Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Five Storylines to Watch in the Daytona 500

Geoffrey Miller highlights NASCAR's biggest stories for the Daytona 500
Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and the weather highlight NASCAR's five storlines to watch in the 2014 Daytona 500.

1. Joe Gibbs Racing easily the early favorites  Denny Hamlin
The sabre-rattling from the Joe Gibbs Racing camp early in Daytona Speedweeks has been impossible to avoid. Simply put: they’ve won everything, save for the Daytona 500 pole in single-lap qualifying.

Perspective: Ricky Craven talks today's NASCAR

Driver, commentator sits for exclusive Q&A
An exclusive Q&A with former NASCAR driver and current commentator Ricky Craven.

Ricky Craven didn’t put a full-court press on Victory Lane during his Sprint Cup driving career. He won only twice over a span of 11 years, but in his life as a racing analyst for ESPN — a role he’s held since 2008 — he has emerged as one of sports television’s most respected commentators.

2014 NASCAR Driver Profile: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Focus and consistency still ride with Earnhardt; so where are the wins?
2014 driver profile for Dale Earnhardt Jr.on the NASCR Sprint Cup circuit.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has spent much of his career failing to live up to expectations. At this point, fans are preconditioned to believe that NASCAR’s favorite son will never win a championship with Hendrick Motorsports. But a funny thing happened on the way to Earnhardt riding out his career as NASCAR’s Most Popular Disappointment: He ditched the plotline.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR Media Roundtable: Forcing drivers to sit after a concussion

The seventh in a nine-part feature addressing the biggest issues in NASCAR entering 2014
NASCAR writers discuss the delicate topic of how the sanctioning body could force drivers to sit out a race after suffering a concussion.

Each day from mid-February through late November, a small band of motorsports journalists work nearly around the clock — this being the digital age — to keep rabid NASCAR fans as up-to-the-second informed as possible. Many of these media members are ensconced in the sport’s “traveling circus,” working in garage areas, media centers and pressboxes nearly 40 weeks a year. So who better to go to for a “state of the sport” talk than them?

NASCAR Speedweeks feature Dillon, Hamlin; more passing and more wrecking

Through the Gears: Four things we've learned during Speedweeeks
Austin Dillon on the Pole for the Daytona 500; Denny Hamlin wins the NASCR Sprint Unlimited. All the things you need to know from Daytona.

On Sunday, a black No. 3 car sat shining in the Daytona Beach sun, cameras focused on a number not seen in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition since the 2001 Daytona 500. It’s been 13 years since that tragic end, but closure has finally come — not in the form of an Earnhardt, but in 23-year-old Austin Dillon.  Austin Dillon

Dillon, No. 3 car on pole for Daytona 500

Austin Dillon edges out Martin Truex Jr. in qualifying; front row locked for Daytona 500
Austin Dillon in the No. 3 car wins the pole for NASCAR's Daytona 500.

The stylized No. 3, made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt, has made its way back to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And it has done so in a big way.  Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon, grandson of team owner Richard Childress, who fielded Chevrolets for Earnhardt until his death in the 2001 Daytona 500, drove the No. 3 livery to the top of pylon in Sunday’s Daytona 500 pole qualifying.

NASCAR Sprint Unlimited: What we learned in Daytona

Denny Hamlin wins a wild one to open NASCAR's 2014 season
Rundown and reaction from the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.

Denny Hamlin is loaded for bear. The winner of the 2013 season finale in Homestead, Fla., Hamlin won all three segments of Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway in an event that unofficially kicked off NASCAR’s 2014 season.

Jimmie Johnson, with little flare, just keeps on winning in NASCAR

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Four things we learned following Jimmie Johnson's sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in Homestead, Fla.

When I think of Jimmie Johnson and Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup championship performance, I’m reminded of a simple analogy Rick Hendrick brought up after the race.

“I like to use the Parcells quote,” the winning car owner said. “You are what your record says you are.”

Johnson, Kenseth, Harvick to Settle NASCAR Championship in Homestead

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Geoffrey Miller highlights the five storylines to watch as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit visits Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford EcoBoost 400.

1. Face the facts: Cup championship is Johnson’s to lose  Jimmie Johnson
There’s a good share of NASCAR fans who probably aren’t too happy with what’s coming Sunday afternoon with the sport’s five-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, on the verge of making it six — all in a span of nine years.

Harvick wins Phoenix, Johnson pulls away in NASCAR title race

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Phoenix International Raceway
Four things we learned following Kevin Harvick's win in NASCAR's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

If Jimmie Johnson wins his sixth NASCAR Spring Cup championship, Phoenix will have been its defining moment. It’s not over until the fat lady sings, of course, but the next six days sure feel like a coronation with his No. 48 needing to finish just 23rd or better at Homestead. It’s a well-deserved top story for a driver that has dominated Sprint Cup racing for the past decade.

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