By Patrick Rall
This past weekend the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup teams
took to Darlington Motor Speedway for the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 and
the Bojangles’ Southern 500. As opposed
to the shorter Nationwide race running Saturday and the Sprint Cup race running
on Sunday, the two leagues shifted their events a day earlier so that the
drivers could spend Mother’s Day with their mommas.
For Friday’s Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero
200, just three Dodge Challengers qualified for the 43 car field with Sam
Hornish Jr (shown above) starting 8th, Brad Keselowski starting 13th
and Derrick Cope starting 42nd.
Keselowski and Hornish were towards the front of the field all day long
but at the end of the race, the two Toyota Camrys driven by Joey Lagano and
Denny Hamlin were able to beat out the pair of Challengers – leaving Keselowski
to finish 3rd while Hornish finished 4th. Derrick Cope had the kind of day that you
would expect of a driver with his record, finishing in 27th spot 13,
13 laps down. Hornish remained in the 4th
spot in season standings with his strong finish.
At Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Bojangles’ Southern 500,
only two of the 43 cars in the field were Dodge Chargers with Brad Keselowski’s
#2 Miller Lite car starting 15th and AJ Allmendinger’s #22
Shell/Pennzoil car starting on the outside of the same row as his team in the
16th spot. Keselowski had
high hopes after running towards the front of the field the night before and
during the race – Keselowski’s #2 Charger was as high as 3rd place
but at the end of the race it was not to be, as Brad finishing a disappointing
15th place. Allmendinger also
managed to work his way as high as 3rd but he struggled late in the
race, finishing 33rd.
Keselowski maintained his 12th place in the season standings
while Allmendinger dropped 2 spots to 22nd.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes a break this weekend
before heading to Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600 while the NASCAR Nationwide
Series heads to Iowa this Saturday for the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads
to Charlotte this Friday for the N. C. Education Lottery 200.