NASCAR at Darlington 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Reaction

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2014

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

In one of the most entertaining races of the year thus far from the world-famous Darlington Raceway, it was Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 car that took the checkered flag and won the 2014 Bojangles' Southern 500.

Harvick was tough enough to tame The Lady in Black.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 team managed an impressive run and were leading heading into the final green-white-checkered flags, but they couldn’t hold off the stronger Harvick. Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team finished third, Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 team finished fourth, and Greg Biffle and the No. 16 team rounded out the top five.

With only one race ran at the historical Darlington track per season now, NASCAR fans savor this event.

Full 2014 Bojangles' Southern 500 Results
FinishDriver
1Kevin Harvick
2Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3Jimmie Johnson
4Matt Kenseth
5Greg Biffle
6Kyle Busch
7Jeff Gordon
8Kyle Larson
9Tony Stewart
10Ryan Newman
11Austin Dillon
12Clint Bowyer
13Carl Edwards
14Marcos Ambrose
15AJ Allmendinger
16Jamie McMurray
17Brad Keselowski
18Casey Mears
19Denny Hamlin
20Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21Josh Wise
22Danica Patrick
23Justin Allgaier
24Aric Almirola
25Landon Cassill
26Brian Vickers
27Martin Truex Jr.
28David Gilliland
29Alex Bowman
30Parker Kligerman
31Kurt Busch
32David Ragan
33Travis Kvapil
34Joe Nemechek
35Joey Logano
36David Stremme
37Kasey Kahne
38Cole Whitt
39Reed Sorenson
40Ryan Truex
41Paul Menard
42Michael Annett
43Dave Blaney
Source: NASCAR.com

 

Harvick and his team started the race on the pole, and they looked good as anyone heading into the night race.

One car that wasn’t strong to start the event was Johnson. After struggling with the handling of his car early, the team worked on the car and had him back in contention. Johnson managed an impressive third-place finish.

It was a rough night for the rookies who were forced to learn about Darlington the hard way. Young stars like Ryan Truex, Michael Annett and Cole Whitt had trouble in the first half of the race—on top of the trouble Kyle Larson faced in practice—and the unique track proved once again why it is so intriguing.

The race was relatively calm through the first 200 laps as the field kept relatively steady through several early issues from non-contenders, but a caution on Lap 225 shook up the field as Harvick and the top contenders were shuffled back in the pack.

Once the green flag fell again, drivers with cars performing best like Harvick, Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon all began to filter back to their rightful position at the front of the field. Harvick had retaken the lead with just under 100 laps left when yet another caution came out.

After another round of pit stops, Harvick took the lead at the green flag. The No. 4 car was chased down by the No. 88, but it was ultimately Gordon that proved to be the biggest threat to the victory.

Johnson was able to make a late run at the lead after Gordon failed to take the lead, but Harvick proved that his car was the class of the field this week. After so much adversity early in the season, the Budweiser car finally got the win the team deserved. 

2014 NASCAR Sprint Series Standings
RankDriverPoints
1Jeff Gordon297
2Matt Kenseth296
3Carl Edwards278
4Dale Earnhardt Jr.271
5Jimmie Johnson270
6Kyle Busch269
7Brad Keselowski246
8Joey Logano245
9Ryan Newman236
10Austin Dillon235
11Greg Biffle227
12Tony Stewart224
Source: NASCAR.com

After another great race at Darlington Raceway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule moves on as drivers and their teams head to the Richmond International Raceway in two weeks for the Toyota Owners 400.

The next race will take place on Saturday, April 26, at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox.

Harvick was the 2013 race champion and will be looking for back-to-back wins. The No. 4 team suffered technical issues throughout the start of the season, and this victory may be enough to get his team heading in the right direction.

Add in the talent of the Hendricks Motorsports team—Earnhardt, Johnson and Gordon are all legitimate championship contenders—and the race under the lights at Richmond should make for one of the most exciting races of the season.

With plenty of scores left to be settled, there is no better place to get revenge than on a short track like Richmond.

 

*All stats via NASCAR.com.