2016 Sprint Unlimited

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2016 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona
Race details[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]
Race 1 of 2 exhibition races in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2016 Sprint Unlimited logo.jpg
Date February 13, 2016 (2016-02-13)
Location Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4 km)
Distance 79 laps, 197.5 mi (316 km)
Scheduled Distance 75 laps, 187.5 mi (300 km)
Weather Clear night skies with a temperature of 52 °F (11 °C); wind out of the north at 12 mph (19 km/h)
Average speed 128.432 mph (206.691 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
Laps 39
Winner
No. 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox
Announcers Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip
Nielsen Ratings 2.6/5 (Overnight)[8]
Radio in the United States
Radio MRN
Booth Announcers Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace
Turn Announcers Dave Moody (1 & 2), Mike Bagley (Backstretch) and Kyle Rickey (3 & 4)

The 2016 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held on February 13, 2016, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Contested over 75 laps, it was the first exhibition race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

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]

Format and eligibility[edit]

The race is 75 laps in length, and is divided into two segments; the first is 25 laps and the second is 50 laps. The race is open to those drivers who won a pole in the 2015 season or had won the Sprint Unlimited previously.

Entry list[edit]

The entry list for the Sprint Unlimited was released on Friday, February 12 at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. Twenty-five drivers are entered for the race. Tony Stewart was slated to run the Sprint Unlimited, but after suffering a burst fracture of his L1 vertebra, Brian Vickers drove in his place.[11] While Vickers wasn't technically eligible because he doesn't fit any of the criteria for eligibility, he was cleared by NASCAR to compete in the event.[12]

No. Driver Team Manufacturer
1 Jamie McMurray (C) Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski (P) Team Penske Ford
3 Austin Dillon (D) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
4 Kevin Harvick (P) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
5 Kasey Kahne (P) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
10 Danica Patrick (D) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
11 Denny Hamlin (P) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
13 Casey Mears * Germain Racing Chevrolet
14 Brian Vickers * Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
15 Clint Bowyer (C) HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
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 (P) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 Matt Kenseth (P) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
22 Joey Logano (P) Team Penske Ford
27 Paul Menard (C) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
31 Ryan Newman (C) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
41 Kurt Busch (P) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
42 Kyle Larson * Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
43 Aric Almirola * Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
47 A. J. Allmendinger (P) JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
48 Jimmie Johnson (P) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
78 Martin Truex, Jr. (D) Furniture Row Racing Toyota
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Official entry list
Key Meaning
(P) Eligible as a pole winner in 2015
(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 2015
* Eligible via points or other reasons

Starting lineup[edit]

The starting lineup was determined by a random draw, with Jimmie Johnson drawing the top spot.[13]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
3 47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
4 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
5 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
6 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet
7 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota
8 15 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
9 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
10 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
11 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
12 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
13 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
14 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
15 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
16 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
17 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
18 14 Brian Vickers Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
19 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
21 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
22 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
23 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
24 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
25 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
Official starting lineup

Practice[edit]

First practice[edit]

Kyle Larson was the fastest in the first practice session with a time of 45.148 and a speed of 199.344 mph (320.813 km/h).[14]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 45.148 199.344
2 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.190 199.159
3 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.211 199.067
Official first practice results

Final practice[edit]

Denny Hamlin was the fastest in the final practice session with a time of 45.242 and a speed of 198.930 mph (320.147 km/h).[15]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.242 198.930
2 15 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 46.094 195.253
3 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 46.181 194.885
Official final practice results

Race[edit]

First half[edit]

Start[edit]

Under a clear Florida night sky, Jimmie Johnson led the field to the green flag at 8:35 p.m. Brad Keselowski used a push from the outside line to lead the first lap. After five laps, the field settled into a single line until Jamie McMurray went under Casey Mears in turn 3 to move up to fourth. Eventually, Keselowski found himself working the top and bottom line to maintain the lead. Unfortunately, he had to drag the brake to let McMurray pass him going into 3 to get a piece of debris off the grill of his car. This gambit failed and fell back to 15th. The first caution of the race flew on lap 13 for a two-car wreck in turn 2. Rounding the turn, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. suffered a right-rear tire blowout and spun down into the side of Denny Hamlin.[16] The front half of the field opted to stay out while the back half opted to pit.

Second quarter[edit]

The race restarted on lap 18. McMurray got a jump on the field, but was swallowed up and passed by teammate Kyle Larson. He was, however, able to hold the lead and pull in front of his teammate on the backstretch. The second caution of the race flew on lap 23 for a multi-car wreck in turn 1. Going into the turn, Brian Vickers suffered a right-rear tire blowout, hit the side of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s car and ripped the side of his car off, turned back up the track, hit teammate Kevin Harvick, slammed the wall, slid back down the track and clipped Clint Bowyer.[17] A. J. Allmendinger, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch also sustained damage in this wreck.[18] Vickers said he didn't "know how it happened. The '18' and I got together going four-wide early in the race and had a little smoke for a lap and it went away. I suspect that could have been it or I could have just ran over something, there's no telling.”[19] Harvick would go on to finish last.[20] Hamlin opted not to pit and assumed the lead.

Second half[edit]

Halfway[edit]

The race restarted on lap 30. Hamlin took command of the field and moved ahead of the No. 2 car. Eventually, Keselowski moved by him coming to the line and took the lead on lap 34. Hamlin shot ahead of Keselowski on the backstretch to take the lead back the next lap. Keselowski used a push from teammate Joey Logano to retake the lead on lap 37. Just like his first stint in the lead, he picked up another piece of debris that covered his grill. The third caution of the race flew on lap 44 for a single-car spin on the backstretch. Going down the backstretch, Johnson made contact with Mears that sent him spinning through the grass.[21] His car dug into the ground and ripped off the front fender.[21] He said afterwards that he "did a decent job of backing out of there and not causing a big one as the door shut on me."[22] Keselowski opted to stay out while the rest of the field opted to pit.

The race restarted on lap 48. Hamlin powered ahead of Keselowski to take over the lead on lap 49. The fourth caution of the race flew with 20 laps to go for a multi-car wreck on the backstretch. Going into turn 3, Kasey Kahne got turned by McMurray and slammed into the side of Allmendinger.[21]

Fourth quarter[edit]

The race restarted with 14 laps to go. Keselowski got a run on Hamlin in the tri-oval to take the lead back with 12 laps to go. The fifth caution of the race flew with 10 laps to go after Kahne lost an engine in turn 2.

The race restarted with six laps to go. Hamlin was able to hold off charges from his teammate Matt Kenseth and Logano. The sixth caution of the race flew with three laps to go for a multi-car wreck on the backstretch. In a classic restrictor plate racing accordion effect, Carl Edwards got turned into the wall and a number of cars spun out. This would lead to the debut of the new overtime rules NASCAR put into play two days prior.

Overtime[edit]

The race restarted with two laps to go. The field passed the overtime line and the race was official at that point. After a multi-car wreck in turn 1, Hamlin was declared the race winner.[23]

Post-race[edit]

Hamlin said after the race in victory lane that he's "gotten better at speedway racing over the last few years and really learned a lot from my teammates. But realistically you can go back and look at this race a million times, and had my teammates not stuck with me at the right times, we wouldn't have been able to stay up front."[24] He added he "wanted to get to the (overtime) line, because we probably didn’t have enough fuel to go five more laps."[25]

After a runner-up finish, Logano said that he thought he had Hamlin "if that caution didn’t come out at the end."[26] He followed up by saying had "I got that push from the 42, [Kyle] Larson, I might have done it. It just didn’t line up perfectly.”[26]

After finishing 10th, Biffle spoke on the new overtime rule saying he thought "it was OK. I get what they're trying to do. They're trying to prevent people from changing the outcome of the race and make that mark back there, and that makes sense. It'll take us a little bit to get used to that, but I understand it."[27]

After finishing 11th, Danica Patrick said that she doesn't "think it'll end up making a humongous difference. I mean, the likelihood of having a lot of accidents within the first corner, they're not super-high. I don't know. I think it'll be fine. I don't think we'll really notice a huge difference."[27]

After finishing 13th, Martin Truex, Jr. said that "in this day and age, we always judge everything on the fans' reaction. So I guess we'll wait and see what they say about it."[27]

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps
1 15 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 79
2 25 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 79
3 14 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 79
4 4 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 79
5 6 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 79
6 11 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 79
7 21 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 79
8 10 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 79
9 2 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 79
10 16 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 79
11 12 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 79
12 13 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 79
13 7 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 78
14 24 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 78
15 23 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 75
16 19 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 72
17 9 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 72
18 17 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 72
19 5 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 69
20 20 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 64
21 3 47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 56
22 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 43
23 8 15 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 23
24 18 14 Brian Vickers Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 22
25 22 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 22
Unofficial race results

Media[edit]

Television[edit]

Fox
Booth announcers Pit reporters
Lap-by-lap: Mike Joy
Color-commentator: Jeff Gordon
Color commentator: Darrell Waltrip
Jamie Little
Chris Neville
Vince Welch
Matt Yocum

Radio[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daytona International Speedway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "2016 schedule" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. January 26, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Entry List". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 12, 2016. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "Starting Lineup". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 12, 2016. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 12, 2016. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 12, 2016. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Sprint Unlimited Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. February 13, 2016. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Paulsen (February 16, 2016). "Ratings Roundup: Sprint Unlimited, College Hoops, NHL on NBC". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  9. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Tuner Sports. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Daytona Track Facts". Daytona International Speeedway. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  11. ^ Slover, Ray (February 11, 2016). "Brian Vickers as Tony Stewart replacement: Smart move, but with questions". sportingnews.com. Sporting News. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Bromberg, Nick (February 11, 2016). "No. 14 car allowed to compete in Sprint Unlimited". sports.yahoo.com. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Jensen, Tom (February 12, 2016). "5 things learned on an unusually active first day back at the track". Foxsports.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: Fox Sports Digital Media. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  14. ^ McFadin, Daniel (February 12, 2016). "Kyle Larson fastest in Sprint Unlimited practice". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  15. ^ McFadin, Daniel (February 12, 2016). "Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer top second Sprint Unlimited practice". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Pockrass, Bob (February 13, 2016). "Denny Hamlin got dinged, but he came out on top of the Unlimited". ESPN.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  17. ^ James, Brant (February 13, 2016). "Brian Vickers crashes out of Sprint Unlimited". USA Today. Daytona Beach, Florida: Gannett Company. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  18. ^ Spencer, Reid (February 13, 2016). "Denny Hamlin wins Sprint Unlimited in overtime finish". NASCAR Wire Service. Daytona Beach, Florida: NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Wackerlin, Jeff (February 13, 2016). "Tough Return for Vickers". MRN.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  20. ^ Beard, Brock (February 13, 2016). "CUP: Kevin Harvick Scores Rare Last-Place Finish In Sprint Unlimited". LASTCAR.info. brock.lastcar.info. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  21. ^ a b c Kelly, Godwin (February 13, 2016). "Hamlin holds on to win his third career Sprint Unlimited". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida: GateHouse Media, Inc. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  22. ^ Kramer, Daniel (February 13, 2016). "NASCAR at Daytona 2016 Results: Sprint Unlimited Winner, Finish Order, Reaction". bleacherreport.com. Bleacher Report, Inc. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  23. ^ Fryer, Jenna (February 13, 2016). "Denny Hamlin wins opening Daytona race for 3rd time". Associated Press. Daytona Beach, Florida: AP Sports. Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  24. ^ Wackerlin, Jeff (February 13, 2016). "Hamlin Wins Sprint Unlimited". MRN.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  25. ^ Scott, David (February 13, 2016). "NASCAR race in 3 minutes: Denny Hamlin wins Sprint Unlimited at Daytona". The Charlotte Observer. Daytona Beach, Florida: The McClatchy Company. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  26. ^ a b Coble, Don (February 13, 2016). "Hamlin wins crash-filled Sprint Unlimited at Daytona". The Florida Times-Union. Daytona Beach, Florida: Morris Communications. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  27. ^ a b c Albert, Zack (February 13, 2016). "'Overtime line' gets first use in Sprint Unlimited". NASCAR.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved February 14, 2016.