Stewart-Haas Racing Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Race Report


Date:               Oct. 26, 2014
Event:             Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 (Round 33 of 36)
Series:            NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location:       Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Winner:         Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

SHR Finish:
Tony Stewart (Started 4th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Kevin Harvick (Started 33rd, Finished 33rd / Running, completed 457 of 500 laps)
Danica Patrick (Started 30th, Finished 34th / Accident, completed 451 of 500 laps)
Kurt Busch (Started 10th, Finished 36th / Running, completed 438 of 500 laps)

SHR Points:
Kevin Harvick (8th with 4,011 points, 33 out of first)
Kurt Busch (15th with 2155 points)
Tony Stewart (25th with 741 points)
Danica Patrick (28th with 679 points)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway by finishing fourth in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Stewart started fourth and led twice for a total of 18 laps to bring his laps-led total at Martinsville to 1,226, third-most among all active Sprint Cup drivers. It was his third top-five and seventh top-10 of 2014 and his 11th top-five and 17th top-10 in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at the .526-mile oval.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 33rd after getting spun into the outside retaining wall on lap 228. His car suffered extensive damage, but the crew was able to make repairs. Harvick returned to the track and picked up eight valuable positions before the checkered flag dropped.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 34th after getting caught up in a multicar accident on lap 437 that severely damaged her right-front suspension.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 36th after a ruptured oil line on lap 424 sent him to the garage area. Repairs were made and Busch returned to the racetrack, albeit 62 laps down. Prior to that, Busch led laps 314-344 and was a mainstay among the top-10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Martinsville.

Jeff Gordon finished .344 of a second behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate in the runner-up spot, while Ryan Newman, Stewart and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, AJ Allmendinger and David Ragan comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were 15 caution periods for 105 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

Harvick is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He is among the eight drivers of the original field of 16 who advanced to the Eliminator Round. Harvick is vying for a spot in the final elimination round, which will be determined following the Nov. 9 race at Phoenix International Raceway. Only the top-four Chase drivers in points leaving Phoenix will be eligible for the Sprint Cup championship, setting up a four-driver, one-race showdown for the title in the season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After Martinsville – the seventh race of the 10-race Chase – Harvick is eighth among the eight Chase drivers, 33 points behind Chase leader Gordon.

With two races remaining before the Chase field is whittled down to four drivers for the title fight at Homestead, the top-eight drivers still competing for the title rank as follows:

1.      Jeff Gordon (4,044 points) +6
2.      Ryan Newman (4,041 points, -3) +1
3.      Joey Logano (4,040 points, -4) -2
4.      Matt Kenseth (4,039 points, -5) +1
5.      Denny Hamlin (4,037 points, -7) -1
6.      Carl Edwards (4,024 points, -20) +/-0
7.      Brad Keselowski (4,013 points, -31) +1
8.      Kevin Harvick (4,011 points, -33) -6

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the eighth race of the Chase – is the AAA Texas 500 on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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