Race: Friday, April 11, 2014 in Darlington, SC
Title Sponsor: Sport Clips
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 8:16pm/et
Television Race Coverage: ESPN2 - 7:30pm/et
Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch.
Studio: Nicole Briscoe, Ricky Craven, Rusty Wallace
Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90
Times are local to the Track
Wednesday, April 9th
5:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER
Thursday, April 10th
6:30 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
7:00 AM NNS GARAGE OPENS & INSPECTION BEGINS
12:00 PM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
1:00 PM-2:00 PM NNS PRACTICE
2:30 PM-4:00 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
5:00 PM NNS & NSCS REGISTRATION CLOSES
6:00 PM NNS & NSCS GARAGE CLOSES
Friday, April 11th
11:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
4:10 PM NNS QUALIFYING
5:45 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (NNS MEETING TENT )
7:30 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
8:00 PM NNS RACE (147 LAPS, 200.8 MILES)
8:30 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
NNS = Nationwide Series
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Times are local to the Track
Chase Elliott wins at Darlington: #9-Chase Elliott won the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway for his 2nd career win and his 2nd consecutive win. He is also the youngest driver to win a race at Darlington. #11-Eliott Sadler finished second followed by #20-Matt Kenseth, #54-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano, #42-Kyle Larson, #5-Kevin Harvick, #7-Regan Smith, #6-Trevor Bayne, and #3-Ty Dillon.
Elliott now leads the points by 13 over Regan Smith.
There were 7 cautions for 31 laps and 13 lead changes among 6 leaders. Complete results are on the Darlington race results page (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Darlington Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-11-2014)
Darlington Race Fast Facts:
Chase Elliott won the 32nd Annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, his second victory in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2014.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in one races at Darlington Raceway.
Elliott Sadler (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Darlington Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2014.
Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Darlington Raceway.
Chase Elliott leads the point standings by 13 points over Regan Smith.
Chase Elliott becomes the youngest driver to win two NASCAR Nationwide Series races (18 years, 4 months, 14 days). Joey Logano previously held the record (18 years, 10 months, 18 days).
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-11-2014)
Driver standings following Darlington:
1) #9-Chase Elliott# 271
2) #7-Regan Smith, 258, 13
3) #11-Elliott Sadler, 251, -20
4) #3-Ty Dillon# 248, -23
5) #6-Trevor Bayne 241, -30
6) #2-Brian Scott 225, -46
7) #62-Brendan Gaughan 215, -56
8) #31-Dylan Kwasniewski# 200, -71
9) #31-James Buescher 195, -76
10) #16-Ryan Reed# 172, -99
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-11-2014)
Owner Standings following Darlington are posted (pdf).(4-11-2014)
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Darlington: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #52-Gase, 26th
Caution 2: #33-Conley, 32nd
Caution 3: #93-Wallace, 17th
Caution 4: #55-Bodine, 28th
Caution 5: #19-Bliss, 16th
Caution 6: #23-Contreras, 24th
Kyle Busch on pole at Darlington: #54-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole for the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 173.681mph. #9-Chase Elliott will start second followed by: #20-Matt Kenseth, #5-Kevin Harvick, #3-Ty Dillon, #60-Chris Buecsher, #2-Brian Scott, #7-Reagan Smith, #11-Elliot Sadler, #6-Trevor Bayne, #33-Cale Conley, and #42-Kyle Larson.
Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #9-Chase Elliott at 172.662 mph.
#22-Joey Logano was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 172.287 mph
Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Darlington starting lineup page (pdf).(4-11-2014)
Darlington Qualifying Notes:
Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 32nd Annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 with a lap of 28.314 seconds, 173.681 mph.
This is his 37th pole in 277 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2014.
This is his third pole in ten races at Darlington Raceway.
Chase Elliott (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2014 and his first in his Darlington Raceway debut.
Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his seventh in seven races this season.
Chase Elliott (second) was the fastest qualifying Sunoco Rookie.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-11-2014)
Chris Buescher fastest in happy hour: #60-Chris Buescher was quickest during happy hour for the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 with a speed of 170.365mph. He was followed by: #54-Kyle Busch, #3-Ty Dillon, #9-Chase Elliott, #2-Brian Scott, #22-Joey Logano, #42-Kyle Larson, #6-Trevor Bayne, #20-Matt Kenseth and #5-Kevin Harvick. 39 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Darlington practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-10-2014)
Logano fastest in first practice: #22-Joey Logano was fastest during opening practice at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 169.380mph. #54-Kyle Busch was second, followed by: #42-Kyle Larson, #60-Chris Buescher, #43-Aric Almirola/Dakota Armstrong, #5-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brian Scott, #11-Elliott Sadler, #3-Ty Dillon, and #7-Regan Smith. 38 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Darlington practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-10-2014)
Entry List: There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway. A few notes:
Kevin Harvick is back in the #5;
Blake Koch remains in the #10;
Carlos Contreras in back in the #23;
Cale Conley will make his second start in the #33;
Todd Bodine will drive the #55.(4-7-2014)
UPDATE: Kevin Lepage will be in the #87.(4-9-2014)
UPDATE: Mike Wallace will be in the #93.(4-9-2014)
See the complete list on the Darlington entry list page.
Nationwide Series in Prime Time on ESPN2: The NASCAR Nationwide Series will race under the lights in prime time at historic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday night, April 11, and ESPN2 will have a live telecast. NASCAR Countdown airs at 7:30 p.m. ET and the green flag will fly at 8:16 p.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN networks is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN's linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider. The race telecast also will air live in Canada on TSN2.(ESPN)(4-7-2014)
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Sprint Cup: 5 sets for practice/qualifying and 11 sets for the race;
Nationwide: 7 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4392; Right-side -- D-4552
Left-side -- 87.4 in. (2,220 mm);
Right-side -- 88.4 in. (2,246 mm)
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 55 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
Right Front -- 52 psi; Right Rear -- 48 psi
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Darlington this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Darlington last May . . . this left-side tire code (D-4392) has been run at Darlington since 2011 . . . these teams have also run this left-side at Texas (including last week), Chicagoland and Homestead in the past . . . in addition to Darlington 2013, these teams have run this right-side tire code (D-4552) at Charlotte . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Youth Is Served At Texas With Elliott Victory
There is something to be said about the advantages of young age, and it was on full display Friday night in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Four of the top-10 finishers in the race were 22-years old or younger, including winner Chase Elliott.
Elliott became the second-youngest driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race, accomplishing the feat at 18 years, four months and seven days. Joey Logano holds the record at 18 years and 21 days when he won the June 2008 event at Kentucky Speedway.
Elliott’s win allowed him to overtake JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne atop the championship standings to become the youngest points leader in series history. Heading into Darlington, the 18-year-old Georgia driver has a two-point advantage over Smith. Ty Dillon, Elliott Sadler and Bayne round out the top five.
Regardless of whether his lead in the championship points race remains, he holds a 12-point lead over fellow rookie Dillon in the race for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
Arriving in Texas for the sixth race of 2014, Elliott, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott, had already proved to many that he has the talent to run competitively every week and that racing indeed runs in his blood. After finishing a respectable 15th in the season opener at Daytona, the younger Elliott has rattled off five consecutive top-10 finishes.
Elliott’s team, JR Motorsports, is also having a stellar start to the season. In fact, the organization is off to the best start in its 10-year history with both of their full-time drivers having already notched victories. Smith won at Daytona.
A JR Motorsports driver has led the points standings after every race this season. Smith held the lead by himself after the first four races, before sharing the points lead with Bayne after the fifth race at Auto Club Speedway.
Darlington Will Be A Bumpy Ride For Rookies
If there is one thing that has been evident through the first six races of 2014 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, it’s that the future of NASCAR looks bright. At least two Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders have finished in the top 10 of every race this season.
This streak, however, could be threatened Friday night in the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, a track that is notoriously hard on drivers. There’s a good reason many refer to it as “The Track Too Tough to Tame.”
For this year’s class of rookie standouts, Darlington stands as the first real challenge on the 2014 schedule as its tight turns and narrow straightaways often see contestants swap paint and collect the famed “Darlington Stripe” by rubbing against the outside wall.
Of the 10 drivers competing for the rookie award, only three of them have made a series start at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. Ty Dillon, second in the rookie standings with five top 10s, started the 2013 race for Richard Childress Racing, finishing 13th. Chris Buescher has competed in two Nationwide events at Darlington, posting finishes of 17th and 12th. Last year, Tanner Berryhill ended his day at Darlington in 40th with rear-gear issues.
Elliott, who leads both the championship and rookie standings and has five top-10 finishes, has never competed at the track in a national series event. Neither has third-place rookie Dylan Kwasniewski, who has one top 10.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sweet Spot: Darlington Raceway
There is no denying when one driver or organization has a track figured out. When there is that level of comfort and understanding, the driver or team can always be found leading the field at the end of every race.
No team is more at home at Darlington Raceway than Joe Gibbs Racing. Seven of the past eight races there have been won by JGR drivers: Denny Hamlin (three), Kyle Busch (two), Tony Stewart (one) and Joey Logano (one).
Current JGR driver Matt Kenseth won the eighth race while driving for Roush Fenway Racing. He also won the Darlington race immediately preceding JGR’s seven-out-of-eight stretch.
Stewart and Logano have since moved on from JGR and Hamlin will not be suiting up for Friday night’s event. Busch and Kenseth will be joined by the team’s only full-time Nationwide driver this season Elliott Sadler, who in 29 national series starts at the track has never been to Victory Lane.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
Chase Elliott’s victories in the NASCAR Nationwide and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series both came in his sixth start in the series. ... Thirteen drivers have won at Darlington from the Coors Light Pole, more than any other starting position on the starting grid. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have won the pole in five of the last eight races. ... Georgia native Elliott will be an honorary captain for the Atlanta Braves’ game on Wednesday, April 9, against the New York Mets. He will participate in batting practice, tour the locker room and meet several players.
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)