By earning first place in the Geico 500 at Talladega on Sunday, 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski secured his place in the Eliminator Round of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Matt Kenseth took second place in the action-packed race, with Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, and Ryan Newman taking third, fourth and fifth places respectively. Drivers who will not be progressing into the next phase of the championship include Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Brian Vickers was in pole position at the start of a race that saw a number of changes in the lead, ending the race in 20th position. Johnson needed a win to avoid elimination, but although he did well in parts of the race, ended in 24th position. As green flag pit stops began at Lap 103, Kyle Busch was caught up in a wreck at the back of the field, sending him into the pits. He made it back to the track, picking up 4 points, but ending in 40th place.
At one point Danica Patrick was in the lead, but when a caution came out with only 13 laps remaining, Ryan Newman took the lead and held it until another caution flag came out with only five laps to go. As the race came to an end, Earnhardt got caught up in a wreck, and Keselowski took the lead in overtime, holding back the rest of the field for the final three laps and winning the Talladega race.
The eight drivers competing in the Eliminator Round – Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth – will have their point totals reset to 4,000, while the abovementioned four will have their point totals reset to 2,000 with points gained in the regular season and the Chase being added. The Eliminator Round starts with Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26, followed by the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, and the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9. The final Championship race will be the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16.
Taking place at Phoenix International Raceway on the 9th of November, the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 covers a distance of just over 500 km in 312 laps. Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in both 2012 and 2013. As the penultimate race of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this event is going to be jampacked with action. For more information visit nascar.com
Date: 9 November 2014
Venue: Phoenix International Raceway
Joey Logano raced to victory in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, securing his spot in the eight-driver Eliminator round of NASCAR’s new Chase for the Sprint Cup format, irrespective of his performance in the next two races – the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway – the latter being one of four Sprint Cup races run with restrictor plates. The other three races run with restrictor plates are Aaron’s 499 (won in 2014 by Denny Hamlin), the Coke Zero 400 (won in 2014 by Aric Almirola), and the Daytona 500 (won in 2014 by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.).
Kevin Harvick started in pole position in Sunday’s race, finishing in 12th position. Starting in 4th position in the Team Penske #22 Ford, Joey Logano held the lead in 122 laps of the 267 lap race, notching up his 5th win of the season. Kyle Larson took 2nd place, followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Carl Edwards in that order. Three of Sunday’s top five winners are in the Chase, being Logano, Busch and Edwards.
The Eliminator round begins October 26 at Martinsville Speedway with the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, followed by the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, and Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9. Drivers start this three-race round with 4,000 points each.
As has been tradition since 2002, the final race of the season will be the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race forms part of the Ford Championship Weekend, featuring the Ford EcoBoost 300 and Ford EcoBoost 200. Taking place on November 16, the last four competing drivers start the Ford EcoBoost 400 with 5,000 points each. The highest finisher in the race wins the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Car Champion title.
The AAA Texas 500 forms part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The race covers a distance of 501 miles. Drivers who have won the race more than once include Carl Edwards (2005, 2008), Tony Stewart (2006, 2011) and Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2012, 2013). Who will cross the finish line first this year? For more information visit nascar.com
Date: 2 November 2014
Venue: Texas Motor Speedway
City: Fort Worth
Covering a distance of 500 miles in 188 laps, the GEICO 500 is one of four races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to be run with restrictor plates. The winner in 2013 was Jamie McMurray driving for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Who will take the checkered flag this year? For more information visit nascar.com
Date: 19 October 2014
Venue: Talladega Superspeedway