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• 2014 Season In Review Also Features Year In Photos, Video Highlights Package FORT WORTH, Texas (December 16, 2014) - The year at Texas Motor Speedway opened with pyrotechnics celebrating the unveiling of the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in March and culminated in November with additional fireworks courtesy of the post-race melee involving combatants Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Eliminator 8 Chase race. There also was plenty of action and excitement in between as Texas Motor Speedway played host to its annual Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader in April, Firestone 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR twin bill in June and played host to its inaugural Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in September. The Texas Motor Speedway 2014 Season In Review recaps those major event weekends, in addition to the momentous "Big Hoss TV" unveiling, while the accompanying Texas Motor Speedway Year in Photos captures all those key moments in addition to other noteworthy speedway-related events throughout the year. The Texas Motor Speedway Year in Photos features 90 images - primarily from the speedway's official photo agency Getty Images - that were chosen for their significance and/or artistic value and are presented in chronological order. A three-minute video recap of the top on-track moments, including the AAA Texas 500 post-race skirmish, also is available in HD by clicking here. All photos and video are free for media outlets to utilize, especially for their year-end, wrap-ups and can be previewed by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or downloaded by visiting www.image.net/tmsinreview2014 . Let's take a look back: "Big Hoss TV" Unveiling / Wednesday, March 19 The Skinny: The world's largest, high-definition LED video board is unveiled amid fanfare and will be one of the most impactful fan enhancements in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and the world of motorsports. The Recap: Texas Motor Speedway unveiled the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in grand fashion as the evening featured fireworks, motorsports stars, reality television celebrities, dignitaries and the showing of an episode from A&E's hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" for more than 8,000 fans situated in the infield of the world-class sports facility. The official debut of the Panasonic-built "Big Hoss TV" was part of a star-studded evening that included appearances by Duck Commander CEO and "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, along with the heralded racing duo of NASCAR's Kyle Busch and INDYCAR's Helio Castroneves. Also in attendance were dignitaries such as NASCAR President Mike Helton, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America Vice President Richard Ballard, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith, SMI President and COO Marcus Smith and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Positioned in the middle of the backstretch and stretching 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall, "Big Hoss TV" features 20,633.64 square feet of HD LED imagery that contains 281 trillion colors. The video board, constructed in just four months, surpassed fellow Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facility Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet) as the Guinness World Record holder for the world's largest HD LED video board. The size of "Big Hoss TV" is staggering as it is 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which is 11,520 square feet. "It is the ultimate fan amenity," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "To have the biggest one in the world, that's just one of those 'Everything is Bigger in Texas' stories that we are really proud to be a part of." NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 / Monday, April 7 The Skinny: Rain forces a Monday matinee for only the third time in speedway history and Joey Logano wins the Duck Commander 500 for an automatic berth in the reformatted Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The Recap: With Duck Commander on board as the title sponsor and the "Duck Dynasty" stars on hand en masse, the weather was more conducive for duck hunting that NASCAR racing. The Duck Commander 500 , moved from its Saturday night slot to Sunday afternoon to avoid a conflict with the NCAA Final Four men's college basketball tourney being in Arlington, was washed out due to continual rain showers and rescheduled for a Monday matinee. It was just the third time in Texas Motor Speedway 's 18-year history that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was run on Monday due to inclement weather, the most recent coming in 2010 when both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races were run on the same day. Penske Racing's Joey Logano punched his ticket for a berth in the restructured Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format after surviving a green/white-checkered finish to win the Duck Commander 500 . Logano was cruising to victory with a two-second lead over teammate Brad Keselowski with just over one lap remaining in the scheduled 334-lap event, but a caution for debris forced a two-lap overtime shootout. Logano restarted third after pitting for four tires while Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers opted for two tires and restarted first and second, respectively. Gordon held off Logano on the first lap, but Logano got a strong run inside on the frontstretch and was able to overtake him in Turn 1 and pull away to a 0.476 of a second margin of victory in the race that was extended to 340 laps. The victory was Logano's first since August of 2013 at Michigan and the fourth of his career. It also was his first Sprint Cup win at Texas Motor Speedway , which was highlighted by him becoming the youngest Cup winner in TMS history at 23 years, 10 months and 14 days. NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 / Friday, April 4 The Skinny: Rookie Chase Elliott , the 18-year-old son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott , lands his first career Nationwide Series victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 to become the second-youngest winner in series history. The Recap: Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 provided a historic milestone for a second-generation NASCAR driver and a glimpse into the talent that would flourish and lead to a series championship. Rookie Chase Elliott , the 18-year-old high school senior and son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott , needed just six starts in the Nationwide Series for his first career win that came in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 . Elliott made a bold move on the high side of Kevin Harvick in the elbow of the frontstretch to take the lead on Lap 185 and then held on for a 2.251-second victory over Kyle Busch in the 200-lap event. Elliott became the second-youngest winner in series history at 18 years, 4 months and 8 days. Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 / Saturday, June 7 The Skinny: Will Power's late pit lane penalty opens the door for Ed Carpenter to capture the Firestone 600 and become the first American winner at TMS since Sam Hornish Jr . in 2007. The Recap: The annual INDYCAR/NASCAR summer doubleheader yielded two first-time Texas Motor Speedway winners as Matt Crafton won the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 and Ed Carpenter was victorious in the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600. Carpenter took advantage of a strong second-half race performance and a critical late pit lane penalty by Will Power to record his first series victory since 2012 in the Firestone 600. The victory was the third of Carpenter's career and his first since winning the 2012 season finale at Fontana. In his previous 12 starts at Texas Motor Speedway , he had just one top-five finish and led one lap (2009) before breaking through to become the first American to win at Texas since Sam Hornish Jr . in 2007. Carpenter led 66 of the final 67 laps of the 248-lap event and avoided a potential shootout for the win with Power, who was running second when he was caught speeding in pit lane on his final green-flag pit stop. With 36 to go, Carpenter and Power pitted together and came out 1-2, but Power received a drive-thru penalty for speeding and fell a lap down. Carpenter suddenly had a nine-plus second cushion over second-place Tony Kanaan and was coasting to victory with an 18.5-second lead before a final caution came out with seven laps remaining. The race became a two-lap shootout and Carpenter was able to stave off Juan Pablo Montoya and the hard-charging Power, who moved from sixth to second and finished 0.52 of a second behind Carpenter. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 / Friday, June 6 The Skinny: Defending Camping World Truck Series champ Matt Crafton snaps a 26-race winless streak at TMS with a dominant victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400. The Recap: Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton had it easy compared to Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter in earning his first career win at Texas Motor Speedway . He led a career-best 118 laps en route to the victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 that snapped a 26-race winless streak at the speedway. Crafton led 118 of the 167 laps - the most he led in a single race in his 14-year career - and cruised to a 13.302-second victory over runner-up Justin Lofton . It was the fifth win of Crafton's career and second of the season, marking the first time in his career that he had recorded multiple wins in a season. His dominant performance established a track record for largest margin of victory in that series, eclipsing the previous mark of 11.817 seconds set by Dennis Setzer in this event in 2004. Red Bull Air Race World Championship / Saturday, Sept. 6, & Sunday, Sept. 7 The Skinny: Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the first race in the United States since 2010 for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, which returned to competition after a three-year hiatus. The Recap: The Red Bull Air Race World Championship made its return to the United States for the first time since 2010 as Texas Motor Speedway played host to the sixth stage of the eight-event international plane racing series. Before a crowd of more than 20,000 for the first of two U.S. stops, Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff captured his first victory of the season in the elite Master Class on the challenging, seven air gate, 3.7-mile course that was built in the infield of the motorsports venue. Ivanoff posted an individual two-lap run of 54.118 seconds to defeat Great Britain's Nigel Lamb, Canada's Pete McLeod and Germany's Matthias Dolderer in the Final 4 showdown on Sunday. Ivanoff gave his country a sweep of the weekend competition as fellow Frenchman Mikael Brageot won the Challenger Cup race the day prior. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 / Sunday, Nov. 2 The Skinny: A post-race confrontation between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski and ensuing melee steals national headlines from six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson winning the AAA Texas 500 for a third year in a row. The Recap : With the remaining eight Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers looking to win the AAA Texas 500 and automatically advance to the championship round, six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson played the role of spoiler as he won the Eliminator 8 race in a dramatic second green/white-checkered overtime finish. Johnson, eliminated from championship contention in the previous round, won the AAA Texas 500 for a record third consecutive year, but it was the post-race scuffle that made national headlines the following day. While Johnson was celebrating his track-record fourth Cup win with burnouts on the frontstretch, chaos ensued on pit lane after an angry Jeff Gordon confronted Brad Keselowski and a fray quickly developed between the Chase contenders. Fellow Chase competitor Kevin Harvick pushed Keselowski while Gordon was jawing with him and the situation quickly escalated as the crews got involved and transformed into a melee. The disagreement stemmed from the first GWC finish, where Gordon took the restart with the lead and Johnson beside him on the front row. Johnson grabbed the lead when a bold move by Keselowski resulted in contact with Gordon, which ultimately led to a flat tire, contact with the wall and a 29th-place finish that would derail his title aspirations. The caution flew for Gordon that set up the second GWC finish, where Keselowski found himself lining up front against the leader Johnson on the restart. Johnson, on the inside, maintained the lead on the restart while Keselowski found himself also trying to fend off a charging Harvick. Harvick got past Keselowski on that lap but didn't have enough time to chase down Johnson, who won by 0.513 of a second for his fourth victory of the season and 70th of his career. Johnson led nine times for 191 laps, but a record 13 cautions continually bunched the field as well as changed race strategies to give a number of drivers a shot at the victory.Johnson, Harvick and Keselowski took the top three positions, respectively, while Kyle Busch , who was looking to sweep all three NASCAR races after truck and Nationwide wins earlier, finished fourth. NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge / Saturday, Nov. 1 The Skinny: Kyle Busch gives Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th career Nationwide Series win and sets his sights on rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep after winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . The Recap: Kyle Busch added to the weekend drama and intrigue when he secured the second leg of a rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep with a win in the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . Busch completed the Nationwide Series/ Camping World Truck Series sweep for the second time in his career at Texas Motor Speedway , with the first coming in the fall of 2009. That only left Sunday's AAA Texas 500 as the missing prize for the triple, which had only been accomplished by Busch (Bristol 2010) in the history of NASCAR. Busch extended his record for career Nationwide Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway by adding his seventh with a 1.562-second win over Joey Logano . Busch, who led six times for a race-high 116 laps, and Logano, who led five times for 59 laps, exchanged the lead six times over the final 85 laps in the 200-lap event before Busch took control late. It also was his seventh NNS victory of the season, 70th in his career and a milestone 100th for Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 / Friday, Oct. 31 The Skinny: Kyle Busch wins the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 as Kyle Busch Motorsports ties the Camping World Truck Series record for most victories in a season. The Recap: Kyle Busch , competing in all three NASCAR races during the weekend and chasing a rare sweep, endured a green/white-checkered overtime finish to secure the first leg with a victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350. Busch, who led a race-high 80 of 152 laps, was cruising to victory when two late cautions put a scare into his bid to secure his seventh win in just nine NCWTS starts this season. Following the final caution that led to the two-lap shootout, Busch got a strong restart on the outside of leader German Quiroga and took command of the lead coming out of Turn 2. He was pulling away with one lap to go when Quiroga hit the wall in Turn 2 to force the conclusion of the final lap to finish under caution. Busch's series-leading seventh win was his third truck victory at Texas Motor Speedway that pushed his career total in the series to 42. It also was the 12th victory overall for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 20 starts this season, tying the series record for season victories set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Check out the best in-car sound of 2014 from the lights going out in Kansas, and furry critters on the track in Atlanta all the way to Kevin Harvick bringing home the title in Homestead.
Exxon Mobil's US Motorsports Manager Bob Greenberg congratulates Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick for winning the Driver of the Year award in the NASCAR Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
KHI Management gives champion creative venture, link to UFC Editor's note: UFC 181 will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday. Watch prelims on FOX Sports 1, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The reinvention of Kevin Harvick did not start -- or end -- last year when the driver decided to leave Richard Childress Racing , the only team he'd ever driven for at NASCAR's highest level, and join Stewart-Haas Racing . It did not culminate two weeks ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he steered his No. 4 Chevrolet into Victory Lane as the race winner and 2014 series champion. There is no beginning and no end to his growth, his ability to evolve. It is fluid and dynamic, the result of a mindset that states if you're not evolving, if you stand still, if you're static, then you're losing ground on whatever it is you are trying to do. And Harvick is trying to do a lot. "You constantly have to look at how you're doing things, why you're doing them that way," Harvick says. "There's always a better way. "You have to reinvent yourself every day." • • • In his motorhome at Martinsville Speedway in late October, Harvick sits cross-legged in an easy chair, his television muted behind him. His tablet and the reading glasses he uses to read whatever is on its screen rest on a table beside him. He is sipping coffee. It is approximately three weeks before Harvick would win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. But the topic of talk on this day isn't his performance on the track, which was the best it ever had been in his career, but rather on his second job. Second job, not side job. That second job is KHI Management, an organization that represents athletes and other personalities while also meeting their sports marketing needs. What was once Kevin Harvick Inc. -- a NASCAR team that competed in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series -- is now an agency that boasts as clients NASCAR driver and broadcaster Jeff Burton ; UFC fighters Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Miesha Tate and most recently Rose Namajunas; country music artists Jake Owen and Matt Stillwell; and golfer Jason Gore. Harvick and wife DeLana sold all assets of their race team to Richard Childress following the 2011 season, shortly before their son Keelan was born. His impending arrival caused the Harvicks to re-evaluate every aspect of their lives. "DeLana and I really enjoyed the race teams, and the challenge of the sponsorship and the people and that mixture of all the moving parts of pieces that it took to make things right," Kevin said. "Once we sold the race team and kind of settled in as parents, we knew we wanted to do something different. We didn't want anything with the magnitude of the race teams and the 24/7 grind that it took to make that stuff successful. If it's not successful, it's not fun. And if it's not fun, it's not worth doing because I do have a real job already. "I am a firm believer that the circle of life includes your job, personal life, finances ... all of that. If that circle is not balanced, you'll have trouble making anything work 100 percent correctly. Moving in this direction has added a great balance to my life." THE BEGINNING The start of KHI Management was due to alcohol. Cowboy Cerrone wanted a beer, and Harvick had one. The ultimate result of that encounter was a handshake agreement nearly nine months later that led to Cerrone being the first client of Harvick's company, which in addition to wife DeLana is led by Director of Business Development Josh Jones and President Fred Leske. "We were really just sitting around drinking beer and talking about money," Cerrone said with a laugh, fresh off a training session in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "I was telling him how we got paid at UFC, how sponsorship works. And eventually he said, 'Man, I think I could help you if you'd be interested.' At the time I was under different management, but we kept talking, and eight months or so later when I was (available to sign), I just kind of decided to try it out, you know? "That's the best move I've ever made." The handshake was more than just binding. It was also a beginning to what is now an impressive, multi-platform sports representation agency. "All of this that's happened, it was 100 percent by accident," Harvick said. "I think Donald was kind of our test as to what we thought we were going to do. When Donald came along and we started doing his stuff, we started to think there might be a niche (in UFC) for us. "It just started to work. He wound up being a good figure, I guess is the word, for us. He's a pretty personable guy, he has a personality that's unique, and he's a good fighter. He's got those things that helps him to be able to promote and sell." THE CONNECTION Cerrone is one of three UFC fighters to sign with KHI Management. Miesha Tate was the second, and Rose Namajunas has been onboard for about a month. It's a natural fit, linking NASCAR and UFC, the athletes all say, because of the similarities between the sports and their respective fan bases. "It's the same kind of demographic for sure, at least in my kind of fan base," Cerrone said. "I'm a blue-collar, cowboy, 9-5 worker kind of guy. That's what turned me into a NASCAR fan." He looks the part, even in the ring. Cerrone has had fights wearing trunks with Budweiser emblazoned across the front. Budweiser is, of course, a primary sponsor to Kevin Harvick 's No. 4 Chevrolet. Tate, too, had a sponsorship deal with Budweiser for a fight earlier this year. That's a perfect example of cross-promotion, in which relationships Harvick already has benefit KHI clients. And in addition to introducing NASCAR sponsors to the UFC athletes it represents, Harvick and his group can ideally meet new UFC-centric sponsors and introduce them to the world of NASCAR. The same goes for the two fan bases. "I think there's a lot of similarities between the fans, and I think that UFC brings that really young demographic that we fight so hard to get in the NASCAR garage," Harvick said. "There are a lot of UFC fans in the NASCAR garage. And with UFC, FOX is heavily involved, and there are a lot of ways to cross-promote that we've already done." There are also NASCAR fans in the UFC locker rooms. Cerrone, with his trademark cowboy hat, was whooping it up in Victory Lane following Harvick's must-win victory at Phoenix, then again in Miami when the veteran clinched the championship. It's not just Cerrone crossing boundaries to support Harvick, either. On Jan. 3, when Cowboy fights Myles Jury in Las Vegas as part of the co-main event for UFC 182, Harvick's entire pit crew will be cheering from the crowd. That's the sort of atmosphere that attracted Tate, who watched from afar as the sponsorship opportunities and support Cerrone began accumulating. Tate is No. 2 in the UFC women's bantamweight rankings and has a 15-5 mixed martial arts record. She's thought to be the biggest threat to unseat undefeated champion Ronda Rousey, she of the famous -- or perhaps it's infamous -- armbar submission. "I can't say enough good things about KHI," said Tate, who was also at Martinsville to drop the green flag as the honorary starter. "They've treated me very well and have given me a lot of opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. They've helped me grow my network, and that's what I'm here to do." More than just providing support for fights -- which is certainly important -- KHI has a group of people that can help manage images, messaging and also work toward planning for what these UFC fighters might do once they retire. Just as Harvick cannot dive into a corner going 170 mph forever, neither can Cerrone, Tate and Namajunas be willing to get punched in the face forever. But being marketable when they retire is a process that starts while they are still active. Tate, already interested in what her life might look like post-UFC, revealed to NASCAR.com that she has signed a movie deal (but couldn't release the details) and is interested in being an MMA broadcaster when her fighting career ends. "I really want to grow my brand, and I wanted the company I sign with to be as motivated as I am," Tate said. "I want to do a lot of things. I have a lot of big goals and ambitions, and I want to sign with someone who's going to believe in me." THE FUTURE When you're in the representation business, you are in the business of acquiring talent. You are always looking for the next figure to bring in. The next KHI Management acquisition might just be a young NASCAR driver. Kyle Larson had an incredible rookie season, and Austin Dillon in his first Sprint Cup season resurrected the No. 3 -- the last man to drive it in the premier series was Dale Earnhardt, whose death in the 2001 Daytona 500 vaulted a young Harvick into the spotlight sooner than expected. Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship at age 18 and seems poised for eventual Sprint Cup superstardom. Those are just three young drivers who populate the NASCAR landscape. The sport's bright future means the choosy Harvick has plenty of options when it comes to selecting and negotiating. "We need another NASCAR driver, a full-time NASCAR driver, because that's what we do," Harvick said. "We've done that for years. But it has to be the right person that fits the mold of what we're doing. An up-and-coming young NASCAR driver is definitely on the radar." As is Harvick himself and, by proxy, his management group. Winning a Sprint Cup Series championship in the first year of a brand-new postseason format will do that to a man. Doing the media tour, being whisked around the country where his name and face are saturating media outlets, can only help his business. After all in NASCAR, it's all about winning, and winning the Sprint Cup trophy, as it related to Harvick's second job, isn't all that different from the old "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday," mantra manufacturers use. "I guess if you look at Kevin as the flagship, KHI having a title is huge," Cerrone said. "It's like me as a UFC champion under KHI, that's huge. It's super big to have Kevin as a champion with this group under him. That's awesome." The next big change for Harvick is relocating to Charlotte. His family has already moved to the metropolis that serves as the hub for many NASCAR teams. Harvick is now closer to Stewart-Haas Racing shops, and his entire business will relocate to Charlotte by Jan. 1. Their offices will be right off one of the state's major interstates, and close to a major airport. It's yet another far-reaching move for a guy who continues to see the big picture. "I'm a firm believer in constantly pushing buttons," said Harvick who, three weeks later, would spend a large portion of his week publicly needling fellow championship contender Joey Logano . "We have to see what we can do different, how we can change things, how can we push forward, ask 'Why aren't we doing this?' I'm the guy who asks a million questions and tries to keep things progressing." "You have to keep up in this sport, or you'll get left behind." The same goes for life. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule