Inside the world of NASCAR, a preview of the 2014 season - WNCN: News, Weather

Inside the world of NASCAR, a preview of the 2014 season

Posted: Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

It's one of the most popular sports in all of Eastern North Carolina. In fact, some people in our part of the state build their Sundays around the big race rather than a big football game. It's a way of life, of course we're talking about NASCAR and this should be the most exciting season yet.

In a little over two weeks the NASCAR season begins down at Daytona and with the shift in format it may feel like a new sport. 9 on Your Side Sports went to the home of racing to find out what the big names think of the big changes.

From qualifying all the way to the playoffs, everything's going to look different this year in NASCAR.

" The drivers will race to whatever format we have, " said Brian France, NASCAR's Chairman. "If that's a consistency based model that's how they will try to adapt because that might be the best way to achieve their goal. This is pretty clear, you have to win."

If you win you are in the postseason, otherwise known as the Chase, no matter your place in the Sprint Cup Standings. That could be rough for those who finish well without picking up the checkers, meanwhile for others, one good race could change everything.

"You can be a little more inconsistent and still have a shot to be there at the end and make the Chase easier, " said Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 car. "I just think that overall it could help me a little bit."

"You can have a bad race and it doesn't kill you. I think it's going to be exciting, it's going to make every race in the Chase mean something," said Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 car.

There will be 16 drivers in the Chase this year with knockout stages through that 10 race span. At Homestead (the final race of the year) there will only be 4 drivers left in a winner take all scenario for the championship.

"I love the knockout qualifying, I love the direction it looks like the points Chase is going in because I think it all is going to be very very exciting for our sport and for our fans," said 4-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.

"When I look at the years we've won the championships we won a lot of races in the Chase and the way this format plays out we would have that opportunity come Homestead," said defending champ Jimmie Johnson. " So this could be something very good for us."

Could this overhaul be a way to keep Jimmie Johnson out of the ultimate victory lane? Many drivers hope that's the case but fans may not. The No. 48 car has won 6 of the last 8 NASCAR titles and one more ties him with the all-time leaders, Dale Earnhardt and the "King" Richard Petty.

"Anybody who's accomplished what he's done you've got to admire," said Petty. "He knows he's the number 1 guy but he tries to downplay it as much as he can."

Those are just a few of the storylines going into this season. Many people are also talking about the crowded house over at Stewart-Haas Racing. Can new team member Kevin Harvick combine with Kurt Busch, Danica Patrick, and Tony Stewart for a championship run? Some believe their egos wont be able to coexist.

Or could this finally be the year of Dale Earnhardt Jr? The most popular driver in NASCAR has failed to live up to the hype in recent years but maybe that could all change.

"At Hendrick Motorsports we've always been one of the teams that seems to get ahead of the curve," said Earnhardt Jr. "I feel pretty confident going into this year no matter what the changes are. Our particular team, the 88 car, has gotten better in the last 3 years each year so we expect to keep that trend."

Whatever happens it will be an exciting year with plenty of controversy, crashes, and even a few checkers.

For all those interviews check out 9 on Your Side at 6! Be sure to come back at 11 for a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame....it's all here on 9 on Your Side!

 

 

 

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Bond denied for woman charged in NC kidnapping

    Bond denied for woman charged in NC kidnapping

    A woman facing charges in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor's father is set to have a bond hearing in federal court in Atlanta.
    A federal judge in Atlanta has denied bond for a woman facing charges in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor's father.
  • New Bern's new signs

    New Bern's new signs

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:43:39 GMT
    The City Of New Bern approves a $140,000 dollar contract for new downtown signs. 
    The City Of New Bern approves a $140,000 dollar contract for new downtown signs. 
  • McCrory attends Asheville festival amid protests

    McCrory attends Asheville festival amid protests

    North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has appeared at an Asheville music festival despite initial indications that he would skip the event.
    North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has appeared at an Asheville music festival despite initial indications that he would skip the event.
  • ECU SportsMore>>

  • Hoffman to miss two starts with arm soreness

    Hoffman to miss two starts with arm soreness

    Thursday, April 24 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:51:23 GMT
    Pirate pitcher Jeff Hoffman will miss his next two starts with a sore arm.
    Pirate pitcher Jeff Hoffman will miss his next two starts with a sore arm.
  • Williams named to NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year watch list

    Williams named to NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year watch list

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:52:54 GMT
    East Carolina senior Ryan Williams has been named to the 50-man midseason watch list for the NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year Award, which is given to the nation’s top collegiate reliever, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon.
    East Carolina senior Ryan Williams has been named to the 50-man midseason watch list for the NCBWA Stopper-of-the-Year Award, which is given to the nation’s top collegiate reliever, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon.
  • Pirates top UNC for first time since 2009

    Pirates top UNC for first time since 2009

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:38:01 GMT
    – Ryan Williams picked up his nation leading 10th win, while Zach Houchins went 4-for-4 with a run scored Tuesday night helping East Carolina to a 3-2 non-conference win over North Carolina at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.  
    – Ryan Williams picked up his nation leading 10th win, while Zach Houchins went 4-for-4 with a run scored Tuesday night helping East Carolina to a 3-2 non-conference win over North Carolina at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.  
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.