By taking the checkered flag in the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway Saturday night, Kevin Harvick became the first driver of the season with more than one win. He also became the first NASCAR Sprint Cup driver to win from pole position at Darlington since Dale Jarrett in 1997. In his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick won the 2014 The Profit on CNBC500, the second race of the season. This early-season victory was followed by a number of misfortunes for Harvick, include a hub failure at Las Vegas resulting in a 41st place finish; a cut oil line at Bristol resulting in a 39th place finish; a blown tire at Fontana resulting in a 36th place finish; and an engine failure at Texas resulting in a 42nd place finish.
While Harvick started the race in pole position, his win certainly wasn’t a done deal. After the 258th lap caution, Harvick reportedly decided to get four new tires on his next pit stop. Other drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson took two, giving them a slight time advantage which dropped Harvick to fifth position. By the time Kurt Busch wrecked on the 369th lap, resulting in another caution, Harvick had maneuvered his way into second position. Then, passing Earnhardt on the green-white-checker flag, Harvick held his first place position to the finish line, and it appears very likely that his decision to take four tires when he did helped him to victory.
With the new scoring structure, where ultimately victories have more value than points, Harvick is in the lead for a place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Jeff Gordon is in the lead with points, but remains eighth in the standings as he has not yet scored a win. The minimum requirement to qualify for the Chase is one trip to Victory Lane, so two such trips has a clear advantage for Harvick.
2014 Sprint Cup standings according to victories and points thus far (in order) are Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch. The next NASCAR Sprint Cup race is the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 26.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway covers a distance of 501.322 miles in 367 laps. With competition hotting up fans are sure to witness plenty of action on the track. The 2013 event was won by Math Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing. Who will take the checkered flag this year?
Date: 12 April 2014
Venue: Darlington Raceway
State: South Caroline, USA
Taking place on May 11 at Darlington Raceway, the NASCAR Bojangles Southern 500 Sprint Cup race promises plenty of action on a track dubbed “The Track Too Tough To Tame”. With its unique egg-shaped design, Darlington presents a challenge to racing crews as the two ends require different handling. For more information on this event visit nascar.com
Date: 11 May 2013
Venue: Darlington Raceway
State: South Carolina
Country: United States
Matching the records held by Hall of Fame superstars Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, Jimmy Johnson took the checkered flag on Sunday in the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway, bringing his total wins on the track to seven. The five-time Sprint Cup champion led the field a total of 289 of the 400 laps on the track where he last won on 26 September 2010. Hendrick Motorports had plenty to celebrate with a four-race winning streak under their belts – Kasey Kahne’s victory in the Coca Cola 600 on Memorial Day, along with Johnson’s Southern 500 win at Darlington Raceway, and his non-points All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While saying that he had never thought of himself as “the guy who’d build up any cool stats”, Johnson is currently fifth in points and is considered to have a good chance of scoring a sixth Sprint Cup championship – although the championship driver was reported as saying that it was “way too early to talk championship”.
Some of the obstacles drivers had to overcome on Sunday included a thirteen car wreck coming out of turn two – better known as Calamity Corner. Last year’s champion Tony Stewart was caught up in the wreck, running into the back of Landon Cassill’s car. Following a red flag stop, Stewart rejoined the race, finishing 25th. Showing just how unpredictable racing can be, Stewart started the season well, but has had three bad finishes in his last four races, finishing 24th at Talladega, and 25th at Charlotte. Carl Edwards voiced his disappointment at having to leave the race after crashing on lap 165 due to a flat tire, saying that he was really frustrated that the day had been cut short and that he loved racing at Dover.
Finishing 2.550 seconds behind Johnson, Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing is enjoying a good season, and is considered to be one of the top contenders for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. No doubt he is hoping to claim the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship for his team, which last held the cup title with Dale Earnhardt’s victory in the 1994 championship. Third place in Sunday’s race was taken by Matt Kenseth, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logano. With the 13th of 36 races complete, there is still plenty of action ahead for auto racing fans. The next race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is the Pocono 400 on 10 June.
The 2009 Darlington Historic Racing Festival will be taking place on the 26th and 27th of September 2009, and will be hosted by the Darlington Raceway. Motoring fans will definitely be in for a treat, as more than a hundred historic vehicles will take to the racetrack, including midgets, roadsters and stock cars. Over and above being able to see these magnificent vehicles from the past, there will also be vendor stands, entertainment, autograph sessions and much more. It is an event for the entire family to enjoy.
To be a part of this wonderful annual event, visit the raceway website at http://www.darlingtonraceway.com for ticket sales and additional information regard the Darling Historic Racing Festival.
Date: 26 – 27 September 2009
Venue: Darlington Raceway
Country: United States of America