 Susan Adamczyk (sister), Garry Hill, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kerry Earnhardt, Nadine Lubejko, Zachary Jarrett
9 Steve Richards, Coy Gibbs, Brad Teague, Lori Wetzel
10 Mike 'Jimbo' Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut