NASCAR: Kevin Harvick most mentioned driver in TV broadcasts

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What? You thought it’d be Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Danica Patrick?

According to Joyce Julius & Associates data, the most mentioned driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup TV broadcasts during the first half of the 2014 season was…Kevin Harvick, who was mentioned 2,533 times over the opening 18 races.

As for Earnhardt, he garnered the most interview time in that time frame with 26 minutes, 21 seconds worth.

However, he was only the fifth-most mentioned driver (1,950) behind Harvick, Jimmie Johnson (2,326), Jeff Gordon (2,181), and Brad Keselowski (2,056); Johnson earned the most TV interviews overall with 32 and was second in overall interview time behind Earnhardt (21:53).

And Patrick? She may command a solid following within NASCAR Nation, but she wasn’t even in the Top 10 in mentions – which you can peruse below.

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Harvick topping the list may be a surprise to some but when you factor in his two wins, his multiple near-misses, and his strong pace throughout the year, it seemingly becomes as good an explanation as any.

And if one or two of those near-misses instead played out into wins for Harvick, it’s safe to assume he would’ve been mentioned even more.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”