Anthony Ballantoni

Wrap-up

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Wrap-up: Darlington Raceway

Sunday, May 13, 2012


This past weekend, Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina hosted the Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 and the Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Time Trials
:
Greg Biffle received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington. He put up a 180.257 mph lap in the No. 16 Ford to start up front. This was his 11th pole in 341 NSCS races. It is his second pole and eighth top-10 start in 2012 and his second pole in 12 races at Darlington Raceway. Biffle led 74 laps of the 368 lap event and finished 12th. He is the current leader in the 2012 point standings.

Did Not Qualify:
No. 23 Scott Riggs, No. 98 Michael McDowell, No. 33 Stephen Leicht and No. 19 Mike Bliss.

Race Winner:
Jimmie Johnson won the Bojangles' Southern 500, his 56th victory in 374 NSCS races. This is the No. 48 Chevrolet driver's first victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2012. It is his third victory and 10th top-10 finish in 14 races at Darlington Raceway. The win gives Hendrick Motorsports its 200th victory. Hendrick is only the second team to accomplish the feat (Petty Enterprises, 268 wins). Johnson moved up three spots to 5th in the 2012 NSCS point standings.

Contingency Awards:
- Jimmie Johnson won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (134 of 368).
- Jimmie Johnson won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap.
- Hendrick Engines won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award (Johnson’s No. 48).
- Kyle Busch’s crew chief, Dave Rogers, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event. Busch started the No. 18 Toyota 5th and finished 4th. He is currently 9th in the 2012 Sprint Cup point standings.
- Steve Addington, crew chief on the No. 14 Chevrolet driven by Tony Stewart won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from first half of the race to the second half improved 0.323 seconds). Stewart started the race in 17th and finished in 3rd. He is 7th in the 2012 Sprint Cup point standings.
- Marcos Ambrose won the $5000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. The No. 9 Ford driver improved 19 places from 28th in the lineup to a 9th place finish. He moved up three spots to 18th in the standings.
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal. The No. 11 Toyota driver finished 2nd in the race and is currently 4th in the standings.

Points Leader:
Greg Biffle leads the point standings by 2 points over Matt Kenseth.

NSCS Top 12:

1. Greg Biffle
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Martin Truex Jr.
7. Tony Stewart
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Kyle Busch
10. Carl Edwards
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Brad Keselowski

Next NSCS Races:
(All three are night races at Charlotte Motor Speedway)
(Non-points race) Sprint Showdown, May 19th
(Non-points race) All Star Race, May 19th
(Regular points race) Coca-Cola 600, May 27th

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NASCAR Nationwide Series
Time Trials:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington. He put up a 173.546 mph lap in the No. 6 Ford to start up front. He led 18 laps and finished in sixth place. This is Stenhouse’s first pole in three NNS races at Darlington. He is currently the 2012 NNS point leader.

Did Not Qualify:
NONE, only 43 cars entered.

Race Winner:

Joey Logano, Sprint Cup Regular (No. 20), VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, his 12th victory in 96 NNS races. This is the No. 20 Toyota driver's third victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2012. It is his first victory and first top-10 finish in two races at Darlington Raceway. This is the second time Logano has won back-to-back races. He first did it in October 2009 at Kansas Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. Logano is ineligible for driver points in this series.

Rookie of the Race:

Austin Dillon, the No. 3 Chevrolet driver, started 3rd and finished 5th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders. Dillon is 3rd in the 2012 NNS point standings.

Contingency Awards:

- Austin Dillon won the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award for his 6th place finish.
- Brian Scott makes the most improvement in the series since his 7th place finish was 29 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 11 Toyota driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite “Most Improved Driver” award. Scott is 13th in the standings.
- Denny Hamlin won the $2,200 3M Lap Leader award for leading the most laps (103 of 151). Hamlin is ineligible for driver points in this series.
- Joe Gibbs Racing Engines (Denny Hamlin’s No. 18 Toyota) won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award.

Points Leader:

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the point standings by 23 points over Elliott Sadler.

NNS Top 10:

1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Elliott Sadler
3. Austin Dillon
4. Sam Hornish Jr.
5. Cole Whitt
6. Michael Annett
7. Justin Allgaier
8. Mike Bliss
9. Joe Nemechek
10. Danica Patrick

Next NNS Race:
Pioneer Hi-Bred 250, May 20, 2012 at Iowa Speedway.

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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:

Next NCWTS Race:

NC Education Lottery 200, May 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 



Tony Ballantoni runs the NASCAR coverage at RotoWorld.com.
Email :Anthony Ballantoni


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