|Kenseth or Johnson, 13 wins combined in 2013, have yet to win in 2014|
Below are the NASCAR storylines for the three national series for the week of April 7, 2014.
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – BOJANGLES’ SOUTHER 500, SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 6:30 P.M. ET ON FOX
Now Trending … Joey Logano Makes It Seven-For-Seven
For the seventh time in the first seven races of the 2014 season, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has seen a different winner. Joey Logano was the victor in the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after passing Jeff Gordon on the final lap. The streak is the longest to start a season since 2003 when there were nine different winners in the first nine races. The record is 10, set in 2000.
Logano Finally Turns Strong Starts Into A Win
Joey Logano used a last-lap pass of Jeff Gordon to capture his first victory of 2014, virtually clinching a spot in the Chase. Monday’s win was expected, and possibly overdue – if you look at his success in Coors Light Pole qualifying. In six races featuring the new knockout qualifying format, Logano is the only driver to make the final round in all. He’s started on the front row twice, including the pole at Las Vegas.
Johnson And Kenseth Look To Darlington For First Win
Last year Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth sat atop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with wins list with a combined 13 victories, three of them coming in the first six races. Yet, after the first seven races of 2014, the reigning series champion and the runner-up are still clamoring for their first wins. Maybe this weekend; they’ve won the last two races at Darlington. Kenseth won last year, Johnson in 2012.
Gordon Continues To Shine In 2014, Moves Into First
Jeff Gordon was leading on the final lap when he was passed by Joey Logano for the win at Texas. Although he finished second, Gordon moved into first place in the standings, four points in front of Matt Kenseth. It’s the first time Gordon has led the points since after the 2009 Coca-Cola 600, a span of 174 races. Gordon started 2014 with four consecutive top-10 finishes and has finished no lower than 13th. Next up is Darlington, where he has seven wins.
Can Stewart Check Darlington Off His List?
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has won at all the tracks currently on the schedule, minus two – Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway. With the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington on Saturday night, the Indiana native has the opportunity to check a win at “The Track Too Tough To Tame” off his bucket list. In 21 races, Stewart’s best finish is a pair of third-place finishes, most recently coming two years ago. His 10th-place showing at Texas on Monday was his third top-10 of 2014.
NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES – VFW SPORT CLIPS HELP A HERO 200, FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 8 P.M. ET ON ESPN2
Elliott: Victory Lane To The Classroom
Chase Elliott became the second youngest driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race when he took the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway. The JR Motorsports driver, who is a high school senior in Georgia, accomplished the feat at 18 years, 4 months and 7 days. Elliott overtook the series standings by two points over his teammate Regan Smith. He is the youngest points leader in series history.
NASCAR Next Drivers Impacting NASCAR Nationwide Series
When the NASCAR Next program was developed in 2011, the program was designed to provide a platform to showcase up-and-coming talent in NASCAR. That talent is definitely being showcased this season in the NNS. Former NASCAR Next member Kyle Larson’s win at Auto Club in March followed by current member Chase Elliott’s victory last Friday at Texas Motor Speedway marked the first time former and/or current NASCAR Next drivers have won back-to-back events in a NASCAR national series.
Pole Is Prime Property At Darlington
The NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway has been won from the pole an impressive 13 times overall, more than any other position on the starting grid. The race has been won from the pole five times in the last eight races, all by Joe Gibbs Racing drivers. Defending race winner, Kyle Busch, has won from the pole twice.