NASCAR RACE REPORT CENTER

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SPEED WEEKS : DAYTONA

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – SPRINT UNLIMITED, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 8 P.M. ET ON FOX SPORTS 1
 
2014 Is Officially Underway With Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited
On Saturday, Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR kicks off the 2014 season with the annual non-points event – the Sprint Unlimited. Similar to last year, the exhibition race’s format, starting order and restart order for the final segment will be determined by an online fan vote. Among the 18 drivers who are entered are first-time participants Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Can Kevin Harvick, who moved over to Stewart-Haas Racing during the offseason, duplicate last year’s success?
 
The Most Unique Qualifying Session In Motorsports Takes Center Stage
On Sunday, Feb. 16 drivers will vie for a spot in the Daytona 500, with the front row being set for The Great American Race. Last season, Danica Patrick grabbed the headlines after becoming the first female to capture a pole in the NSCS.
 
At Daytona … There Will Be ‘Smoke’
After sitting out the final 15 races of the 2013 season following a sprint car accident on Aug. 5, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart returns to action in Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. Although the driver commonly referred to as “Smoke” by his legions of fans didn’t win a Coors Light Pole Award last year, he qualifies as a past winner of the race. Stewart has won the event three times, most recently in 2007.
 
Win And In … Pretty Much
Though a victory doesn’t immediately guarantee a spot in the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – it comes close. As NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France two weeks ago, the top 15 race winners after race No. 26 at Richmond will earn a spot in the Chase. Only twice in the 65-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) has there been more than 15 winners over the first 26 races — 1961 and 2003. So the victor in the season-opening Daytona 500 has an outstanding chance to make this year’s Chase.
 
No. 3 Returns To Sprint Cup Series
The iconic No. 3 Chevrolet makes its highly anticipated return to the NSCS, the first time it’ll race in NASCAR’s premier series since Dale Earnhardt’s fatal accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) champion Austin Dillon will pilot the ride, and looks to become the first driver to win championships in all three of NASCAR’s national series.
 
 
NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES – DRIVE4COPD 300, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1:15 P.M. ET ON ESPN
Nationwide Series Title: Anybody’s Championship In 2014
With reigning champion Austin Dillon off to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series title race is wide open for the second consecutive season. Regan Smith, who finished third in the series standings in 2013, is among the favorites as he returns to the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports with new teammate Chase Elliott. Don’t count out Joe Gibbs Racing driver Elliott Sadler, who has finished in the top five in the standings the last three seasons.
 
JR Motorsports Forms Championship-Caliber Team
JR Motorsports – the team co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. – has been in the spotlight ever since they first burst onto the NASCAR Nationwide Series scene in 2006. The 2014 season, however, could be their year to finally hoist the championship trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. The team made a strong statement in 2013 as Regan Smith won a career-high two races. With the recent addition of NASCAR NEXT member Chase Elliott the team continues to make great strides toward its first NASCAR championship.
 
Next Generation Climbing NASCAR Ladder With Success
Drivers often make a name for themselves while competing in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The two series’ role in the NASCAR ladder system has been thrust into the spotlight as a new generation of drivers continues to move through the ranks. Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott arrive in the Nationwide Series ready to compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors while Ryan Blaney and Ben Kennedy battle for the title in the truck series. Each driver looks to carry on a family legacy in racing as they share a combined seven wins among NASCAR’s three national series.
 
Kwasniewski Climbs NASCAR Ladder; NNS Debut Set For Daytona
Two-time NASCAR champion Dylan Kwasniewski is ready to make his next step up the NASCAR ladder. After he became the first driver to win both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West championships, Kwasniewski will make his first start national series start in the NASCAR Nationwide Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 22. The NASCAR Next member will drive the No. 31 Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet Camaro fulltime for Turner Scott Motorsports.
 
 
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES – NEXTERA ENERGY REOURCES 250, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 7:30 P.M. ET, ON FOX SPORTS 1
Burton Returns To Daytona With New Team
Jeb Burton will return to Daytona International Speedway for the NextEra Energy Resources 250, but this year he will be with a new team. Burton, who competed last year in the No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet, will now be driving the No. 13 Toyota entry for Thorsport Racing. Burton qualified seventh and finished fifth in his first start at Daytona last year.
 
NTS Motorsports Announces Driver Lineup For Daytona
NTS Motorsports named John King and Brennan Newberry as its drivers for the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21. King won the 2012 event and Newberry captured his first career Keystone Light Pole in last year’s race. Gray Gaulding will also compete for the team in eight races in 2014, while Gaulding and Newberry will also compete fulltime in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
 
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02/11/2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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