In a fairy-tale-like finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway that concluded the revamped Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, Kevin Harvick won the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday to claim his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship — and CV Products Trackside was there, and nearly everywhere else Harvick and his Sprint Cup Series competitors raced throughout the 2014 campaign, for all the action.
To win the title, the Bakersfield, Calif., native needed to finish ahead of his fellow Championship 4 drivers, and a win was the only way that could have happened. Fellow Championship 4 driver Ryan Newman finished second, while Denny Hamlin finished seventh and Joey Logano ended the night in 16th. Looking at the numbers:
- Harvick won 14% of the races he entered this year
- His 5,043 Sprint Cup Series Points was one better than Ryan Newman (5,042)
- Harvick finished the sean with 5 wins, 14 Top 5 finishes, and 20 Top 10 finishes
- All told, Harvick and his team won $7,078,477 in prize money in 2014 (that’s an average of $196,624 per race)
A veteran of all three of NASCAR’s national series, Harvick joins Brad Keselowski and Bobby Labonte as only the third driver in history to win both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and NASCAR Nationwide Series crown (2006).
Things weren’t so dramatic in the contest for the NASCAR Nationwide Series crown. That’s because Chase Elliott — while adamant about going for one more win on Saturday at Homestead, where he was also looking to lock up the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award — had already clinched the Nationwide crown the weekend before. Subsequently, non-points qualifying drivers Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson finished 1-2-3, while Elliott, who started in ninth, finished the 29th Annual Ford Ecoboost 300 in 17th place. The 28 points Elliott collected for the finish placed him atop the Nationwide Series leader board with 1,213 point total, which was 42 points better than Regan Smith (1,171), and 59 points better than Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott. Elliott, at 18 years, 11 months and 18 days, became the youngest and first rookie champion in NASCAR national series history.
CV Products Trackside was also in the pits at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 19th Annual Ford Ecoboost 200 — that’s the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that occurred on Friday night. Daniel Wallace, Jr. won by leading on four separate occasions, including the last 15 laps of the race. Unfortunately for Wallace, Jr., the win wasn’t enough to put him over the top in Camping World Truck Series points standings. That honor (of capturing the series crown) went to Matt Crafton (833 points), while Ryan Blaney finished the season in second (812), and Wallace, Jr. capped off the Top 3 with 799 points.
For those keeping score and who like to take note of such things, for the first time since the NASCAR Next initiative was created, three of its alums captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards: Kyle Larson took home the award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Chase Elliott added the tribute to his resume in the NASCAR Nationwide Series; and, Ben Kennedy earned the honor competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
If you’re wondering when the NACSAR-affiliated drivers next take to the track in the series mentioned above, here’s what you need to know:
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: February 22, 2015 – Daytona 500 , Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
- NASCAR Nationwide Series: February 21, 2015 – DRIVE4COPD 300, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: February 20, 2015 – NextEra Energy Resources 250, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
Finally, our Trackside crew was also in the pits this past weekend at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, NC, for the Pro AllStars Racing Series’ Mason Dixon Meltdown 200. Trevor Noles made a move with 10 laps remaining in the race to win, marking the first such series win for the Fuquay-Varina, NC-native.