NASCAR eases eligibility for Sprint Unlimited race

NASCAR has eased the eligibility for its non-points Sprint Unlimited race to ensure that more star drivers will be allowed to participate

NASCAR eases eligibility for Sprint Unlimited race

Under the new rules, all 2014 Chase participants will be eligible, along with 2014 pole winners, previous Sprint Unlimited winners, and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in Sprint Cup full-time this year.

Previously, the exhibition race was only open to past winners of the race and Cup pole winners from the previous year.

The changes open the door for eight drivers who would not otherwise have been eligible: Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Danica Patrick, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Martin Truex Jr.

Due to another tweak, the field will now be set at a minimum of 25.

Those places are already nominally filled, however news of Brian Vickers' recent medical problems mean that his place is likely to be offered to Clint Bowyer, who was the highest-placed ineligible driver in this year's points.

ELIGIBLE DRIVERS

Kyle Busch (2014 pole winner)
Austin Dillon (2014 pole winner)
Jeff Gordon (2014 pole winner)
David Gilliland (2014 pole winner)
Denny Hamlin (2014 pole winner)
Kevin Harvick (2014 pole winner)
Jimmie Johnson (2014 pole winner)
Matt Kenseth (2014 pole winner)
Brad Keselowski (2014 pole winner)
Kyle Larson (2014 pole winner)
Joey Logano (2014 pole winner)
Jamie McMurray (2014 pole winner)
Brian Scott (2014 pole winner)
Tony Stewart (2014 pole winner)
Brian Vickers* (2014 pole winner)
Kurt Busch (former Sprint Unlimited winner)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (former Sprint Unlimited winner)
Carl Edwards (former Daytona 500 pole winner)
Danica Patrick (former Daytona 500 pole winner)
Greg Biffle (former Daytona 500 pole winner)
Martin Truex Jr. (former D500 pole winner)
Ryan Newman (2014 Chase driver)
AJ Allmendinger (2014 Chase driver)
Kasey Kahne (2014 Chase driver)
Aric Almirola (2014 Chase driver)

* Vickers will be unavailable on medical grounds

shares
comments
Vickers to miss start of 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup after heart surgery
Previous article

Vickers to miss start of 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup after heart surgery

Next article

Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship deal after 2016

Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship deal after 2016
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021