NASCAR

Preview

as of Tuesday, February 10, 2015 2:53 PM.



NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sprint Unlimited Preview

Date: Saturday, Feb. 14

Start Time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Site: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Fla.

Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval

Laps: 75 (divided into 2 segments)

Miles: 187.5

Capacity: 146,000 (Grandstand Seating)

Total purse:

Payouts:

Year: 37th preseason race at Daytona (3nd annual Sprint Unlimited)

On TV: FOX (TV start time 8 p.m. ET)

Announcers:

On Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio

Race record:

Qualifying record:

2014 Finish

Defending champion: Denny Hamlin

Runner up: Brad Keselowski

Pole winner: Denny Hamlin (random draw)

Top 10:

1. Denny Hamlin (Start: 1)

2. Brad Keselowski (5)

3. Kyle Busch (4)

4. Joey Logano (11)

5. Kevin Harvick (6)

6. Jamie McMurray (2)

7. Marcos Ambrose (8)

8. Ryan Newman (17)

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr (14)

10. Matt Kenseth (16)

Average speed: 143.160 mph

Time of race: 1 hr., 18 mins., 35 secs.

Margin of victory: 0.197 seconds

Caution flags: 5 for 13 laps

Lead changes: 16 among 7 drivers

Past winners

2014 Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 143.160 mph

2013 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 177.538 mph

2012 Kyle Busch, Toyota, 124.096 mph

2011 Kurt Busch, Dodge, 153.584 mph

2010 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 144.670 mph

2009 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 127.243 mph

2008 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 140.751 mph

2007 Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 166.195 mph

2006 Denny Hamlin, Chevrolet, 153.627 mph

2005 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 181.399 mph

2004 Dale Jarrett, Ford, 150.826 mph

2003 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 180.827 mph

2002 Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 181.295 mph

2001 Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 181.036 mph

2000 Dale Jarrett, Ford, 182.334 mph

1999 Mark Martin, Ford, 181.745 mph

1998 Rusty Wallace, Ford, 178.998 mph

1997 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 185.376 mph

1996 Dale Jarrett, Ford, 184.995 mph

1995 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 188.482 mph

1994 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 188.877 mph

1993 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 186.916 mph

1992 Geoff Bodine, Ford, 189.070 mph

1991 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 189.474 mph

1990 Ken Schrader, Chevrolet, 192.308 mph

1989 Ken Schrader, Chevrolet, 192.926 mph

1988 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 191.489 mph

1987 Bill Elliott, Ford, 197.802 mph

1986 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 195.865 mph

1985 Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 195.865 mph

1984 Neil Bonnett, Chevrolet, 192.926 mph

1983 Neil Bonnett, Chevrolet, 192.513 mph

1982 Bobby Allison, Buick, 191.093 mph

1981 Darrell Waltrip, Buick, 189.076 mph

1980 Dale Earnhardt, Oldsmobile, 191.693 mph

1979 Buddy Baker, Oldsmobile, 194.384 mph

Last race

Race: Ford EcoBoost 400 (Nov. 16, 2014)

Site: Homestead-Miami Speedway -- Homestead, Fla.

Miles: 400.5

Laps: 267

Finish line order: Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray

Time of Race: 3 hrs., 16 mins., 31 secs.

Average speed: 122.280 mph

Margin of victory: 0.500 seconds

Caution flags: 13 for 52 laps

Lead changes: 18 among 5 drivers

Lap leaders: J. Gordon 1-12, Koch 13, Ku. Busch 14, Harvick 15-25, J. Gordon J. Gordon 1-12, Koch 13, Ku. Busch 14, Harvick 15-25, J. Gordon 26-63, Hamlin 64-65, J. Gordon 66-120, Harvick 121, J. Gordon 122-123, Harvick 124-157, J. Gordon 158-159, Hamlin 160, J. Gordon 161-165, Hamlin 166-195, J. Gordon 196-212, Hamlin 213-222, J. Gordon 223-252, Hamlin 253-259, Harvick 260-267.

Entry list

#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/McDonald's

#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Ford/Miller Lite

#3 Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC) Chevrolet/Dow

#4 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Jimmy John's

#5 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Chevrolet/Great Clips

#10 Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL) Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com

#11 * Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Express

#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/GEICO

#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops

#15 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Toyota/5-Hour Energy

#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/Ortho

#17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS) Ford/Fastenal

#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M's

#19 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Toyota/Arris

#20 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Toyota/Dollar General

#22 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Ford/Shell/Pennzoil

#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger

#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Peak

#31 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Caterpillar

#41 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Chevrolet/Haas Automation

#42 Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA) Chevrolet/Target

#43 Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL) Ford/Smithfield

#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Kobalt Tools

#78 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Chevrolet/Furniture Row

#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/National Guard

Leading contenders

Name 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Denny Hamlin Won 17 9 13 5 12 5 15 Won
Brad Keselowski --- --- --- --- --- --- 4 --- 2
Kyle Busch 15 7 --- 10 4 16 Won 16 3
Joey Logano --- --- --- 28 7 18 18 3 4
Kevin Harvick 20 5 --- Won Won 7 22 Won 5
Jamie McMurray 8 --- 22 2 3 2 16 --- 6
Ryan Newman 17 20 23 --- 19 3 7 --- 8
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 14 Won 18 11 19 20 8 9
Matt Kenseth 6 --- --- 8 16 13 21 5 10
Tony Stewart 3 Won 2 3 9 11 2 4 11
Jeff Gordon 19 21 4 4 6 6 15 17 12
Carl Edwards 16 --- 12 7 17 21 9 12 13
Kurt Busch --- 3 18 9 23 Won 17 13 14
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 15
Danica Patrick --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 16
Jimmie Johnson 5 4 3 14 13 4 14 14 17
Aric Almirola --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 6 ---
Greg Biffle --- 13 20 17 15 5 6 2 ---
Clint Bowyer --- --- 14 --- --- 9 8 --- ---
Austin Dillon --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Kasey Kahne 18 15 10 6 2 24 13 7 ---
Kyle Larson --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Casey Mears 6 --- --- 15 --- --- --- --- ---
Paul Menard --- --- --- 12 --- --- 23 --- ---
Martin Truex Jr. --- --- 21 --- --- --- 19 9 ---

Notes

The Sprint Unlimited is the Sprint Cup Series' annual preseason, non- points race at Daytona International Speedway.

This year's 75-lap Sprint Unlimited will be split into just two segments instead of three in past years. A competition caution at lap 25 will separate the segments in this event.

New this year, select fans will be paired with each crew chief for a random drawing to determine the starting and pit road positions for this race. The drawings will take place on Friday, Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The field of 25 Sprint Cup drivers will include 2014 pole award winners, former Sprint Unlimited race winners and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time this past season as well as all 16 drivers who qualified for last year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

If an eligible driver does not enter the race, the open position will be filled based on 2014 championship driver points. The first five provisional drivers, respectively, are Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The following drivers are eligible for this year's Sprint Unlimited but have opted not to compete in the event: David Gilliland (2014 pole winner), A.J. Allmendinger (2014 Chase driver), Brian Scott (2014 pole winner) and Brian Vickers (2014 pole winner).

Mark Martin holds the record for most appearances in this event with 24.

Jeff Gordon is expected to make his 22nd straight appearance in this race, which would extend his record for most consecutive starts.

Nine drivers have won this event multiple times: Neil Bonnett, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett, Ken Schrader and Tony Stewart.

Dale Earnhardt holds the record for most wins with six (1980, '86, '88, '91, '93 and '95).

Stewart and Harvick lead all active drivers with three victories each in this race.

Just five times in the 35-year history of this race has the winner gone on to win the Daytona 500: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Jarrett (1996 and 2000) and Gordon (1997). Two drivers have won the preseason race and then gone on to capture the Daytona 500 pole and win the Daytona 500 during Speedweeks. Elliott did it in 1987, and Jarrett did so in 2000.

Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson, both rookies in Sprint Cup last year, are scheduled to make their first starts in the Sprint Unlimited. Five drivers have won this event in their first starts: Buddy Baker (1979, inaugural race), Earnhardt (1980), Gordon (1994), Jarrett (1996) and Hamlin (2006).

In 2012, Kyle Busch edged Stewart to the finish line by only 0.013 seconds, making it the closest margin of victory in the history of this race.

The 2015 Sprint Cup points season kicks off with the 57th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the defending race winner.



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