Home / Featured Content / Thinkin’ Out Loud – Homestead – Cup Championship – A Cup Full of Budweiser
(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2014)­

Thinkin’ Out Loud – Homestead – Cup Championship – A Cup Full of Budweiser

Key Moment – On the 11th caution flag of the night, Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers called for a four tire pit stop with 29 cars on the lead lap. When stops were completed Harvick was in 12th position. A quick caution afterwards allowed Harvick to restart in the sixth position.

In a NutshellJeff Gordon left Phoenix tremendously dejected over not advancing to the final four drivers eligible to win the Sprint Cup. The four-time champion set out at Homestead to prove that, were it not for a flat tire at the end of the Texas race, it would have been him hoisting the Cup. Gordon led all but 106 of the 267 laps that made up the Ford Ecoboost 400. Gordon even failed to prove his case at Homestead when his effort collapsed over the final nine laps. Gordon was not outside the top 4 all day until he stayed out when most of the field pitted on the 11th caution of the night. He pitted on the 12th caution of the night and was only able to make it back to 10th. In the end it was Kevin Harvick who took advantage of a late race four tire stop to drive past the other Chase contenders and score the win and the 2014 Sprint Cup title.

2014 Homestead CUP Jeff Gordon CIA
Jeff Gordon, another season without his fifth championship (Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Dramatic Moment – On the penultimate caution of the night, Harvick restarted sixth and knifed his way to second quickly and then powered past Denny Hamlin to grab the lead and ultimately the 2014 series title.

What They’ll be Talking About Around the Water Cooler

While there was a debris caution with four laps to go, it was a legitimate caution with visible debris on the race course in the groove. Unfortunately it was one of the Ford grill inserts again for the third time in four races. Whoever thought those are a good idea needs to be beaten with one until they change their mind.

With the late caution Harvick was already in position and the restart didn’t really affect the outcome. Of the four finalists for the title, Harvick and Joey Logano had the strongest seasons and one of them took the title. Whether the one race playoff for a title is the way to crown a champion or not, it absolutely generated buzz within and without the racing community and it provided some of the most intense late season racing that has been seen in the history of the sport. Depending on what you want from your auto racing, it certainly delivered a pile of excitement.

After the race the No. 48 team was called to the NASCAR hauler to discuss an event that unfolded during the race. A loose wheel resulted in a vibration for the team. When that happens the threads on the lug studs can become damaged and it is customary for a team to add a spacer to the wheel in order for it to stop a little further out on the studs so that the lug nuts grab good threads. Chad Knaus asked to add a spacer and his pit official said no. Knaus did it anyway and that resulted in being summoned to the principal’s office. Robin Pemberton downplayed the incident and said there is no possibility of fines or punishment. He informed the media it is such a minute deal it isn’t worth discussing.

The No. 32 team was also called to the hauler after Black Koch was asked to pull off of the track late in the event and did not. The end result was the caution flag that led to the final restart of the night with three laps to go.

While this is certainly premature, Harvick’s championship all but insures he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Every inactive driver ahead of Harvick on the list except Mark Martin and Bobby Isaac on the win list is in the Hall. Isaac is the only driver with a title who isn’t in and it is a safe bet that will be rectified during the next class election.

The Hindenburg Award for Foul Fortune

Tony Stewart has won a race every year that he has been in the Cup series since he came into the sport in 1999. In fact, every year except 2008 and 2013 he won more than one. Unfortunately for Stewart, his quest to continue the streak came up short when Stewart pulled into the garage after 182 laps on Sunday. Sadly the television coverage didn’t say anything about what happened to Stewart. Stewart’s failure is bittersweet thanks to his teammate and employee Kevin Harvick grabbing the series title.

Kyle Busch was running in the top 5 when the caution flag flew on lap 117. When the jack dropped on his pit stop and Busch tore out of his pit stall, the car suddenly went lifeless. A broken axle and rear gear rendered the No. 18 useless. The crew took him to the garage where they exchanged the rear gear and axle. It only took 24 laps but it crippled his hopes of a strong finish to end the season. He heads into the off-season with a 39th-place finish.

2014 Homestead CUP Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch racing CIA
Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch, both left out of the championship discussion (Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Joey Logano was in the middle of the hunt for the series title until the caution flag flew on lap 249. A botched pit stop put Logano deep in the field with just over a baker’s dozen laps to go. The car fell off of the jack and it took forever to get the car back up, dropping Logano to the end of the lead lap cars in 29th position. It was too deep of a hole for Logano to claw out of and ended up giving him a 16th place run which translated into a fourth place finish in the point standings.

The “Seven Come for Eleven” Award for Fine Fortune

Paul Menard made hard contact with the outside wall on lap 187 and came to the pits with a flat tire. Through determination and good pit strategy, he battled his way to a fourth place finish. Menard has always struggled in the last half of the season. Former crew chief Slugger Labbe continued to work at making Menard better in the late weeks of the season. Perhaps it is now finding success.

Jamie McMurray was in a similar boat to Menard. They made two tire calls on the penultimate caution flag that allowed them to make a charge over the final laps of the race. McMurray ended up chasing Menard to the checkered flag as the two of them came home in fourth and fifth.

Worth Noting

Kevin Harvick is the 30th different champion of top series in NASCAR.

Harvick joins Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as the only three drivers who have won the Nationwide and Cup titles in their career.

Harvick scored five victories in 2014. He also secured 14 top 5s and 20 top 10s. His eight poles during 2014 more than doubled his career total to 14.

Stewart-Haas Racing won the title in 2011 as well so they have taken two of the last four Cups.

Rodney Childers, like Harvick, has notched his first career Cup series title.

Childers is the 37th crew chief to grab a title.

Childers has led three drivers to eight career Cup wins: Harvick (5), David Reutimann (2) and Brian Vickers.

Harvick’s win was his 28th of his career in 502 starts. Harvick is now tied with Rex White for 25th on the all-time victory list.

Harvick’s win was his first ever at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Ryan Newman came home in second, .500 second behind Harvick. It is Newman’s only runner-up finish all seaon.

This is Newman’s only top 2 finish in his career at Homestead.

Brad Keselowski came home in third for his 15th top 3 run of the season.

This is Keselowski’s only career podium finish at Homestead.

Kyle Larson came home in 13th to win the Rookie of the Race.

Larson is the 2014 Rookie of the Year

Chevrolet won the manufacturer’s championship. This is Chevrolet’s 34th manufacturer’s title and twelfth in a row.

What’s the Points

The Chase for the Cup is complete. The first title has been awarded under the latest iteration of the Chase and Kevin Harvick has emerged victorious. Ryan Newman came home second ahead of Denny Hamlin. Joey Logano ended up the fourth best of the final four at Homestead so he ends the season in fourth place in points. Brad Keselowski was the best of the rest rounding out the top 5. The final standings for the 16 Chase contenders looks like this:

  1. Kevin Harvick 5043
  2. Ryan Newman 5042
  3. Denny Hamlin 5037
  4. Joey Logano 5028
  5. Brad Keselowski 2361
  6. Jeff Gordon 2348
  7. Matt Kenseth 2334
  8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2301
  9. Carl Edwards 2288
  10. Kyle Busch 2285
  11. Jimmie Johnson 2274
  12. Kurt Busch 2263
  13. AJ Allmendinger 2260
  14. Greg Biffle 2247
  15. Kasey Kahne 2234
  16. Aric Almirola 2195

Overall Rating(On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) – This section is about the race and only the race. Whatever you feel about the Chase does not impact what the race offered. While Homestead is not a D-shaped mile and a half, it is still an intermediate track. As a result, air is very important and that showed up again this weekend. There were some cars that could make passes, including Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick, who carved their way through traffic Mixing in 13 caution flags, all for incidents with cars or actual visible debris and the race gets four ice cold Cabana Boy Wheat Ales from Funky Buddha Brewery.

Next Up

The Off-season. While the 10 weeks between next weekend and the Sprint Unlimited race in Daytona might seem like a long time, it is going to be packed with activity for the Cup teams. The series banquet will kick off the respite on Friday, Dec. 5, 2013: The Sprint Cup Awards Banquet will be on FoxSports1 at 9:00 p.m. ET. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live.

About Mike Neff

Mike Neff

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike works as track announcer and does Sales and Marketing for Myrtle Beach Speedway. He announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He’s also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Check Also

The Frontstretch 5: Ways to Say Goodbye

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. More than 15 years after being thrust into NASCAR’s brightest spotlight …

54 comments

  1. Of the final 4, you can’t complain about Harvick winning it. Was hoping Logano, myself. Gordon gave it away at Texas when he decided to contest Keselowski for a spot when he didn’t need to. Can’t say I’m sorry about that.
    In every other playoff system you have to win in the ‘Tournament’ to advance. I watched about the last third of the race. Too many cautions, but at least you knew someone was going to win.

  2. Not a Harvick fan but would be hard-pressed to say he didn’t deserve the Championship. Glad to see others admitting that they found the new Chase format exciting. I sure did. As others mentioned there is no system that is going to scratch everyone’s itch. I too am pretty much tired of hearing the bellyaching. This season saw really competitive, fast racing. Folks can continue to live in their fantasy world of how great racing was in ‘the day,’ but truth is it has never been better and with more parity.

    I gave up on Major League Baseball as the sport changed in a direction I didn’t like. Still like baseball, just won’t waste my time watching or commenting on a something that I no longer like. I suggest those that find NASCAR bothersome do as I have done. Follow a motorsports series that meets your expectations. Otherwise, you might just like to chronically complain.

    • Don’t like it don’t read..until this sport can justify Kez and Gordon not getting in, I will continue to voice my opinion, it is because we love the sport that we don’t want it falling in the gimmick catergory which it already is. A one race shootout among 4 drivers, two of them by no Chase points and the Chase points of last year..would not even ben considered. What happened to the best of the best? Nascar lucked out hugely with Harvick getting the win, the format is very flawed, worse than ever. But BZF will keep it because people like shiney objects and have short attention spans…Motorsports is not a playoff sport, it just isn’t.

    • You want to like it, that’s fine, but those of us who don’t like it have the right to our opinions as well. Telling us to just go away is pretty much NASCAR’s answer to any disagreement.

  3. That was a good race, but I don’t think it’s going to go down as a “classic” championship finale. The four contenders got near the front early on and pretty much just stayed there till the end. None of them had to fight through mid-race setbacks like Kurt Busch losing a wheel in 2004. Unlike 2010, no damaged their car early and put themselves in an early hole, or lashed out at another driver a la Harvick. We didn’t see any moves as ballsy as Tony Stewart’s 4-wide dive midway through the 2011 finale, though Harvick’s late charge from 12th to the lead was impressive. And there wasn’t a dramatic twist of plot like Johnson’s pit crew screwing up in 2012 and throwing the championship momentum back Keselowski’s way. It’s almost as if, with everybody on equal footing and the highest finisher winning the title, the final race lost some of its typical nuance.

  4. I’m going to wait till Wednesday to know what to think, when we get the pulse of the Nascar Nation form Summer’s Mailbox.

  5. Black Koch? whats really on your mind Neff..

  6. what is wrong with the championship being based on the most wins? At least they would be driving to win instead of just riding around for points. And if they finish way back in other races or get crashed at least it will because they are RACING

  7. Woulda, coulda, shoulda- the fact remains Newman DIDN’T win it, so continuing to bang that drum is pointless. Anybody here believe Harvick isn’t a worthy champion? You know whines worse than Jeff Gordon? Jeff Gordon fans….and I am a Gordon fan. Harvick got it done all year.
    Using the logic of many of these fans….the Giants and Royals (wild cards) didn’t deserve to be in the World Series, the Arizona Cardinals weren’t deserving to face the Steelers a few years back in the Super Bowl, the Mariners should have won the 2001 MLB championship, yada, yada, yada.

  8. 10 years ago, everyone complained about a one race champ
    for the last 10 years everyone complained about the chase
    this year (and the next few as this format is used / tweaked / retired for the NEXT thing to quiet the complainers) everyone complained about the chase

    funny thing is – you’re all still watching. Its fine that you watch the races, cause you maybe enjoy the sport – but you all don’t always have to complain about EVERYTHING.

    Truth is – they’ll never get it right – but hell – at least they’re trying. For years, we’ve been hearing the same about the BCS “playoffs” (a system which rewarded a team who had the best schedule). it’s NEVER going to be right. Or – look at the Royals, who’d NEVER have made it in without the wild card, or the fact that in the NFL – that a 4 – 6 (that’s 4 wins, SIX LOSSES) would make the playoffs if the season ended today – in fact – there is a chance for WORST record to exist there. I guess what I’m saying is – each of these formats has their flaws, most others in the sports seem to like the parity and challenge it drives, yet here – all i see is just “brian farce, and blah blah blah” and trust me – i get SOME of it – but, sometimes you either play the cards you’re dealt – or fold. Some of you need to fold, go enjoy indy, or F1 – i hear there are tons of passing for leads, and a great points system (insert sarcastic tone there).

    But I will say – that for once – over these last 10 races (as crazy as it’s been) – each one has been fun to watch, a lot of strategy, and jockeying – and emotion. It’s close – it’s not perfect – but this is better than some in the past. And oh, for those of you wondering – if it were the old system (as it has been with the exception of 2004, and 2011) i likely would have been clinched with a 27th place finish….oh yeah, THAT’S EXCITING RACING there….(orrrrrr, not so much).

    Best to you all in the off season, hopefully – you find something else to draw you to fill what you’re not getting here.

    • DH…

      I get your point, but do have a couple of comments…

      It’s not true that 10 years ago everyone complained about a one-race champ. I know I didn’t. What you probably heard were some of the newer fans, and a media looking for a story in a season that really didn’t have a compelling one. A one-race champ whose accomplishments over the season earned him the most points is more legitimate champ than a one-race (or winless champ) who lucked up when one bad race doomed drivers who performed much better over the entire season. For a true lover of the sport, legitimacy trumps gimmickry regardless of profit.

      Those of us who think the chase is a bad idea and that Brian France is a poor manager of the sport have every right to complain. I’m not saying we’re always right about every issue, but our complaints are due to our love for the sport. France has every right to do what he wants; it’s his business and that’s what he treats it like. We don’t have to like it. This website is a forum for discussion of the sport, and that’s what happens here. If you don’t like the comments and need to “fold”, there’s always Nascar.com where the company line is towed and all is rosy and wonderful.

      Best to you in the off-season as well.

      • Carl D –

        Well stated – I for one had no problem with the 2003 race format, (btw – I’m not a new fan – been watching for over 20 or so years now) – I will say it drove the drivers and teams more toward “good points days” then taking the big risk.

        While I will say i was skeptical on the new format – it shook it up a bit – and like I said before, it’s not the best – but it’s something different. I mean hell – it even made Loudon exciting (which is not usually the case).

        I didn’t want to come off as preachy – and I think healthy release of frustrations on this site is awesome – but – it amazes me sometimes how much “well – i hate this sport – i’m never watching again” only to see that same person comment again next week with “well…they did it again…i’m never watching this sport…” you get where I’m going. I think that the reading here, and the commentary here is way better than what I see on Nascar.com (plus the idiots who respond “POLE” when they get the first response…that just hurts my brain).

        So – I guess take my comments with a grain of sarcasm – which if you knew me – you’d say tha’ts one sarcastic sonofa….

        And finally – I will say that while it may not happen this year – I think 2 of the best teams did get qualified for the final shoot out – Gordon and Kes being the other 2 who didn’t make it in (I am a fan of neither of those 2) would have been “fairer” but – i guess while it’s about wins – it’s also about finishing well. Good thing I have vnothing to do with trying to a fix/adjust/refine.

        Carl D – here’s to the offseason. I hope that you enjoy the time “off” and get ready for another season, full of new rule changes, etc (I say they kill the splitter – and the current nose design, let air under the car, and lets see the excitment begin). Be well!

        • Backatcha. I don’t think I’ve ever said I would quit watching, but there are plenty who have, and if they’re not enjoying it, that’s what they probably should do. I could suggest many ways Nascar could improve the racing, and the chase if it must continue, but what’s the point? Brian France doesn’t listen to fans, he only listens to his accountants and his lawyers. I suspect you and I probably agree on more than we disagree on, but I’m glad we can disagree with civility.

      • Well-written reply, Carl D. I come to this comments section to read (and occasionally write) opinions about the sport with people who may not agree with me, but refuse to fall in lock-step with Daytona/PRN/MRN/Fox/Sirius. I don’t know where the idea comes from that we forfeit our right to disagree if we still watch/attend/listen/follow the sport.

  9. With it all said and done, I think this new format was a success. It just needs a rule requiring a win to qualify for Homestead. It made winning more important and made the Championship a dog fight until the last lap. In the end, the most deserving team won. Congrats to Harvick and the 4 team. They were the best all year long and could have won 10 races based on the speed they showed week in and week out. The new format allowed some lesser teams a moment in the sun (43, 47). Teams were on edge the whole 10 weeks, every position mattered and wins were like gold. Looking forward to 2015.

    • It did exactly the opposite of what it said it would do, wins did NOT count for the whole season. Kevin won that race yes, but the system is not designed to keep wins in mind, If that were so Gordon and Kez and a few others would have been in the final. A one race champ with manufactured excitement isn’t the way to go. Reward the whole season..somebody should be able to figure out wins, 5’s and 10’s to calculate a champ..no sandbagging and they get the whole 36 races to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they deserve it. Nascar dodged a huge PR nightmare by Newman not winning, I doubt that will always work out for Nascar that way. So sad the whole season it’s just 4 guys and 1 race. And to say they knew the rules is absurd, what were they going to do, bow out of the season?

  10. I sure am glad that Chase Elliot didn’t have to be under the same rules as the CUP drivers I think this new system sucks, luck shouldn’t be a part of Championship

  11. yeah it’s over with. see where knaus was caught doing something he was told not to do. of course no penalty will come of his disobeying the officials.

    you know logano had a massive meltdown when his car fell off the jack. he should be glad it was under caution and not green flag.

    gibbs might have to put hamlin on suicide watch.

    i loved what ryan said in post race interview, where he could have body slammed harvick but didn’t want to win championship that way. i was so hoping ryan would have won the race and championship. ryan is a class act.

    seeing hendrick in victory lane with the champions on saturday and sunday was nauseating.

    what’s this i read over the weekend that very little, if any, tweeking would be done to the chase format?

    now i’ll have to find something else on tv to put me into a coma to nap on sunday afternoons.

    be interesting to see how no pre-season testing at daytona goes.

  12. I’m curious… does anyone who doesn’t work for an auto manufacturer give a dead rat’s patootie about the manufacturer’s championship anymore? I know I don’t.

    • I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the manufacturer’s championship mentioned on air since 2002. Maybe no one cares because no one’s aware of it anymore.

    • don’t they get that golden car?

      i watched the nationwide race on sunday and was confused why penske was manufacture champion. of course i’m confused most of the time. i thought kyle busch won a lot of nationwide races last year.

      oh well…..

  13. The entire season with the endless Chase prattle has been like a trip to the dentist (but without the benefits). Thank God it’s over. I think I’m going back to baseball. It may often be boring but never fixed.

    • Each year the incessant drumbeat of commercialism gets more tedious. More and more it sounds like the barker outside the tent at the county fair, lots of promises not much performance. That rather than the chase (lower caps intentional) is whats ruined it for me.
      BTW: watching 470 miles of cars circling around waiting for the next debris caution more than cancels out the last 30 or the inevitable G-W-C.

  14. Thank God the season is over. I can’t say I’ve ever been so glad to see a season end.

    I thought the new chase format did not achieve it’s goal… to make the last race as exciting as the super bowl or a game 7 in one of the other major sports. Sure, it was close and it changed around a lot but watching guys change positions for 230+ laps isn’t in itself that exciting. There is no scoring or missed field goals or controversial penalties. Just numbers showing their positions. More like first grade math. How exciting.

    Biggest disappointment… Not one green flag pit stop. And I can’t say NASCAR threw a bunch of fake cautions either. Still, I would have really liked to see one long green flag run.

    In the end each caution just re-shuffles the deck creating the crapshoot form of competition that NASCAR has cultivated so carefully with their rule changes over the last decade. It may just be the best reality television show on tv now but I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch any of the others.

  15. I wonder if Ryan was afraid of what Delana would do to him if he passed the coward?

    I read where Brian said he would be OK with a winless champ. I guess he misremembered why he started the insane chase. The way he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth he must be planning to enter politics after he causes NASCAR to shut down.

    It’s another title for Hendrick-Stewart. Was Mr. H in victory lane?

    I can’t wait for the next iteration of the chase. Another tweak should be forthcoming soon. What I’d like to hear is Brian come right out and say only wins will count towards the title and no more chase. No more points. The driver with the most wins is the champ. No other finish matters. I’m sure if nine drivers tied with four wins each he would put up nine trophies and full payouts. Or maybe ten with three.

    Was Brian at the race or was he still in the vault counting his money?

    I noticed that the pre-race crap was two hours. How much BS can they shovel without the Waltrips?

    • Only wins count? So the driver who wins 18 races and finishes 43rd in the other 18 races is a better and more deserving champion than the driver who wins 17 races and finishes 2nd in the other 19 races?

      What might have been better would be the first 9 races set up the winner-take-all at Homestead, with anyone who wins during the Chase will have a shot at the championship in the final race. Then it would have been Brad K, Joey L, Jeff G, Kevin H, Jimmie J, and Dale Jr all with a shot at the title.

      Or make the wins count with bonus points towards the next round if you win, like it did during the regular season. I was shocked when I learned that every driver in rounds 2 & 3 were tied despite winning.

      • I was being sarcastic. I’ve been saying all along that you don’t need wins to win a points championship. It seems Brian hasn’t realized that yet or that every race won’t have a game 7 moment because it is not a stick or ball sport.

        And it was nice of you to remember what I wrote a long time ago.

  16. Paul Menard? Jamie McMurray? Who are they? What? You mean there were actually OTHER CARS IN THAT RACE? Could’ve fooled me.

  17. I was pulling for Logano but what I really wanted was for Hamlin NOT to win the title, so I wasn’t completely disappointed. I did think the race was better than most at Homestead. There were quite a few debris cautions, and at one point I wondered which driver was throwing stuff out the window, but in most cases they showed the debris and it was usually sheet metal or the afore-mentioned Ford grille, so at least some of the cautions seemed legit.

    My neighbor watching the race with me is convinced Jeff Gordon pitted to allow Hamlin, Newman, and Harvick tio fight it out for the championship without his interferance. Maybe, but that sure doesn’t sound like Gordon. His pitting with so few laps to go sure seemed suspect, though.

    My thanks that this twilight-zone chase is finally over is tempered by the realization that February is only three months away and the annoying Waltrip brothers will be back.

    • I agree something seemed off with Gordon pitting there at the end.

    • I thought the same thing. So few guys came in when he did that he surely would have had a better finish if he’d have stayed out and roll the dice.

    • I read somewhere that Gordon told his team he couldn’t hold off the other guys for the win without fresh tires, so that’s why he pitted. It makes sense…he was just going for the win with nothing to lose. If they’d had another caution or two right at the end (as we’ve seen in some other races lately), he might have gotten back up there and won it.

    • I was listening to Gordon’s radio. He overruled the crew chief and asked to pit on that last caution knowing he would get run over by the guys with fresh tires (Texas flashback maybe). A terrible call by Gustafson not to pit on the previous caution. Similar to Texas, forced the 24 team to play defense with older tires. You can send the “black helicopters” home on this one. Now that it is over, I put more blame on Jeff and Alan for blowing the Championship than Brad K.

      • Thanks for that info. I agree that he missed the boat when he didn’t pit on the previous caution with everyone else. He may have been OK if another caution wouldn’t have come out although Harvick would have been coming hard.

  18. With no post race fisticuffs it will be interesting to see how many ‘casual fans’ tune in to Daytona in February. as far as Homestead selling out, I noticed a lot of seating was covered up in the turn one grandstand

  19. I would like to congratulate “Mister” (since everyone else seems to be bowing to this felonious scumbag) Rick Hendrick for winning his 13th Championship as a car owner. Wow, Mister Felon, 13 wins in 20 seasons as an owner. That is quite a feat! And don’t anyone tell me any different. Those of us who have observed this sport for a long time, especially the last 20-years, know the truth.

  20. I did not watch the race but family members clued me after. Sounds like a lot of “interesting” things happened, in the way of Nascar manipulation (big surprise) Too bad it came down to 1 race, why have the other 35 races? So I guess it is fitting that Harvick a.k.a The Coward/Insigator/Arsonist won and will before forever know as the 1 race Champ. This stupid format made the 10 race Champ look like a season long deserved winner. Too bad, I am afraid the idiots at Castle Daytona are going to delight with glee at the positive feedback the 15 minute attention span, reality TV lovers give them. Sad day for race fans, I think Nascar starting down a road of no return, and will kill the sport.

    • What you missed was that suddenly, miraculously, the 11 and 31 found speed at Homestead and the Final Four was 1-3-4-5 or 1-2-3-5 or some variation of that most of the race. Mind you, Newman or Hamlin couldn’t break into the Top 5 of a five-car race most weeks and yet here they were running up front yesterday. Every so often, a non-Chaser would break script and edge into the Top 5. I think NASCAR felt guilty and let the 24 join the company of the Final Four.
      I wouldn’t say, as Mike did, that Harvick and Newman carved their way through traffic. It was more like they came upon cars that provided as much resistance as the Washington Generals do for the Harlem Globetrotters.

      • ..thanks for your take as well..seems to be the prevailing thought, but Nascar will not admit to manipulation and shame on us for even thinking it. What a croc of doo-doo. Seems nothing is going to change. This too will all be a non issue…a Chevy after all.

      • ..oh and I can hear still the screams of Richmond….lol.

    • I refer to Brian, Mike, and Robin as the “Dorks from Daytona”. One thing has been proven. Winning races doesn’t mean diddly squat.

    • “Too bad it came down to 1 race, why have the other 35 races?”

      Seriously? Seriously????? We have the Super Bowl in football, why bother with the other 17 weeks then? We have the World Series of baseball, why do we need the other 162 games? We have the NBA Finals, so we dont need the other games, either right?

      Wow…. just wow.