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Race Data

Race #: 8 of 36
Event: Bojangles Southern 500
Location: Darlington, SC
Track Size: 1.366 Miles
Track Type: Egg-Oval
Total Laps: 367
Total Miles: 500
2013 Winner: Matt Kenseth
Pit Speed: 45 mph

Previous Winners

6- Jeff Gordon 95/96/96/97/98/02
3- Jeff Burton 99/99/07
3- Jimmie Johnson 04/04/12
2- Greg Biffle 05/06
2- Mark Martin 93/09
1- Bobby Labonte 00
1- Kyle Busch 08
1- Denny Hamlin 10
1- Regan Smith 11
1- Matt Kenseth 13

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Other News

Upgrade Your Friday Race Day With a Pre-Race Pit Pass at RIR

The green flag may wave at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 25, but the action at Richmond International Raceway starts well before that. Join us on Pit Road from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm for a pre-race experience where you take in the sights and sounds of race prep - including Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice - from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member.

Friday's events include Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as well as NBC12 Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The day's action is topped off with the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, followed by the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race - that's right, we said TWO races in ONE night!

More good news! On Friday at noon, the new NASCAR Next class will be announced in Gatorade Victory Lane, and all Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass holders are invited. NASCAR Next is a program that spotlights NASCAR's emerging stars. Launched in 2011, the program has identified a number of drivers who have advanced from regional and touring racing series to NASCAR's national series. Notable alumni include Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Dylan Kwasniewski, Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr.

Can't get enough of the NASCAR Next class? They will be signing autographs on the backstretch at Track Takeover on Saturday, April 26, and you can say you knew them when they were just breaking into the sport! Every fan who has a ticket to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 is invited to get up close and personal with the track you love.

Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road on Friday. Passes are available online by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the April 25 events. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children younger than 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes.

Click here (http://www.rir.com/Articles/2014/04/Friday-Pre-Race-Pit-Pass.aspx) to view the Pre-Race Pit Pass Access areas. Appropriate dress is required. Shirt, shoes and shorts or pants must be worn at all times while on pit road. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield.

Call 866-455-7223 to purchase tickets for the Friday, April 25, ToyotaCare250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. Advance tickets start at just $30 and kids 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission.

Make it double-header and join us for a second night "under the lights" on Saturday, April 26, for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. There's no better place to be than at America's Premier Short Track watching Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and all your favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers battle under the lights for 400 laps of pure adrenaline. Advance tickets start at just $35. Bring the whole family because NEW IN 2014 tickets for kids 12 and younger are $25 off the adult price in ALL grandstands. Call 866-455-7223 to purchase.

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...Game closed for Easter Break...
 



NASCAR National Series News & Notes - 2014 Open Week

Courtesy of NASCAR Media


NASCAR's Spring Break Arrives After Intriguing Start
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has its own version of spring break and it has arrived, with the traditional Easter weekend hiatus. It's time for a bit of rest, relaxation - and examination regarding the first eight races of the 2014 season.
In case you hadn't noticed, there's a lot going on, starting with the unreal level of parity that has made predictability an outdated term. Much has been said and written about the seven different winners to start the season, a streak broken this past weekend at Darlington Raceway when Kevin Harvick became the year's first two-time winner. Overshadowed somewhat has been a concurrent revolving door, in the form of eight different Coors Light Pole winners to open the season, tied for the series' longest season-opening streak of different pole winners.
Is competition better than ever? There are statistics supporting that notion:
All three manufacturers have won races thus far, led by Chevrolet's four victories.
An average of 12 different leaders per race, compared to 8.6 at this point last year.
An average of 25.6 lead changes per race, compared to 17.4 in 2013.
Total of 29,541 green flag passes, compared to 23,178 in 2013.
Total of 346 green flag passes for the lead, compared to 181 in 2013.
And . an average margin of victory of 0.588 seconds, the smallest since 2008.
In addition, it's even easier to argue that the competition has certainly received a boost in interest because of the nuances of the new championship-deciding, Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format. Race winners are virtually assured a berth in the 16-driver Chase, unless there are more than 16 different winners, whereupon the series points could be used to determine which race winners get into the "playoffs." Number of race victories, though, will be the first "tiebreaker." And don't forget about this addendum: the series points leader after 26 races - the "regular season' champion so to speak - will get in, with or without having a race victory.
Less than 16 different winners? Again, we'll go to the standings to fill out the Chase field.
You want nuance? Try this. The possibility exists that a driver could be, say, second in the points come time for the Chase and not make the field, if they haven't won a race. That could be painful.
After eight races, three of the top five drivers in the series standings are winless - Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson. Those three drivers have won 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, collectively but right now they're sharing a seat that perhaps isn't really hot just yet, but definitely is getting warm.
Other items of interest "after eight" .
Two drivers with race victories aren't even in the top 16 in points, starting with Harvick who is "mired" - talk about another outdated term due to the new format - in 22nd. Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch is 26th but he has a Martinsville victory and a likely Chase berth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500, has three runner-up finishes plus one third. He has been running near the front seemingly all season - with the exception of Texas, when he ran into the grass early in the race.
Tony Stewart, coming back from being sidelined for much of last year by injury, is winless but has four top-10 finishes in the last five races, including an incredibly strong Texas run where he was the Coors Light Pole Award winner.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, was never a factor at the Daytona 500 but had her second-best finish of the year thus far at Bristol's half-mile. Go figure.
Team Penske has both of its drivers in the victory column, with Brad Keselowski winning at Las Vegas and Joey Logano at Texas. That's two wins on 1.5-mile tracks. There are five 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase lineup. Sounds ominous.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule resumes Saturday night April 26 at three-quarters mile Richmond International Raceway. Richmond has been called, through the years, "the perfect track" which means there's a good chance at an interesting season is about to become even more so, coming out of our spring break.
 
Dillon Vs. Larson As Heated As Advertised
Austin Dillon struck first, blazing to the Coors Light Pole for the Daytona 500 in the No. 3 Chevrolet's return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.
Dillon followed up the pole with a ninth-place finish in the Daytona 500. So far, it's his only top 10 this season.
Kyle Larson took an opposite path to this first open weekend, and his recent counter punches have landed him atop the rookie standings.
Larson, who has won a race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, opened his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign with a 38th-place finish because of an accident in the Daytona 500. Then, at Phoenix and Las Vegas, Larson slogged through finishes of 20th and 19th.
But since those season-opening jitters, he has turned it on, finishing in the top 10 in three of the last four races - including a runner-up finish at Auto Club Speedway and a fifth at Texas.
Those three finishes - and the adjoining bonus points toward the rookie standings that go with them - have catapulted Larson to the top of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. He currently has 98 points - 13 ahead of Dillon.
But . Dillon leads in overall points, thanks to few poor finishes (Larson has two finishes outside the top 25; Dillon has none).
Maybe the most interesting nugget of the bunch: If the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup started today - and, NASCAR confirms that it doesn't - both Dillon and Larson would be part of the Chase Grid.
 
Back To School: Waltrip Hits The Books After Break
Befitting a personality steeped in fun-loving, Michael Waltrip recently announced that his team's No. 55 Toyota will feature a special paint scheme honoring the Florida State University Seminole's national football championship at Daytona International Speedway in July.
This is not a rarity, at least not for Michael Waltrip Racing. Waltrip often pays tribute to collegiate success, with schools such as the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, the University of Alabama and Auburn University gracing an MWR hood in recent seasons. For more on college paint schemes in NASCAR, visit NASCARMedia.com.
With that news, it might be a good time to go to school on MWR's statistics over the first eight races this season.
The 2014 season was to be an adjustment year, as MWR became a two-car operation and welcomed Brian Vickers back into the full-time fold.
Though winless, it has been an otherwise solid start.
After some early season struggles, Clint Bowyer has scored two top 10s in the last three races, and has eclipsed the 100-point driver rating mark in three of the last four starts. Bowyer, who made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup each of the last two years, is currently 16th in points.
Vickers, who hasn't run a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule since 2011, sits 13th in points - spurred mostly by a fourth-place finish at Texas. He has three top 10s in the first eight races this season.
 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Etc.
With an open week, it's a good time to take a look at some of the loop data superlatives over the first eight races. . Though winless, Jimmie Johnson STILL holds the top diver rating in the series, at 106.0. . Jeff Gordon's points lead isn't a fluke. He leads the series in average running position, at 8.8 - one of only three drivers to average a running position in the top 10. Denny Hamlin (9.9) and Matt Kenseth (10.0) are the others. . Tony Stewart came out of nowhere at Darlington to score a top-10 finish, literally. How? He closed 14 places in the last 10 percent of the race, the largest gain in the last 10% at Darlington since the inception of loop data in 2005. . How to measure bad luck: Take points position and subtract it from driver rating rank. The largest difference in that measurement is Kevin Harvick, who ranks eighth in driver rating, but 22nd in points, a difference of 14. Others topping the list: Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray.
 
Elliott's Rookie Campaign Is A Magical Ride
If things continue to play out the way they have so far through the first two months of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be one happy owner come November.
After scoring his second consecutive win of the season Friday night at Darlington Raceway, JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott is doing plenty to turn heads, including his team owner Earnhardt. Elliott became only the fourth driver to win in his first national series start at the 1.366-mile track. When he won the previous week at Texas, Elliott became the second-youngest driver in series history to post a win at 18 years, four months and seven days. Seven days later, however, he became the youngest driver to capture his second victory in any of NASCAR's three national series.
In addition to his two wins, Elliott has six top-10 finishes in the first seven races of 2014. His only non-top 10 was a still-respectable 15th in the Daytona season opener. Going into the Easter break, Elliott leads the points standings by 13 over his teammate Regan Smith, who hasn't been too bad either. Smith has started the season with seven straight top 10s, including a victory at Daytona.
As it stands right now, it looks like JRM's Elliott and Smith are the drivers to beat. One of the two drivers has led the drivers' standings after each of the season's first seven races. Smith led the points after the first five races before handing over the reins to Elliott, who also holds a 22-point advantage over Ty Dillon in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year race.
Speaking of the rookie competition, Elliott has simply setting the bar high for everyone else. Dillon is having a stellar year in his own right and would be enjoying a healthy lead in the rookie standings most other years, having already compiled seven finishes of 11th or better.
 
Veterans Have Experience On Their Side
Although Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner Chase Elliott leads the championship standings, don't count out the veterans lurking just behind him, primarily Regan Smith, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott.
Smith (13 points back), Sadler (-20) and Scott (-46) all have something on their side that Elliott does not - experience.
Over the next four races - Richmond, Talladega, Iowa, Charlotte - Elliott has zero starts in NASCAR's three national series. At the same four tracks, the three veterans have a combined 207 national series starts among them - Smith (52), Sadler (121) and Scott (34).   
In last season's May NNS Talladega race, Smith was out front when the race ended prematurely due to inclement weather. In the August 2012 Iowa race, Sadler beat Justin Allgaier to the checkered flag by 0.649 seconds.  
Through the first seven races of 2014, Smith is the only race winner of the three, winning at Daytona. He's followed up his win with six more top-10 finishes and boasts a 7.7 finishing position. Sadler has compiled three top fives and five tops 10s with a Coors Light Pole Award at Auto Club. His best finish of the season came at Darlington, where he finished runner-up to Elliott. Scott's best outing came in a seventh-place performance at Las Vegas. Although he has no other top 10s this season, his lowest finish is only 17th.
In their last visit to Richmond, the site of the next race, the trio finished admirably. Scott was runner-up, while Smith finished third and Sadler eighth.
 
Bayne Takes On Charleston!
As most of the NASCAR universe takes this upcoming weekend off to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation, there is at least one driver who won't be taking it easy.
Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne is spending his time off in Charleston, S.C. Will he be enjoying the sights found throughout the historic city? Perhaps, but his itinerary is a little more bold than a couple of tours.
Bayne, along with fellow drivers Blake Koch and Josh Wise, will be competing in the TryCharleston Half-Triathlon Saturday morning. The test of endurance begins with a 1.2-mile swim and then a 56-mile bike ride, before ending with a 13.1-mile run.
Bayne's drive to compete in such a tasking event, similar to competing in NASCAR races, is an inspiration to many around the country. Last year, Bayne informed the world that he had MS, but that the disease would not prevent him from conducting his life as normal. 
 
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
As part of NASCAR's Race to Green initiative, 90 trees will be planted at James River Park in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, April 24. Among the attendees will be NNS veteran Elliott Sadler, who will pilot the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota carrying a green paint scheme in that weekend's race. . Jimmy Weller will make his Nationwide Series debut at Richmond next Friday in the No. 55 Chevrolet for Viva Motorsports and SS Green Light Racing. . Josh Reaume will attempt to make his series debut when the series returns to action at Richmond.
 
Wallace, Kennedy And Kwasniewski Dispense Advice
On Friday, April 25 at noon in Victory Lane at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR will make a special announcement that will positively affect the lives of several young, up-and-coming drivers looking to make names for themselves in the NASCAR ranks.
During the event, NASCAR will announce the 2014 NASCAR Next class.
NASCAR Next alum Darrell Wallace Jr. joined current NASCAR Next members Ben Kennedy and Dylan Kwasniewski on a teleconference Tuesday afternoon where they provided a few tips for potential new members.
"I would say just getting involved as much as possible and doing as much as possible with all of your fellow drivers," Kennedy said.
Wallace summed up his advice rather succinctly: "(They) just got to stick with it."
Kwasniewski, however, was cognizant of the potential competition some of these rising drivers might pose for him and his current NASCAR Next colleagues, just as their arrival in NASCAR's national series might have placed some veterans' seat time in jeopardy: "We're going to have to watch these guys and watch them come up, because they're going to be trying to take away our spots and trying to compete against us to do it."
 
Crafton, Sauter Aiming For History At Kansas
ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the only two drivers currently entered in the May 9 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway with wins at the 1.5-mile track.
Sauter drove to Victory Lane in 2010, and Crafton accomplished the feat last season. If either driver wins the Friday night race, he would become the first driver to secure multiple wins at Kansas. There have been 13 different winners in as many races at the track.
ThorSport will also have a third truck there with Jeb Burton making his third consecutive start for the team this season. He has made two starts at Kansas Speedway.
 
 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Etc.
Chicagoland Speedway announced a sponsor for its September NCWTS race. Lucas Oil will sponsor the Lucas Oil 225 on Sept. 12. . Ted Minor is scheduled to attempt to make his series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 14.
 
Easter Weekend Action For Southern Mods.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be the lone NASCAR national or regional touring series in action on Easter weekend as the Bunny Hop 150 is slated for Saturday, April 19 at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.
Four-time tour titlist George Brunnhoelzl III is the defending winner of Caraway's holiday event, and he brings momentum to the venerable .455-mile oval after a win last week at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., which halted the second-longest winless drought of his career. Brunnhoelzl figures to have plenty of competition from points leader Andy Seuss, however. Seuss has won the last three Caraway races and is one triumph shy of tying Brunnhoelzl's track record of 10 career victories.
Last weekend may have ended a drought for Brunnhoelzl, but it was the continuation of a hot start for NASCAR Next driver Daniel Suárez. Representing Drive for Diversity, Suárez posted his fourth win of the calendar year with a triumph at Súper Óvalo Chiapas in NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series action. He now has two wins apiece in Toyota Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition in 2014.
The week that was also saw the 2014 season get underway for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, which opened at Circuit Ricardo Tomo in Valencia, Spain. Yann Zimmer won the Elite 1 division opener on Saturday while two-time defending series champion Ander Vilariño reached to Victory Lane on Sunday. Seventeen-year-old rookie Neal Van Vaerenbergh was the Elite 2 division winner both days.






After Action-Packed Weekend,
NASCAR Takes A Cool Down Lap

Courtesy of NASCAR Media


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2014) - Five hundred miles at Darlington Raceway. It's a challenging, exhausting endeavor - and on Saturday night, the Southern 500 needed overtime. Of course it did.
 
In a busy storybook weekend of NASCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship racing, that was the necessary outcome.
 
Seven races were run in three countries and on two continents for a total of 989 laps and 1,169 miles. Victory belonged to 10 different drivers during the weekend, yet there was one clear winner above all: The fans.
 
They saw a little bit of everything during this memorable weekend.
 
-       In a green-white-checkered finish that extended the race seven laps past its scheduled distance of 367 laps, Kevin Harvick became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season's first two-time winner - not to mention the first to virtually lock-up a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. His two wins guarantee him a place on the 16-driver Chase Grid, provided he finishes in the top 30 after race No. 26 and attempts to qualify for every race.
 
-       Rising star Chase Elliott won his second consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series race, becoming the youngest winner in Darlington history. The 18-year-old's navigation of the egg-shaped track reminded many of his championship-winning father, Bill Elliott, who himself won five times at Darlington.
 
-       Scott Pruett, arguably the greatest sports car driver in North America right now, won his second consecutive Prototype race of this TUDOR United SportsCar Championship debut season. With teammate Memo Rojas, from Mexico City, the pair followed its win at Sebring with a victory in Long Beach, Calif. It was Pruett's 58th career victory, extending his lead on the all-time North American professional sports car racing win list.
 
-       In the GT Le Mans class of the TUDOR Championship at Long Beach, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia teamed to capture the first win for the recently unveiled Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
 
-       Ander Vilarino, who took home the championship in each of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series' two years of existence, was victorious in the second Elite 1 race of the Valencia NASCAR Fest weekend in Spain. Yann Zimmer, a 23-year-old and last year's rookie of the year, won Saturday's Elite 1 season opener in Valencia.
 
-       George Brunnhoelzl III scored his first victory in this "Drive for Five" season. The four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion led a race-high 69 laps Saturday at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.
 
-       Daniel Suárez continued his two-country success story, scoring his second win of the 2014 NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series season. Suárez, who also has two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victories, won at the Súper Óvalo Chiapas in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
 
And now, a break - sort of. Engines will silence for much of NASCAR and the TUDOR Championship this weekend, in observance of the Easter holiday.
 
But, there will be some on-track action for those needing a fix. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will race at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C., on Saturday. For live updates throughout race day, log onto NASCARHomeTracks.com.
 
And for continuous coverage of the first portion of this storyline-rich season, visit NASCAR.com and IMSA.com.
 
About NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and follow NASCAR at www.Facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.