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.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.