2014 Aaron's 499
|Race 10 of 36 in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season|
|Date||May 4, 2014|
|Location||Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama, U.S.|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.66 mi (4.28 km)
|Distance||188 laps, 500.08 mi (804.8 km)|
|Weather||Clear blue skies 81 °F (27 °C); wind out of the WSW at 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)|
|Average speed||152.103 mph (244.786 km/h)|
|Driver||Brian Scott||Richard Childress Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Greg Biffle||Roush-Fenway Racing|
||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds|
The 2014 Aaron's 499 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race run on May 4, 2014, at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama, United States. Contested over 188 laps on the 2.66 mi (4.28 km) tri-oval, it was the tenth race of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship. Denny Hamlin won the race, his first points paying win at a restrictor plate track, and joined a list of drivers to win in their 300th start, while Greg Biffle finished second and Clint Bowyer finished third.
Previous week's race
Joey Logano came from fourth on the final restart to win his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season in last Saturday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Logano triumphed in a furious battle over the last five laps with Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski to score his fifth career win.
Casey Mears and Marcos Ambrose were both fined and placed on probation following their post-race altercation in the garage area in which Ambrose appeared to punch Mears in the face. NASCAR reviewed the fight and found that no punch was actually landed, so no penalty was issued for that part of the incident.
The track, Talladega Superspeedway, is a four turn tri-oval track that is 2.66 miles (4.28 km) long. The track's turns are banked at 33 degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is 18 degrees. The back stretch, opposite of the front, is at only two degrees. The racetrack has a seating capacity for 80,000 spectators. David Ragan is the defending race winner after winning the event in 2013.
Practice and qualifying
Two practice sessions took place for the Sprint Cup Series at Talladega.
Three rounds of Knockout Qualifying took place, the first instance that the new qualifying format was used in the Sprint Cup Series on a super speedway. Brian Scott captured his first career pole with a time of 48.293 and a speed of 198.290 mph (319.117 km/h). Paul Menard, A. J. Allmendinger, Casey Mears and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.
The drivers had a wide range of opinions on the new format. "I don't know if anybody can really quite capture how intense that is. I'm telling you, it's just nerve-racking. You're trying to make all the right decisions as well as not wreck. It wasn't too crazy, but it was crazy enough to be fun," said Jeff Gordon. "It's hard because everybody wants to lag and nobody wants to go because the speed is at the back and not the front," said Brad Keselowski. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. did not like the new format at Talladega. "It just wasn't much fun. I'd like to do some heat races or something maybe. That would be a little funner than this."
Kasey Kahne and Truex, Jr. started at the rear of the field after failing post-qualifying inspection. Kahne's car was too light and Truex's car failed to meet height requirements. "Basically we had a malfunction with a ballast container," Kahne's crew chief Kenny Francis said in a manufacturer release. "The cap that holds the ballast in came out. It could be mechanical or human error we are not really sure what happened. At the end of the day 25 pounds of ballast came out and we were 25 pounds light at the scales. The time was disallowed and we will have to start at the back."
After taking the lead on lap 14, Brad Keselowski brought out the first caution when he tried to move down in front of Danica Patrick and went spinning through the runoff area in turn 1. Keselowski found a line in the middle and had just pulled ahead of Patrick past the start/finish line. He attempted to maneuver his No. 2 Ford into the low line heading into Turn 1 when the two cars made contact, sending Keselowski spinning wildly onto the oversized apron. "We weren't clear enough to make that," Paul Wolfe said over the radio. "I'll just call it at that. We weren't clear enough to make that move."
On lap 137, Brad Keselowski, who was six laps down, got loose in turn 4 and caused a multi-car wreck that collected 13 other cars that included Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Trevor Bayne, Tony Stewart and Brian Scott. Some had issues with Keselowski racing at the front with being so many laps behind the leaders. “He was driving really, really, really aggressively to get back up there,’’ Kenseth said of Keselowski. “I didn’t realize he was that many laps down. I don’t know what his strategy was but just lost control of his car in front of the field and when that happens it always collects a bunch of them." “I don’t know what he was doing,’’ Gordon said. “Obviously thinking that was going to be the way to get his lap back. All that it did was get a bunch of other cars wrecked.’’
With 14 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson got loose and started another multi-car wreck that happened in the same place that the lap 137 wreck occurred. This wreck collected Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Reed Sorenson.
Coming to the white flag, Alex Bowman gets into Jimmie Johnson and triggers a third multi-car wreck that ended the race under caution after the nose of Justin Allgaier's car came off and settled on the track. Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag.
*Michael Annett, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex, Jr. and Michael Waltrip all started at the rear of the field; Kahne and Truex for failing post-qualifying inspection, causing their times to be erased; the others either changed engines or had repaired damage in Friday practice.
Standings after the race
- "2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Brown, Brian (May 1, 2013). "The Aaron's 499". Rotoworld.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- "Track Details". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- "Starting Lineup". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "Aaron's 499 Results". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- "Points Standings". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- Paulsen (May 11, 2014). "Talladega Finals". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
- Pistone, Pete (May 4, 2014). "Hamlin Prevails at Talladega". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- Pistone, Pete (April 26, 2014). "Logano Wins Richmond Battle". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Long, Dustin (April 29, 2014). "NASCAR Penalizes Ambrose, Mears". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- "Talladega Superspeedway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
- Utter, Jim (November 27, 2013). "Talladega Superspeedway to reduce seating to 80,000". ThatsRacin.com. The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "Ambrose to backup car after unusual incident". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- Long, Dustin (May 3, 2014). "First Pole for Scott". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- Bruce, Kenny (May 3, 2014). "Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. fail post-qualifying inspection". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- Report, Staff (May 4, 2014). "Keselowski wrecks while battling Danica for lead". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- "Drivers Have Issues with Keselowski". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- Report, Staff (May 4, 2014). "Denny Hamlin wins for first time at Talladega". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
2014 Toyota Owners 400
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2014 5-hour Energy 400