ThatsRacin

Reflections on the 2014 NASCAR season

Next race

Daytona 500

What: 200 laps (500 miles)

Where: Daytona International Speedway, a 2.5-mile highly banked, paved tri-oval in Daytona Beach, Fla.

When: Feb. 22, 2015

TV: Fox

Radio: Motor Racing Network

2014 winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Worth mentioning: Next season marks the start of a new 10-year TV deal between NASCAR and Fox/Fox Sports 1 and NBC/NBC Sports Network. The two groups will split the Sprint Cup and Nationwide seasons while FS1 will continue to televise all of the Truck series races. Sunday’s race was the last for ESPN, which had televised live NASCAR racing for 28 years.

Who’s Hot/

Who’s Not

HOT

Kevin Harvick: He won the final race and the Chase. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Tony Stewart: It has been a tumultuous season, but it ended on a high note as he became a championship car owner for the second time.

Ryan Newman: Good teams rise to the occasion. And Newman’s did, which gave him a chance at a championship.

Kyle Larson: Expect even bigger things for the 2014 Cup rookie of the year.

Chase Elliott: The 18-year-old won the Nationwide Series championship and became NASCAR’s youngest national series champion.

Matt Crafton: First driver in history to win back-to-back Truck series championships.

NOT

Denny Hamlin: Failed pit strategy took him out of championship contention.

Joey Logano: His car fell off the jack stand on a pit stop and with it went Team Penske’s hope for another NASCAR championship.

Darrell Wallace Jr.: It’s a shame the four-time Truck series winner doesn’t have a full-time ride lined up for 2015.

Jim Utter

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