Page 2 for the week 04-14-2014

Give us a break … Time off is cherished in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is the longest in professional sports, and breaks are few and far between.

One of those rare breaks comes this weekend, with the Easter holiday.

Invariably, when there’s a pause in the racing season, reporters ask drivers what they plan to do with the time off, and the answers invariably range from hunting with friends, enjoying some rest and relaxation at the beach, traveling, playing golf or simply spending quality time with family.

But we often forget that drivers are only one part of the stock car racing equation.

The fabricators, mechanics, engine builders, engineers, body hangers and crewmen who build and set up race cars for their teams will be lucky to have two days off around Easter — if that.

Instead, they’ll be working typical long hours repairing cars wrecked at Darlington, catching up on car builds for upcoming tracks and trying to figure out how to make their machines go faster.

That’s particularly true for organizations that have fallen behind in the development of the Gen-6 car under the new competition package NASCAR introduced this year.

If we tend to forget what goes on behind the scenes in racing, the families of those involved certainly do not.

Consequently, we salute the unsung heroes of NASCAR racing and wish them a happy Easter —whatever small part they actually see of it.


The track “too tough to tame” – a visual metaphor.
The track “too tough to tame” – a visual metaphor.

·   “This week, Kevin Harvick made it to the checkered flag before all other drivers. This is a major step up from the previous week at Texas, when he made it back to Charlotte before all other drivers.”

·   Kevin Harvick’s win at Darlington Speedway is the milestone first victory for F1 team owner Gene Haas.

·   The setting sun caused visibility issues for drivers early in the race. And if you’re keeping score, yes, the drivers managed to find a way to complain about rain AND sunshine in the span of one week.

·   Unlike races earlier this season, the race at Darlington Raceway had a rare 0% chance of rain. Regardless, AirTitan 2.0 self-activated one hour before green flag merely out of habit.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own – but chances are you already knew that.)

NASCAR Numbers

By Reid Spencer

462:  The total number of laps led by Kevin Harvick in his two NASCAR Sprint Cup  victories this season. Harvick led 224 laps in winning Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway to go with the 238 he led in getting his first victory of the year at Phoenix. In the six other races combined, Harvick has led 53 laps.

41:  The number of positions both Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. improved at Darlington over their finishes in the previous race at Texas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt was first out of the Texas race (43rd) after a close encounter with the infield grass. Harvick retired in 42nd with engine issues. At Darlington, Harvick and Earnhardt ran 1-2.

5: In eight NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, the number of times Dale Earnhardt Jr. has recorded a top-three finish. After winning the Daytona 500, Earnhardt has finished second three times (at Phoenix, Las Vegas and Darlington) and third once (at Martinsville).

586:  The total number of laps led by Kyle Busch in the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway held in the spring. Hence, it’s likely Busch will notch the 30 laps he needs to reach a career milestone of 10,000 laps led in the series. Busch led at least 32 laps in each of the last five spring races and won four of them.

1:  The number of drivers advancing to the final round in each of the seven knockout qualifying sessions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year. Joey Logano kept his perfect record intact Friday at Darlington Raceway, then qualified on the outside of the front row in the final round.


The winningest driver in North American sports car racing history held off one of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s youngest stars to win Saturday’s Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at the Long Beach street circuit.

Scott Pruett extended his record to 58 career victories, driving the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley to the line 0.759 seconds ahead of 22-year-old Jordan Taylor. Corvette Racing won in GT Le Mans (GTLM) with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen leading all but two laps to give the Corvette C7.R its first win in just its third start.

GTLM is regarded internationally for its competition, and the TUDOR Championship standings reflect that. The top eight teams are separated by only eight points with BMW’s Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx leading Porsche’s Richard Lietz and Nick Tandy by two points (90-88).

Pruett and Rojas are now within five points (98-93) of leaders Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the Prototype class. The GT Daytona (GTD) and Prototype Challenge (PC) classes return on May 4 at historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. There will be a pair of two-hour races, one for the P and GTLM classes, the other for the PC and GTD classes. Both races will be televised live on FOX Sports 1.

Tweets Of The Week

Darrell Wallace Jr.


Hell yeah I won the masters!!!!!!!….???? Wrong bubba peeps. Can’t even break 100!

Danica Patrick
I have my first suntan of the year. Words can’t explain how happy I am! Ahhh Sundays.

Kevin Harvick
Watching the masters waiting on the little man to wake up. Still pumped about the win last night! #4thewin
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
@KevinHarvick congrats on a great run. You guys are gonna be tough all year.

Kyle Larson
Just got asked if I was @chaseelliott. After the last couple weeks I wish I was!

Chase Elliott
Wow I’m still in shock from last week! Unbelievable night! So blessed to just have this opportunity… Huge thanks to @NAPAKnowHow! #di9

Jimmie Johnson
There is nothing like the Lady in Black.

Darrell Waltrip


Sell out crowd at #DarlingtonRaceway, big crowd at the #longbeachgrandprix and big crowd at the #Masters2014, thanks fans!

Jan Magnussen
Corvette Racing


Winners are grinners! @janmagnussen, @AntonioGarcia_3 and @CorvetteRacing take their first @UnitedSportsCar win. First win for the C7.R

Jenna Fryer
Associated Press
For winning the #IMSA race, @FRJamieAllison was just presented with a guitar as big as him.

Jamie Allison

Taking Guitar lessons tomorrow!

Tony DiZinno MotorsportsTalk.NBC


Good morning from Long Beach – @UnitedSportsCar practice well underway. The pulsating sounds of HP off the buildings = awesome

Jordan Taylor

Wayne Taylor Racing
Nothing much cooler than sharing the podium with your brother at Long Beach!

Continental Tire

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Congrats @cgrteams!! #PatronShowcase.

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, Week of April 14-April 18

Monday, April 14

4 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Greatest Finishes re-air, NBC Sports Network

4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

4:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Legendary Drivers re-air, NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub re-air, FOX Sports 2

2:30 a.m. (Tues.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2

Tuesday, April 15

4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub re-air, FOX Sports 2

2:30 a.m. (Wed.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2

3 a.m. (Wed.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Darlington re-air, FOX Sports 1

Wednesday, April 16                                                          

4:30 p.m., NASCAR’s The List: Memorable Moments re-air, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

Thursday, April 17

4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub re-air, FOX Sports 2

2 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2

Friday, April 18                                                  

4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub Special, FOX Sports 1

2 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Now, ESPN2



The Next Race:

Toyota Owners 400

The Place:

Richmond International Raceway

The Date/Time:

Saturday, April 26, 7 p.m.  ET


Radio: MRN,

Sirius XM Channel 90


The Next Race:

ToyotaCare 250

The Place:

Richmond International Raceway

The Date/Time:

Friday, April 25, 7 p.m. ET


Radio: MRN,

Sirius XM Channel 90

National Series Standings

This year, wins matter more than in any season in the 65-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Essentially, a win locks a driver into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

2014 Winners

Pos  Driver                 Wins

1.      Kevin Harvick        2

2.      Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1

3.      Brad Keselowski   1

4.      Carl Edwards          1

5.      Kyle Busch               1

6.      Kurt Busch               1

7.      Joey Logano            1

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Pos     Driver                  Points

1         Jeff Gordon            297

2         Matt Kenseth         296

3         Carl Edwards        278

4         Dale Earnhardt Jr.271

5         Jimmie Johnson   270

6         Kyle Busch             269

7         Brad Keselowski 246

8         Joey Logano          245

9         Ryan Newman     236

10       Austin Dillon #     235

11       Greg Biffle              227

12       Tony Stewart        224

13       Brian Vickers        224

14       Kyle Larson #       223

15       Denny Hamlin      223

16       Clint Bowyer         219 

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos     Driver                  Points

1         Chase Elliott #     271

2         Regan Smith         258

3         Elliott Sadler        251

4         Ty Dillon #            248

5         Trevor Bayne      241

6         Brian Scott            225

7         Brendan Gaughan215

8         D. Kwasniewski #200

9         James Buescher  195

10       Ryan Reed #         172

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Pos  Driver                     Points

1      Timothy Peters       82

2      Johnny Sauter          82

3      Matt Crafton             78

4      Ryan Blaney             78

5      Ron Hornaday Jr.    76

6      Ben Kennedy #        72

7      German Quiroga     71

8      Darrell Wallace Jr. 61

9      Jeb Burton                 60

10   Tyler Reddick         60

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.