Tuesday, July 01, 2014
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The Green Flag: Daytona a wild card ... emphasis on wild

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[July 01, 2014]  By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
 
 It's time for the majority of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to take their best shots.

Currently, there are 20 "have-nots" in the top 30 in the series standings, 20 drivers who have not won a race and therefore are in jeopardy of missing the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

As everybody knows, the restrictor plate is the great equalizer in Cup racing, and this weekend, the series heads for Daytona, where, historically, predicting the winner has been a haphazard exercise at best.

With just nine races left before the Chase starts, this will be the last, best chance for some drivers to win a race and punch a ticket to NASCAR's playoff. It's also a chance for a currently winless established star to advance to the Chase.

In looking over the list, there are five drivers in the top 30 who are previous winners of a points race at Daytona but who haven't been to Victory Lane this year. Topping the list is Tony Stewart, a four-time winner of the July race at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth both are two-time winners at Daytona. Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman are the other two Daytona winners who haven't yet taken a checkered flag this year.

When you pit the veterans against drivers chasing one shot at glory in a plate race, there's only one guarantee.

The last lap will be chaos.

NASCAR NUMBER

5: The number that represents perfection for Kyle Busch, who won his fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in five starts last Thursday at Kentucky Speedway. When you include last year's season finale at Homestead, Busch has won his last six NCWTS starts.

199: The number of laps led by polesitter Brad Keselowski in a dominating victory Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. Not even an ill-timed caution late in the race (from Keselowski's point of view) could keep the No. 2 Team Penske Ford out of Victory Lane.

5: The current number of consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in which there has been a repeat winner this season. Jimmie Johnson's victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte was the last by a driver winning his first race of the year. That streak is in dire jeopardy this week in the Daytona free-for-all.

6.2: The average starting position for Brad Keselowski in the first 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. Keselowski has nine front-row starts, including two poles. The average start number is even more staggering, given that Keselowski qualified 33rd for the season-opening Daytona 500.

4: The number of consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Daytona won by Chevrolet drivers with Hendrick Motorsports engines. Tony Stewart won the July race in 2012, Jimmie Johnson swept both events last year, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the 2014 Daytona 500.

NASCAR Notes

Bonus NASCAR Number: 150.0: That's a perfect driver rating, which Brad Keselowski scored last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. It's only the 14th perfect driver rating scored in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since the inception of loop data in 2005. ... Brad Keselowski's dominant win at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night placed him on the short list of drivers with multiple victories this season, a list that includes Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. He's now cleared the toughest hurdle under the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualification. He's now guaranteed to be among the top 15 or 16 winners, and now needs only to finish in the top 30 after race No. 26 and attempt to qualify for every race. ... Bobby Allison's name stood with a few other NASCAR legends in the Daytona record books for decades. His 1982 season sweep of Daytona International Speedway put him on a list with Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough and LeeRoy Yarborough, and for more than 30 years, the feat went unmatched. Then, Jimmie Johnson finally joined the exclusive group last year. Dale Earnhardt Jr. looks to do the same, as he hits the high banks for the first time since his memorable Daytona 500 victory.

@nascarcasm

--Brad Keselowski wins Kentucky, but cuts hand on champagne bottle in victory lane. If you'll recall, he got a copious amount of beer in his eyes when he won at Las Vegas earlier this year. We hereby recommend that Brad not be permitted in victory lane without first donning a SCUBA mask and rolling himself in at least three layers of bubble wrap.

--The Quaker State 400 also saw Ryan Newman finish a season-best third, as he ran neck-and-no-neck with the leaders most of the race.

--Kevin Harvick experienced another slow pit stop, but was able to recover for a top-10 finish. If he gets this frustrated with delayed departures from pit road, just imagine if he flew commercial.

--Should we really be discussing drivers who are winless at Kentucky Speedway? If we're gonna do that, it's worth mentioning that all current NASCAR drivers but one have a long and arduous losing streak at Eldora.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own -- but chances are you have probably figured that out by now.)

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, June 30-July 6

Monday, June 30

5 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

8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Tuesday, July 1

4 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Langley (re-air), FOX Sports 1

5 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

8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), FOX Sports 1

Wednesday, July 2

1 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), FOX Sports 2

5 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

7:30 p.m., 100,000 Cameras: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Thursday, July 3

1 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Kentucky (re-air), FOX Sports 1

3 p.m., The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt (re-air), FOX Sports 1

4 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1

5:30 p.m., The Day: Daytona Primetime, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 1

8 p.m., The 10: NASCAR's Wildest Throw-Downs (re-air), FOX Sports 1

8:30 p.m., The 10: Greatest NASCAR Rivalries (re-air), FOX Sports 1

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

Midnight (Fri.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

1:30 a.m. (Fri.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Friday, July 4

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

11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1

1 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub Special (re-air), FOX Sports 1

2 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Sonoma,
 


FOX Sports 1

3 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

4:30 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

7 p.m., NNS Countdown, ESPN2

7:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Daytona, ESPN2

3 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1

4:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Race Hub Special (re-air),

[to top of second column]

FOX Sports 1

5:30 a.m. (Sat.), 100,000 Cameras: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, FOX Sports 1

Saturday, July 5

10 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Sonoma (re-air), FOX Sports 2

11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

12:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 2

2 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub Special, FOX Sports 2

5:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 2

6:30 p.m., NSCS Countdown to Green, TNT

7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Daytona, TNT

11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

Sunday, July 6

10 a.m., Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Watkins Glen, FOX Sports 1

Noon, NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Sonoma (re-air), FOX Sports 1

1 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Race Hub Special (re-air),

FOX Sports 2

2 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Sonoma (re-air), FOX Sports 2

This Week

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

The Next Race:

Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola

The Place:

Daytona International Speedway

The Date/Time:

Saturday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: TNT

Radio: MRN,

Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

The Next Race:

Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola

The Place:

Daytona International Speedway

The Date/Time:

Friday, July 4, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: MRN,

Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

The Next Race:

American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen

The Place:

Iowa Speedway

Date/Time:

Friday, July 11, 8:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: FOX Sports 1

Radio: MRN,

Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR 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. Jimmie Johnson 3

2. Kevin Harvick 2

3. Joey Logano 2

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2

5. Carl Edwards 2

6. Brad Keselowski 2

7. Kyle Busch 1

8. Kurt Busch 1

9 Denny Hamlin 1

10. Jeff Gordon 1

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Pos Driver Points

1 Jeff Gordon 618

2 Jimmie Johnson 594

3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 594

4 Brad Keselowski 560

5 Matt Kenseth 555

6 Carl Edwards 536

7 Joey Logano 519

8 Ryan Newman 514

9 Kevin Harvick 509

10 Kyle Busch 508

11 Paul Menard 488

12 Kyle Larson # 474

13 Greg Biffle 474

14 Clint Bowyer 473

15 Kasey Kahne 465

16 Tony Stewart 460

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos Driver Points

1 Elliott Sadler 541

2 Chase Elliott # 537

3 Regan Smith 533

4 Ty Dillon # 512

5 Brian Scott 494

6 Trevor Bayne 482

7 Brendan Gaughan 448

8 James Buescher 418

9 Chris Buescher # 414

10 Landon Cassill 399

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Pos Driver Points

1 Johnny Sauter 297

2 Matt Crafton 289

3 Timothy Peters 286

4 Ryan Blaney 285

5 Ron Hornaday Jr. 284

6 German Quiroga 272

7 Ben Kennedy # 263

8 Darrell Wallace Jr. 261

9 John Wes Townley 257

10 Joey Coulter 242

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