Apr 21, 2014, 6:46 PM EDT
Today’s special edition of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN brought together the best sights and sounds from the first four races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
The year began with a water-logged Daytona 500 that ultimately ended under the lights. When the race finally saw the checkered flag, it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. that lifted the Harley J. Earl Trophy for a second time.
After the pomp and pageantry of Daytona, the grind truly began at Phoenix International Raceway the next week. Phoenix saw the debut of NASCAR’s new knockout-style qualifying format, and in the race, Kevin Harvick dominated the proceedings to win in his second start for Stewart-Haas Racing.
The scene then shifted to Las Vegas for the series’ first race of the year on an intermediate oval. Earnhardt tried to claim his second win of the season while saving fuel in the final laps, but on the last lap, he ran dry – giving the win to Brad Keselowski, who happily punched his ticket to the Chase after missing it last season.
Then came Bristol, which had been met with initial trepidation due to how the knockout qualifying would work on such a small track. The issue of having to run slow laps on the track during qualifying in order to cool engines was settled when NASCAR allowed the teams to use cool down units in the pits.
Like Daytona, this race was extended into prime time thanks to persistent rains. Carl Edwards would reign supreme, even managing to stick the landing on his celebratory backflip as another shower heralded the end of the race.
For more clips from NASCAR AMERICA, be sure to check out the show’s archive page.
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