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2015 Sprint Unlimited

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2015 Sprint Unlimited

2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona
Race details[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Race 1 of 2 exhibition races in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
Date February 14, 2015 (2015-02-14)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4 km)
Distance 75 laps, 187.5 mi (301.8 km)
Weather Clear night sky with a temperature of 51 °F (11 °C); wind out of the WSW at 10 mph (16 km/h)
Average speed 135.569 mph (218.177 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Richard Childress Racing
Time Random draw
Most laps led
Driver Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing
Laps 30
Winner
No. 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox & MRN
Announcers Mike Joy, Michael Waltrip and Larry McReynolds (Television)
Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and A. J. Allmendinger (Booth)
Dave Moody (1 & 2), Mike Bagley (Backstretch) and Kyle Rickey (3 & 4) (Turns) (Radio)
Nielsen Ratings 3.2/6 (Final)[7]
3.2/6 (Overnight)[8]
5.6 million viewers[7]

The 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on February 14, 2015, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Contested over 75 laps, it was the first exhibition race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Matt Kenseth took the victory ahead of Martin Truex, Jr.. Carl Edwards, Casey Mears, and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.

Contents

  • Report 1
    • Background 1.1
    • Format and eligibility 1.2
    • Entry list 1.3
  • Starting lineup 2
  • Practice 3
    • First practice 3.1
    • Final practice 3.2
  • Race 4
    • First segment 4.1
    • Second segment 4.2
      • The Big One 4.2.1
      • Final laps 4.2.2
    • Post-race 4.3
    • Race results 4.4
  • Media 5
    • Television 5.1
    • Radio 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7

Report

Background

Daytona International Speedway, the race track where the race was held.

The track, Daytona International Speedway, is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others being Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.[9] The standard track at Daytona International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long.[10] The track's turns are banked at 31 degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at 18 degrees.[10] Denny Hamlin was the defending race winner.

Format and eligibility

The race is 75 laps in length, and was divided into two segments; the first was 25 laps and the second was 50 laps. The race was open to those drivers who won a pole in the 2014 season or had won the Sprint Unlimited previously. Two new changes were announced in December. The field was expanded to those who have won the pole for the Daytona 500 previously and/or were in the Chase in 2014.

Entry list

The entry list for the Sprint Unlimited was released on December 17, 2014. Twenty-five drivers were eligible for the race.

No. Driver Team Manufacturer
1 Jamie McMurray (P) Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski (P) Team Penske Ford
3 Austin Dillon (P) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
4 Kevin Harvick (P) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
5 Kasey Kahne (C) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
10 Danica Patrick (D) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
11 Denny Hamlin (P) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
14 Tony Stewart (P) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
15 Clint Bowyer* Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
16 Greg Biffle (D) Roush Fenway Racing Ford
17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.* Roush Fenway Racing Ford
18 Kyle Busch (P) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
19 Carl Edwards (D) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 Matt Kenseth (P) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
22 Joey Logano (P) Team Penske Ford
24 Jeff Gordon (P) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
27 Paul Menard* Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
31 Ryan Newman (C) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
41 Kurt Busch (W) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
42 Kyle Larson (P) Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
43 Aric Almirola (C) Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
48 Jimmie Johnson (P) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
78 Martin Truex, Jr. (D) Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Official entry list
Key Meaning
(P) Eligible as a pole winner in 2014
(W) Eligible as a past winner of the race
(D) Eligible as a past Daytona 500 pole winner
(C) Eligible for being in the Chase in 2014
* Took the place of a driver that withdrew

Starting lineup

The starting lineup was determined by a random draw. Paul Menard drew the top spot.[11]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer
1 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
3 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
4 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
5 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
6 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
7 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
8 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
9 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
10 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
11 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
12 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
13 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
14 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
15 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
16 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
17 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
18 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
19 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
20 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
21 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
22 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
23 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet
24 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
25 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Practice

First practice

Kurt Busch was the fastest in the first practice session with a time of 44.832 and a speed of 200.749 mph (323.074 km/h).[12] Tony Stewart was called to the NASCAR hauler for ignoring the black flag which was shown to him, as he did not weigh in before the session.[13] Per NASCAR regulations, all drivers had to weigh in before the start of the season to calculate the minimum car weights.[13] This was normally done during January Preseason Thunder, but it was cancelled in 2015. Stewart took to Twitter to express his frustration, upon exiting his car.[13]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 44.832 200.749
2 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 45.052 199.769
3 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.209 199.075
Official first practice results

Final practice

Jeff Gordon was the fastest in the final practice session with a time of 45.740 and a speed of 196.764 mph (316.661 km/h).[14]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.740 196.764
2 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.796 196.524
3 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.871 196.202
Official final practice results

Race

First segment

The race started at 8:35 p.m. Eastern time with Paul Menard leading the field to the green. With a push from Matt Kenseth on the inside lane, Brad Keselowski took the lead on lap nine. Kenseth jumped to the outside lane to pass Keselowski for the lead on lap eleven, before Martin Truex, Jr. utilized a slingshot move to pass Kenseth for the lead the next lap. Kenseth used a push on the bottom to retake the lead on lap 15 but could not maintain the lead as he fell back and handed Truex, Jr. the lead. The first caution of the race flew on lap 22 for a single car wreck on the front stretch.[15] Coming to the start-finish line, Kyle Larson made contact with Brad Keselowski, while trying to merge into the top lane of cars.[15] When Keselowski tried to correct it, he destroyed his car's splitter when it dug into the grass.[15] He turned back onto the track and hit the wall.[15] Austin Dillon rear-ended Kyle Busch trying to avoid Keselowski.[15]

Second segment

The Big One

As the caution came out three laps before the scheduled end of the first segment, NASCAR counted this caution as the competition caution.[15] Upon exiting his car, Keselowski told reporters that he had made contact with Larson and team-mate Joey Logano and that he "couldn't tell if someone made contact with me from behind". Keselowski also described the crash as "just part of racing at Daytona" and that his team would "be ready to go when it counts in the [Daytona] 500".[16] Jamie McMurray earned the dubious honor of being the first driver penalized under NASCAR's new pit road monitoring system, as his pit crew was found to be over the wall too soon. Ryan Newman was also penalized for driving through too many pit boxes before reaching his own. The race restarted on lap 30, with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the head of the race. Truex, Jr. ducked underneath Earnhardt, Jr. to take back the lead on lap 41, before the second caution of the race flew on lap 45 for The Big One, involving twelve cars.[17] Greg Biffle got into the back of Jamie McMurray enough to turn him; McMurray overcorrected and turned back onto the tri-oval.[17] Aric Almirola, Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, defending race winner Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, McMurray, Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Tony Stewart were all taken out or sustained damage in the crash.[17] McMurray stated that Biffle has "got me loose a couple of times before" but that it was customary for Daytona racing, adding that "you're fighting for every position every lap and he just got into me a little too hard off four and I couldn't hang on to it".[17] Bowyer – having been involved in the crash after his car was hit by Menard – told reporters that he saw a car backwards and became involved in the wreck.[17] Bowyer added that the cars "don't seem to like to go through the grass very well" and that he was "just starting to have some fun and get up through them".[17] This necessitated the race being red flagged for almost 15 minutes; teams were allowed to work on their cars, as the Sprint Unlimited was a non-points race.

Final laps

The race restarted with 27 laps to go. Kenseth dive bombed around Truex to take back the lead with 19 laps to go, before the third caution of the race flew with 14 laps to go after Stenhouse, Jr. spun out in turn 3 and took out three other cars with him. The race restarted with nine laps to go, before the fourth caution of the race flew with seven laps to go after Stewart got loose exiting turn 2 and collected Biffle, who hit the inside retaining wall in a manner similar to Danica Patrick in the 2012 Gatorade Duels. Kurt Busch was also taken out in this wreck. The red flag was displayed a second time; after a five-minute delay, Kenseth held off the field until the end of the race, to win ahead of Truex, Jr. and Carl Edwards.[18] Only 12 of the race's 25 starters were running at the finish of the event. Kenseth described his victory as "great to win at Daytona anytime" and "a great way to start off the year".[18] Truex, Jr. stated that his runner-up finish was the "most fun I have had in a race car in a long, long time".[19]

Post-race

Following the race, Kevin Harvick confronted Joey Logano on pit road after Logano pushed him into the wall with two laps to go.[20] One of Logano's crew members pulled him away from Harvick to prevent the argument from escalating. Harvick stated that "you can't just drive somebody straight in the corner into the fence" and that Logano "kind of did the same thing to me at Talladega".[20] Logano referred to Harvick as "an instigator" and that the incident was "the same old crap".[20] Danica Patrick also seemed to be upset with Logano after the race, but he did not understand why.[21]

Race results

Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps
1 16 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 75
2 10 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 75
3 14 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 75
4 23 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 75
5 25 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 75
6 3 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 75
7 11 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 75
8 5 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 75
9 24 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 75
10 15 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 75
11 8 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 75
12 12 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 75
13 22 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 67
14 7 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 67
15 13 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 67
16 20 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 61
17 6 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 61
18 16 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 55
19 9 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45
20 18 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 45
21 1 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45
22 17 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45
23 2 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45
24 21 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 45
25 4 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 22

Media

Television

Fox
Booth announcers Pit reporters
Lap-by-lap: Mike Joy
Color-commentator: Larry McReynolds
Color commentator: Darrell Waltrip
Matt Yocum
Jamie Little
Chris Neville

Radio

MRN Radio
Booth announcers Turn announcers Pit reporters
Lead announcer: Joe Moore
Announcer: Jeff Striegle
A. J. Allmendinger
Turns 1 & 2: Dave Moody
Backstretch: Mike Bagley
Turns 3 & 4: Kyle Rickey
Winston Kelley
Steve Post
Alex Hayden

See also

References

  1. ^ "Daytona International Speedway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Entry list". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. December 17, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Starting Lineup". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Sprint Unlimited Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Paulsen (February 20, 2015). "Sprint Unlimited Up, But Low; Daytona Qualifying Hits High". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ Paulsen (February 17, 2015). "Overnights Rise For Sprint Unlimited, Daytona Qualifying". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Tuner Sports. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Daytona Track Facts". Daytona International Speeedway. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Long, Mark (February 13, 2015). "Paul Menard wins blind draw for Sprint Unlimited pole". racing.ap.org. The Associated Press. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ Owens, Jeff (February 13, 2015). "Kurt Busch leads first practice at Daytona". SportingNews.com. Sporting News Media. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c Pockrass, Bob (February 14, 2015). "Stewart flagged for not weighing in". ESPN.com. ESPN.com News Services. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  14. ^ Ryan, Nate (February 13, 2015). "Jeff Gordon fastest in second practice for Sprint Unlimited at Daytona". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Estrada, Chris (February 14, 2015). "Brad Keselowski crash ends first segment of Sprint Unlimited". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  16. ^ Pennell, Jay (February 14, 2015). "Keselowski goes for wild ride, crashes out of Sprint Unlimited". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f Estrada, Chris (February 14, 2015). "12-car pileup puts Sprint Unlimited under red flag in 2nd segment". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Pistone, Pete (February 14, 2015). "Kenseth Survives Sprint Unlimited". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ Pennell, Jay (February 14, 2015). "Second-place Sprint Unlimited finish boosts Martin Truex Jr.".  
  20. ^ a b c Gluck, Jeff (February 14, 2015). "Kevin Harvick confronts Joey Logano on pit road in Daytona". usatoday.com. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  21. ^ Fryer, Jenna (February 14, 2015). "Matt Kenseth wins Sprint Unlimited at Daytona". racing.ap.org. The Associated Press. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
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