Race Rewind: Looking back at the Ford 400

jutter@charlotteobserver.comNovember 17, 2013 

  • Next race

    2014 Daytona 500

    Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.

    When: 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014

    TV: Fox

    Radio: Motor Racing Network

    Last year’s winner: Jimmie Johnson

  • More information

    Unofficial results and points standings

    FinStDriverCarLaps*PtsEarnings
    15Denny HamlinToyota26747$322,350
    21Matt KensethToyota26744$293,251
    321Dale Earnhardt Jr.Chevy26742$203,860
    48Martin Truex Jr.Toyota26740$174,235
    525Clint BowyerToyota26739$167,968
    64Brad KeselowskiFord26739$156,701
    711Kyle BuschToyota26737$140,293
    83Joey LoganoFord26736$119,518
    97Jimmie JohnsonChevy26735$134,221
    106Kevin HarvickChevy26735$126,246
    1126Jeff GordonChevy26733$123,596
    1218Carl EdwardsFord26732$115,435
    1313Kasey KahneChevy26731$94,060
    1410Elliott SadlerToyota2670$88,110
    1520Kyle LarsonChevy2670$107,593
    1619Aric AlmirolaFord26728$116,421
    1715Ryan NewmanChevy26727$113,343
    1827Juan Pablo MontoyaChevy26726$105,999
    1922Mark MartinChevy26725$121,585
    2024Danica PatrickChevy26724$80,935
    212Kurt BuschChevy26724$104,255
    229Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Ford26722$122,396
    2314Jeff BurtonChevy26721$85,360
    2416Greg BiffleFord26720$91,660
    2530Parker KligermanToyota2670$93,543
    2623Marcos AmbroseFord26718$103,724
    2731David GillilandFord26617$90,368
    2840Casey MearsFord26616$95,568
    2929David RaganFord26616$93,157
    3028Jamie McMurrayChevy26514$103,230
    3132David ReutimannToyota26513$74,685
    3237J.J. YeleyChevy26412$71,960
    3339Landon CassillChevy2640$71,760
    3441Ken SchraderFord26310$71,560
    3542Joe NemechekToyota2630$71,360
    3636AJ AllmendingerToyota2578$79,135
    3733Travis KvapilToyota2487$78,912
    3838Dave BlaneyChevy2426$65,750
    3912Paul MenardChevy22915$91,741
    4017Trevor BayneFord22320$57,750
    4135Josh WiseFord11930$53,750
    4243Tony RainesChevy10440$49,750
    4334Michael McDowellFord6351$46,250

    Average Speed: 130.693 mph. Time of Race: 3 hours, 3 minutes, 52 seconds. Margin of Victory: 0.799 seconds. Caution Flags: Eight for 37 laps. Lead Changes: 22 among eight drivers. Lap Leaders: M.Kenseth 1-11; D.Hamlin 12-13; M.Kenseth 14; K.Harvick 15; M.Kenseth 16-25; D.Ragan 26; K.Harvick 27; Ku.Busch 28-31; M.Kenseth 32-91; K.Larson 92; M.Kenseth 93-139; D.Earnhardt Jr. 140; M.Kenseth 141-142; D.Earnhardt Jr. 143-153; M.Kenseth 154-166; D.Hamlin 167-207; K.Harvick 208-213; B.Keselowski 214-222; D.Hamlin 223; D.Earnhardt Jr. 224-235; D.Hamlin 236-239; D.Earnhardt Jr. 240-243; D.Hamlin 244-267. *Reason out: 1. wreck, 2. engine, 3. rear gear, 4. vibration, 5. brakes.

    PosDriverPtsBack
    1J. Johnson2419
    2Matt Kenseth2400-19
    3Kevin Harvick2385-34
    4Kyle Busch2364-55
    5D. Earnhrdt Jr.2363-56
    6Jeff Gordon2337-82
    7Clint Bowyer2336-83
    8Joey Logano2323-96
    9Greg Biffle2321-98
    10Kurt Busch2309-110
    11R. Newman2286-133
    12Kasey Kahne2283-136
    13Carl Edwards2282-137
    14Bra. Kslowski1041-1378
    15J. McMurray1007-1412
    16M. Truex Jr.998-1421
    17Paul Menard949-1470
    18Aric Almirola913-1506
    19R. Stenhse Jr. 909-1510
    20Jeff Burton906-1513
    21J. Montoya894-1525
    22M. Ambrose872-1547
    23Denny Hamlin753-1666
    24Casey Mears719-1700
    25Mark Martin649-1770
    Pos Driver Pts Back
    26D. Patrick646-1773
    27David Ragan633-1786
    28Tony Stewart594-1825
    29Dave Blaney526-1893
    30Travis Kvapil496-1923
    31JJ Yeley472-1947
    32D. Reutimann465-1954
    33B. Labonte412-2007
    34A. Allmedingr410-2009
    35D. Stremme362-2057
    36M. McDowell210-2209
    37Timmy Hill190-2229
    38Ken Schrader118-2301
    39M. Waltrip114-2305
    40Scott Speed99-2320
    41Terry Labonte87-2332
    42Boris Said48-2371
    43Ron Fellows31-2388
    44Alex Kennedy21-2398
    45Justin Marks14-2405
    46Scott Riggs11-2408
    47V. Gnzalez Jr.10-2409
    48Bri. Kslowski9-2410
    49Tomy Drissi8-2411
    50J. Villeneuve3-2416

Hendrick remains on top of its game

• Jimmie Johnson is good, really good. But equally as stout as the title run Johnson has been on – six titles in eight seasons – has been the performance by the organization for which he drives, Hendrick Motorsports. HMS drivers have won 11 of the past 19 Cup series championships – a 57.9 winning percentage during that span (1995-2013).

• Homestead-Miami Speedway provided an excellent venue this weekend for the season finales of NASCAR’s three national series – Cup, Nationwide and Truck. The races all featured good racing, wild restarts and all of the races were competitive. The only blemish was NASCAR’s unwillingness to throw a red flag during the final 20 laps of Saturday’s Nationwide finale for a long track cleanup and instead made fans and competitors waste 12 laps under caution.

• Sunday’s championship celebration was the first Johnson’s 3-year-old daughter, Evie, has been able to take part in. Rather than spend the entire time on stage, she elected to carefully pick up the many, many pieces of confetti in Victory Lane.

How the Chase contenders fared

1 Jimmie Johnson (2,419): Johnson ended the season with the second-most wins (six), tied for the most top-fives (16) and with the most top-10 finishes (24) in 36 races. He remains the all-time leader for Chase victories with 24, including two this season.

2 Matt Kenseth (-19) : Kenseth was a newcomer to Joe Gibbs Racing but not to success, although 2013 was his most productive season. He ended the year short of a championship but with the most wins (seven).

3 Kevin Harvick (-34) : Harvick gained no ground in his title chase, but he still equaled his career-best points finish in his final year with Richard Childress Racing. He will join Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

4 Kyle Busch (-55) : All the JGR cars were strong, and Busch spent a good deal of time up front with teammates Kenseth and Denny Hamlin. He ended up seventh. His fourth-place finish in the standings is a career best.

5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-56) : Long runs were good for Earnhardt, and he continued what has been a strong Chase with another solid performance. He led 28 laps – third-most in the race – and spent the final laps in a hard battle with Kenseth for second place. He ended the season without a victory.

6 Jeff Gordon (-82): For a driver who wasn’t going to make the Chase, Gordon made a strong accounting for himself, winning a race and finishing sixth in the standings.

7 Clint Bowyer (-83): Bowyer was a nonfactor virtually the entire race but found speed at the end and powered to a fifth-place finish. He ends the season without a victory.

8 Joey Logano (-96): In his first season with Penske Racing, Logano qualifies for the Chase for the first time and finishes eighth in the standings. “I had a lot of fun this year and this was my best season personally,” he said.

9 Greg Biffle (-98): Biffle and Johnson raced each other very hard at one point Sunday. Could that have been a flashback to Martinsville, Va., when Biffle angrily confronted Johnson after the race?

10 Kurt Busch (-110) : Busch was all over the map Sunday. He actually led four laps early but struggled many times with the handling of his car and finished 21st.

11 Ryan Newman (-133): Newman completed his final season with Stewart-Haas. He will move to RCR’s No.31 Chevrolet next season.

12 Kasey Kahne (-136): Kahne struggled throughout the race and at one point fell a lap down when he was forced to pit under green for a loose wheel. He rebounded to finish 13th.

13 Carl Edwards (-137) : At one point late in the race, Edwards was forced to pit twice under caution for a vibration. He rebounded to finish 12th.

Notebook

High interest in NASCAR’s Nationwide series sponsorship

NASCAR is receiving high interest in the title sponsorship of its Nationwide Series, including several familiar companies already involved in the sport.

Nationwide Insurance Co., which is in its sixth season sponsoring NASCAR’s No.2 series, announced in September that next season will be its last in that role. The company will sponsor a car in the Sprint Cup Series.

Subway, KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts all were companies involved the last time the series sponsorship became open, several sources confirmed.

Other companies involved include existing NASCAR sponsorship “partners;” as well new brands in specific categories that cater to NASCAR’s target demographics, such as an auto parts chains, quality service restaurants and technology and innovation companies, sources said.

“We expect there to be very strong interest in this entitlement position and are highly confident a great replacement will be found,” said Jim O’Connell, NASCAR’s chief sales officer.

A decision is expected next year.

Five key moments

5 key moments

1 . Matt Kenseth took control early, leading 82 of the first 91 laps.

2 . Jimmie Johnson and Kenseth both lost ground on a restart on Lap 194 when Jeff Gordon spun his tires, sending the cars behind him scattering all over the track.

3 . The rear-end housing and right-rear tire of Paul Menard’s car exploded on pit road. After the caution and pit stops, Denny Hamlin took over the race lead.

4 . Dale Earnhardt Jr. used a three-wide move to grab the lead from Hamlin on Lap 240.

5 . Hamlin retook the lead on Lap 244 from Earnhardt and quickly ran out to a sizable advantage as he earned his first Cup win of the season. Johnson finished ninth to clinch his sixth Cup championship.

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