NASCAR has shown outstanding parity through first eight races of 2014

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NASCAR chairman Brian France’s unwavering stance to bring parity to the sport during his 10-year tenure is finally paying dividends.

While most of the sport is off this week for the Easter holiday and spring break, NASCAR’s PR staff sent out a media release Thursday that shows just how close the racing has gotten thus far in 2014.

Through this season’s first eight races:

* Although the Sprint Cup Series saw its first repeat winner at Darlington with Kevin Harvick’s win after different winners in the first seven races, the streak of eight different Coors Light Pole winners remains intact. That streak is tied for the series’ longest season-opening streak of different pole winners.

* All three manufacturers have won races thus far: Chevrolet leads with four wins, Ford has three and Toyota has one.

* There have been an average of 12 different leaders per race, compared to 8.6 at this point last year.

* There have been an average of 25.6 lead changes per race, compared to 17.4 in 2013.

* There have been 29,541 green flag passes, compared to 23,178 in 2013.

* There have been 346 green flag passes for the lead, compared to 181 in 2013.

* The average margin of victory in the first eight races has been just 0.588 seconds, the smallest since 2008.

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Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.