Kevin Harvick

Earnhardt's post-500 focus, Stewart's readiness, highlight NASCAR weekend in Phoenix

Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch at Phoenix International Raceway
Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, a new qualifying procedure for the Cup Series, the evolution of the Gen-6 car, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s post-Daytona 500 focus, Tony Stewart’s health and a new title format’s effect on race strategy lead us into the 312-miler at Phoenix International Raceway.

Each week, Geoffrey Miller’s “Five Things to Watch” will help you catch up on the biggest stories of the Sprint Cup Series’ upcoming race weekend. This week, a new qualifying procedure for the Cup Series, the evolution of the Gen-6 car, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s post-Daytona 500 focus, Tony Stewart’s health and a new title format’s effect on race strategy lead us into the 312-miler at Phoenix International Raceway.

Hype builds for the Daytona 500 as favorites emerge

NASCAR season begins with Hamlin, Kenseth, riding high
Pre-race favorites and storylines for NASCAR's Daytona 500.

A week of pomp and circumstance is nearly over in Daytona Beach. On the eve of NASCAR’s most prestigious race, the Daytona 500, Cup cars roar around the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway in the final practice session of the week — known as Happy Hour — looking for that last little bit of speed. Or handling. Or integrity. Or answers of some sort.

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

2014 NASCAR Driver Profile: Danica Patrick

Danica looks to rebound from disastrous 2013 and into expanded NASCAR Chase field
Danica Patrick joins teammates Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick at powerhouse Stewart-Haas Racing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit in 2014.

Have the GoDaddy domains been taken for “disappointing.com,” “overrated.org” and “myboyfriendkickedmybuttforrookieof…” OK, you get the picture. Danica Patrick’s rookie year on the Sprint Cup circuit peaked early, with a pole at the Daytona 500 and her only top-10 finish (eighth). She led five laps that day, and believe it or not, that was the last time she was up front for a Cup race.

2014 NASCAR Driver Profile: Tony Stewart

Stewart ready to return from injury-ridden 2013; Chase fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup title
Tony Stewart will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing for the first time since August 2013 at Daytona International Speedway.

Tony Stewart has an impeccable résumé. He’s an IndyCar Series champion, coming within a whisker of an Indy 500 victory. He’s a three-time NASCAR Cup champion, the only driver who can lay claim to a “Winston Cup,” “Nextel Cup” and “Sprint Cup” title. He’s currently tied for 13th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list with 48 Cup trophies on his shelf. Stewart is, without a doubt, one of the best drivers ever to grace North American motorsports.

2014 NASCAR Driver Profile: Kevin Harvick

Harvick looks to continue NASCAR success at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014
After a 13-year tenure at Richard Childress Racing, Kevin Harvick transitions to Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a dozen years since Kevin Harvick, at age 25, was thrust into the NASCAR spotlight, handed the impossible task of mending broken hearts just days after the death of Dale Earnhardt. Harvick rose to the challenge, winning two races in 2001 and propelling himself into the top 10 in points as a rookie, despite a temper that would plague him in the early part of his career. A roller-coaster relationship with team owner Richard Childress, built in the midst of tragedy, was often tempestuous in public.

2014 NASCAR Driver Profile: Kurt Busch

Busch given another chance at Cup success at Stewart-Haas Racing
Can Kurt Busch co-exist with new teammates Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing? The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season will answer that question.

At first glance, Kurt Busch’s move to Stewart-Haas Racing after a season at single-car Furniture Row Racing would seem like the driver won the lottery. Busch, a former series champion, took FRR all the way to the Chase in 2013, and despite not winning a race, finished inside the top 10 in points with a season-long 14.7-place average finish. It was the first time a single-car team made the postseason under NASCAR’s Chase format, with Busch earning more top 5s in one season (11) than the team accrued during its last eight years of existence.

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.

Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Homestead-Miami Speedway

Geoffrey Miller breaks down the best fantasy options for the EcoBoost 400
Geoffrey Miller breaks down the best Fantasy NASCAR picks for the EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its Sprint Cup Series driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s nine-start maximum rule over the course of the season.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Homestead

David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some telling stats for the Ford EcoBoost 400
David Smith crunches the numbers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' finale, the EcoBoost Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Matt Kenseth needs a miracle. For starters, he must run beyond his 13.8-place average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, but a little luck in the name of a bad Jimmie Johnson outing would be the supplemental boost needed to overcome a 28-point deficit and win his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.  Matt Kenseth

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