Darlington Winners and Losers

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Darlington Winners and Losers
(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Winners

Mark Martin

Man this guy certainly doesn't like acting his age. Mark is returning this No. 5 team to the kind of reputation and performance that reminds many people of Terry Labonte when he won the championship in that No.n5 car for Hendrick.

The win on Saturday night vaulted Martin up four spots in the point standings to 11th and a Chase qualifying position.

Darlington finish: Winner

Points: 11th, 1316, (285 behind Jeff Gordon)

 

Tony Stewart

Well I guess this guy can more than handle the responsibilities of being owner of a two car team that he also drives for.

After bringing home another solid third-place finish and being a competitive presence for the win at the end of another race, Stewart has propelled his No. 14 Chevy up to second-place in the point standings, only a stones throw away from Jeff Gordon.

Stewart is now in the driver's seat as far as him making the Chase goes, but will definitely be looking to notch some wins between now and Richmond to increase his chances during the Chase.

Darlington finish: Third

Points: Second, 1572, (29 behind Gordon)

 

Brad Keselowski

How do you prove that your win at Talladega wasn't just a fluke flash in the pan moment? Finish seventh at Darlington in your very next start.

Keselowski jumped into the fifth Hendrick entry sporting race sponsor GoDaddy.com logos all over his car and made both his team and sponsor more than proud with his performance.

Plus with his performance Saturday night he moves into 39th place in points and I know that doesn't sound impressive, but to only have four starts and be ahead of drivers with eight starts is a nice little confidence booster for the young driver.

 

Joey Logano

Sure his season didn't start off as well as him and the boys over at JGR wanted, but everyone knew it would take time for him to get settled in to his new home in the No. 20 Toyota.

Well after a solid top 10 finish at Talladega, followed up by another solid top 10 at the tough track in South Carolina, Logano is finally showing that promise Gibbs was telling everyone was there.

Guess that time he got to spend with Cale Yarborough paid off in the end.

Darlington finish: Ninth

Points: 30th, 1002, (599 behind Gordon)

 

Ryan Newman

Stewart is definitely smiling with his owner's cap on since Newman is just bolstering his campaign for a spot in the Chase week after week and with a fourth place finish at the Lady in Black.

Newman—currently eighth in the points—is becoming a very consistent driver and if he can return to his former form on pole day he will be a forced to be reckoned with any week of the season.

Darlington finish: Fourth

Points: Eighth, 1363, (238 behind Gordon)

 

Losers

Scott Speed

Well bad weekend for this guy all around at Darlington. First he started his weekend off by missing the field in his No. 82 Red Bull entry.

Then, because we will be visiting Darlington again very soon, Red Bull paid NEMCO Motorsports to let Speed jump behind the wheel of the No. 87 Toyota.

Speed then proceeded to run over Max Papis on lap four and bring that car home in 26th simply due to attrition.

Darlington Finish: 26th

Points: 35th, 756, (845 behind Gordon)

 

Jeremy Mayfield

Talk about a bad week, first he is one of only two teams to DNQ at Darlington, and then it comes out that he has been indefinitely suspended by NASCAR for violation of their substance abuse policy.

Also, I think the choice of J.J. Yeley to take over the seat of that No. 41 will only show a continuance of DNQs and a better choice would of been a Nationwide driver or even someone deserving of another chance like Travis Kvapil.

At least Mayfield didn't try to buy his way back into the race.

Darlington finish: DNQ

Points: 45th, 288, (1313 behind Gordon)

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I'm not going to say much here because this guy is getting beat up enough as it is on a weekly basis. He finished 27th and is continuing to be the fourth wheel at Hendrick, I'd say life sucks enough for him at this point.

Darlington finish: 27th

Points: 18th, 1182, (419 behind Gordon)

 

David Gilliland

Seriously, not to be the jerk here, but why is this guy still driving a Cup car? He couldn't even finish the weekly valet team (No. 66 of Dave Blaney).

This guy won one Nationwide race and all of a sudden he just keeps getting rides in the premier division. If anyone gives Keselowski mess about his racing resume, they should take a look at Gilliland and just shut their mouths.

I don't care that the TRG team is a "lower- tier" team, they can still get a way better driver then David Gilliland.

Darlington finish: 43rd

Points: 37th, 649, (952 behind Gordon)

 

Clint Bowyer

Got to feel bad for Bowyer. Wrong place, wrong time and his streak of race without a DNF comes to a horrifying end, and he took two very hard licks on both the inside and outside retaining walls.

Not to mention that after last week, Bowyer finds himself that guy just on the outside looking in at the top 12 and a spot in the Chase. Luckily for him, there is still a few months before the cutoff at Richmond in September.

Darlington finish: 37th

Points: 13th, 1264, (337 behind Gordon)

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