NASCAR at Darlington 2014: Live Results, Analysis from Bojangles' Southern 500

Michael Guadalupe@The_GuadaFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2014

DARLINGTON, SC - APRIL 12:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Darlington was a rookies worst nightmare.

Three different rookie drivers would hit the wall, bringing out cautions for each one.  the Lady in Black proved to be too tough for them to tame, but veteran drivers seemed to have better luck.

Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon dominated the race early on, but Jimmie Johnson was one of the most impressive veterans as he raced his way from the back of the field to the top 10 by Lap 140.

Johnson wasn't done yet though, as he continued to move up the field and was in the top five by Lap 200.

And while Johnson continued to move forward, Harvick remained one of the fastest drivers on the track, and led over 100 laps at Darlington. He found himself back out in front by Lap 210.

There were seven cautions during the Bojangles' Southern 500, and even though there were several different leaders throughout the race, Kevin Harvick continued to lead laps, and was the leader once again at Lap 280.

Tires were an issue at Darlington, and they became such a problem that NASCAR let teams purchase an extra set of tires. Teams tried different tire strategies, like taking two tires to get back out in front, but the speed that cars got from four new tires couldn't be matched.

As the race started to come to an end, it was a battle between Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon. Harvick managed to stay out in front, but Gordon started to slowly catch up to him. It wasn't enough for the 24 though, as he eventually faded.

After the last green flag pit stop, it would be Kevin Harvick leading Jimmie Johnson. Johnson was able to close the gap on Harvick, but the Closer was able to move through traffic better than any other driver, and preserved his lead.

Harvick had a solid race lead, but with 10 laps to go a late race caution came out.

Jimmie Johnson would only take two tires and came out with five laps to go in first. Harvick moved up to third place just as another caution came out with three laps to go, bringing out the green white checkered.

Another caution came out as Clint Bowyer turned Kurt Busch into the wall, and after another GWC attempt.

Kevin Harvick turned out to be too much for Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and won his second race of the season.


Winner at Darlington: Kevin Harvick