Page 2 for the week of 04-02-2014

The First Reid:  An eighth different winner likely at Darlington

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service
 Seven races. Seven different winners.

Variety has been the spice of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and statistics say the trend will continue Saturday night at Darlington Raceway.

Here’s why I’m confident we’ll be eight-for-eight in the different winner department after the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

Darlington—a.k.a. The Lady in Black and The Track Too Tough to Tame—favors drivers who have found a knack for negotiating the quirky, egg-shaped 1.366-mile speedway.

Only one active driver who already has posted a victory in the Sprint Cup Series this season has ever won at Darlington. That would be Kyle Busch, who collected his lone win at The Lady in Black in 2008.

On the other hand, among full-time active drivers who are winless so far this year, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth all are past winners at Darlington. Gordon has seven victories, Johnson three, Biffle two and Hamlin and Kenseth one each.

If one of those five drivers should triumph on Saturday, we’ll have eight different winners in eight races. The odds favor that happening.

Eight different winners in eight races, however, doesn’t improve the odds of producing more than 16 different winners in the first 26 races. Each time a different winner is added to the list, the pool of drivers likely to post a second victory increases.

Eventually, you reach equilibrium, and repeat winners, rather than different ones, become the norm.


Congrats on the win, Joey Logano. And nice aim also. Uncle Si would be proud.
  • Parker Kligerman has such awful luck that we half-expected him to be taking a hot-air balloon ride over the track just as Joey Logano was firing his Victory Lane six-shooters into the air.
  • Last week, Kurt Busch broke a long winless drought. And if NASCAR and their strange meteorological powers know anything, it’s how to end droughts.
  • Carl Edwards did not run the Aflac scheme for the Duck Commander 500, we assume because the Aflac duck would not have lived through it.
  • Hearty congratulations to Chase Elliott on his first Nationwide win Friday in the O’Reilly 300. An impressive drive by the young man. It’s like he has racing in his blood or something.

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

NASCAR Numbers

By Reid Spencer

1:   The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories Joey Logano has posted on 1.5-mile intermediate tracks. Obviously, that breakthrough triumph came Monday at Texas Motor Speedway. Logano recorded his three previous Sprint Cup wins at 1.058-mile New Hampshire, 2.5-mile Pocono and two-mile Michigan.

2:  The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories this season for Team Penske, which, with Stewart-Haas Racing, is one of only two organizations with multiple wins in 2014. Both Penske victories have come at intermediate tracks—with Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas and Joey Logano at Texas.

3: The number of top-10 finishes in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races posted this year by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Larson, who finished fifth at Texas Motor Speedway. Larson’s three top 10s have come in the last four races.

10: The number of laps led Monday at Texas by Kyle Busch, bringing his career total in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to 9,970. If Busch leads 30 or more laps in Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, he’ll be the 15th driver in series history to reach the 10,000-laps-led milestone. He has led more than 30 laps at the South Caroline track four times, including the last three visits.

74: The number of laps led by Coors Light pole award winner Tony Stewart in Monday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, bringing his career total in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas to 801 and making Stewart the all-time leader at the 1.5-mile track.


Bonus Number: 18. Chase Elliott became the second youngest driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race when he won at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. The JR Motorsports driver, who is a high school senior, accomplished the feat at 18 years, 4 months and 7 days. … Jeff Gordon took the points lead for the first time since after the 2009 Coca-Cola 600, a span of 174 races. … The seven different winners in the first seven races is the most since 2003, when there were nine. … The IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship makes its debut on the streets of Long Beach this weekend with the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on Saturday. April 12 at 6 p.m. ET (Live, FOX Sports 1). … The 100-minute TUDOR Championship event will feature the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes in the first sprint race of the season. A total of 21 cars represented by nine different manufacturers will roar around the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit, which utilizes roads along the coastline of Southern California. … Competition in the P and GTLM classes has been fierce through the two endurance events that have kicked off the inaugural TUDOR Championship season: the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

Tweets Of The Week

Dale Earnhardt Jr.


@dstoneman88: @DaleJr Which track would you like to reconstruct if you were CEO?” Asphalt Bristol….circa 1987

In regard to the possibility of racing Monday …

Trevor Bayne

‏@woodbrothers21 The “daddy that wants to get home” in me says we’ll be racing soon. The realist in me says I’m glad I packed clean undies

Jenna Fryer

Associated Press‏


Logano: “I don’t want to blow out tires. Cause it hurts”

Brian Scott


Horsepower. Mmmmm delicious. RT @CoreyOswalt: @bscottracing what do you like about the sprint cup races so far #askbscott

Andy Lally


Wow,, if anyone was gonna smile about messing up the 22’s chance of winning, it might be the guy who used to have that seat.

Denny Hamlin


Also apologize to my pit crew.. Been riding there coat tails all year. Shoulda let them make up time for me instead of me trying to get it

Timmy Hill


Great start to the @NASCAR season! Heck of a finish today! 7 winners in 7 races. Congrats @joeylogano

Joey Logano


“Now we are in the Chase…stoked!!” – Logano in VL #TeamJL

Kyle Busch


Really strong day, my guys were on top of it! Thanks to all the fans that stuck around! Looking forward to Darlington, going for the

Austin Dillon


Disappointed with our day we fought hard just were to far off from the beginning of the race learned a lot on to @TooToughToTame

Dale Earnhardt Jr.


Packing for a @GoodyearRacing test at Michigan tomorrow. Nothing helps me get over a terrible race like getting back behind the wheel ASAP.

Danica Patrick


Me and my girls were so ready to twerk tonight……..

(Editor’s Note: Much to Danica’s chagrin, the Charlotte stop on the Miley Cyrus tour was canceled on Monday night.)

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, Week of April 8-April 14

Tuesday, April 8

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

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

Wednesday, April 9                                                          

Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub re-air, FOX Sports 2

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

Thursday, April 10

Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

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

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

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

Friday, April 11                                                  

11 a.m., FOX Sports 1 on 1: Jimmie Johnson re-air, FOX Sports 1

11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice, FOX Sports 1

1 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1

2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Final Practice,

FOX Sports 1

4 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Qualifying, FOX Sports 2

6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

7:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Countdown, ESPN2

8 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Race at Darlington, ESPN2

3 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice re-air, FOX Sports 1

3:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Nationwide Race at Darlington re-air, ESPN2

4:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying re-air,

FOX Sports 1

Saturday, April 12

5 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 2

6 p.m., TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Race at Long Beach, FOX Sports 1

6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show, FOX

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Darlington, FOX

8 p.m., TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Post-Race Show, FOX Sports 1

8 p.m., How It’s Made: NASCAR Engines, Science Channel

11 p.m., How It’s Made: NASCAR Engines, Science Channel

2 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Darlington,

FOX Deportes

2:30 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

4 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Nationwide Race at Darlington re-air, ESPN Deportes

Sunday, April 13

3 a.m. (Mon.), How It’s Made: NASCAR Engines, Science Channel



The Race:

Bojangles’ Southern 500

The Place:

Darlington Raceway

The Date/Time:

Saturday, April 12, 6:30 p.m.  ET


Radio: MRN,

Sirius XM Channel 90



The Race:

VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200

The Place:

Darlington Raceway

The Date/Time:

Friday, April 11, 8 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.      Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1

2.      Kevin Harvick        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            259

2         Matt Kenseth         255

3         Carl Edwards        247

4         Joey Logano          235

5         Kyle Busch             231

6         Dale Earnhardt Jr.228

7         Jimmie Johnson   228

8         Brad Keselowski 218

9         Brian Vickers        205

10       Paul Menard          203

11       Ryan Newman     202

12       Austin Dillon #     202

13       Denny Hamlin      197

14       Tony Stewart        189

15       Kyle Larson #       187

16       Greg Biffle              187

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos     Driver                   Points

1         Chase Elliott #     224

2         Regan Smith         222

3         Ty Dillon #            214

4         Elliott Sadler        208

5         Trevor Bayne      206

6         Brendan Gaughan193

7         Brian Scott            192

8         D. Kwasniewski #179

9         James Buescher  176

10       Ryan Reed             141

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.