Stewart-Haas Racing STP 500 Race Report


Date:                 March 30, 2014
Event:               STP 500 (Round 6 of 36)
Series:              NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location:         Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Winner:            Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

SHR Finish:
Kurt Busch (Started 22nd, Finished 1st / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Kevin Harvick (Started 18th, Finished 7th / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Tony Stewart (Started 7th, Finished 17th / Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Danica Patrick (Started 10th, Finished 32nd / Running, completed 494 of 500 laps)

SHR Points:
Tony Stewart (15th with 154 points, 73 out of first)
Kurt Busch (20th with 146 points, 81 out of first)
Kevin Harvick (25th with 135 points, 92 out of first)
Danica Patrick (29th with 104 points, 123 out of first)

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway by winning the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was the 21st point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s second this season.

Busch started 22nd and led three times for 23 laps en route to his 25th career Sprint Cup victory and first since Oct. 2, 2011 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, a span of 83 starts. It was also his second Sprint Cup win at Martinsville, with his previous triumph at the .526-mile oval coming in October 2002. Most importantly, the win punched Busch’s ticket for the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Busch is the sixth different winner in the first six Sprint Cup races of the season, the most in the Chase era and the longest streak to start a season since 2003.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was his 12th top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 17th.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 32nd in only her third Sprint Cup start at Martinsville.

Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished .263 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were 14 caution periods for 92 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

There was also a track-record 33 lead changes. The previous record was 31, set on April 3, 2011.

With round six of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 154 points, 73 behind first-place Earnhardt. Busch is 20th with 146 points, 81 out of first. Harvick is 25th with 135 points, 92 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 104 points, 123 out of first.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Duck Commander 500 on Sunday, April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2:30 p.m.

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