Race Day Blog: Sights and Sounds From Darlington

Posted by Shake and Bake crew at 4:00p ET
Race Day Blog Darlington Raceway Sights and Sounds Live Blog Matt Kenseth

11:15p ET -- Good night from Darlington Raceway. We'll leave you with a final look back on the closing laps and Kenseth's emotional victory lane interview.

    

 

10:55p ET -- "Honestly, I've only dreamed about winning the Southern 500. This to me feels bigger than probably any win in my career." - Matt Kenseth

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

10:40p ET -- Matt Kenseth wins the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway for the first time in his career! Denny Hamlin finishes second followed by Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.

 

10:32p ET -- 10 to go at Darlington!  

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

10:25p ET -- We can't confirm if the Bojangles chicken will make his national television debut tonight, but we can confirm that Kenny Wallace and crew will be on NASCAR Victory Lane following the race. Watch it Live on SPEED!

 

10:18p ET -- Cautions breed cautions! Kasey Kahne got loose while battling Kyle Busch for the lead and slammed the wall. No damage on Busch's car.

 Bojangles' Southern 500

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

9:57p ET -- Caution for a wreck on the frontstretch. Casey Mears, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski receive heavy damage.  

9:46p ET -- Second caution of the night flies for Regan Smith, who spins after cutting down his right rear tire. Leaders hit pit road...

 

9:20p ET -- Down goes Clint Bowyer's gas man! Bowyer is now one lap down in 17th after being penalized for removing equipment from his box.  

bowyer_gas_man

 

9:15p ET -- Another round of green flag pit stops underway. Click each photo to enlarge.  

Bojangles' Southern 500 Bojangles' Southern 500 Bojangles' Southern 500  

 

8:57p ET -- Did you miss KB? No worries, he's back for Round 2.

 

8:20p ET -- Check out this video of Bobby Labonte's pit stop under the last caution. Pretty freakin' cool!

 

8:13p ET -- First caution is out for debris.  

Race Recap:

  • Kurt and Kyle Busch have led 120 of the completed 124 laps.
  • Two sets of green flag pit stops with no speeding penalties. 
  • Only 16 drivers on the lead lap.
  • 3 drivers in the garage - Scott Speed, Michael McDowell, Mike Bliss  

Bojangles' Southern 500

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

7:40p ET -- It's a beautiful night here at Darlington. Are you enjoying the race?  

Bojangles' Southern 500

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

7:18p ET -- She is certainly a proud momma right now as her boys run 1-2. Kurt continues to lead over Kyle with 30 of 367 laps complete.

 

7:05p ET -- Boogity! Boogity! Boogity! Let's go racing, Darlington style! Don't forget to visit FOXSports.com's RaceTrax for Live timing & scoring.  

6:55p ET -- Well, the command to start engines didn't go so well, but we'll let it slide.  

 

6:40p ET -- Awh! Jimmie Johnson and little Evie sharing a moment during pre-race ceremonies.

 

6:30p ET -- It's a fan affair on pit road. How awesome is it that NASCAR lets fans get up close and personal before the race?

 

6:20p ET -- Joe Gibbs Racing dominated last night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race with Kyle Busch taking the win, but how will they fare in tonight's Southern 500? Kyle Busch rolls off third, Denny Hamlin sixth and Matt Kenseth seventh.  

Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 7.01.21 PM

 

6:00p ET -- Who's ready to tango with the "Lady In Black?"

 

5:30p ET -- We would like to wish all of the mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day! No words can express just how thankful we are for each and every one of you.  

Here at Darlington, the tradition to have drivers' mothers give the command to start engines will continue.  

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4:55p ET -- Latest update on the weather. The Air Titan is not at Darlington this weekend, meaning we will see the old style of track drying if rain hits tonight.

4:35p ET -- We would like to congratulate the "Wonder Boy" on making his 700th consecutive start.

    Who thinks he should bring back the 'stache?  

jeff gordon stache

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

4:20p ET -- Charming the lady in black takes time and patience, but very few drivers can get it right. Here's a look at how they fared on their latest dates at Darlington. Be sure to update your Fantasy Picks on FOXSports.com.  

 

Who's Hot?

• Jeff Gordon – top five finishes in seven of the last nine races at Darlington. Seven Darlington wins, third all‐time and most among active drivers.

• Denny Hamlin - top 10 finishes in six of his seven starts at Darlington including a win in 2010. His average finish of 5.86 is best among the 331 drivers with more than two Darlington starts and the best of all his tracks.

• Jimmie Johnson – top 10 finishes in 10 of his 14 Darlington starts including three wins. Scored HMS’s 200th series win at Darlington last year.

• Kyle Busch – four top 10s including a win in the last seven races at Darlington. Led 322 laps in the last five Darlington.

• Carl Edwards – top 10s in four of the last six races at Darlington including two runner-ups.  

Who's Not?

• Kurt Busch – only one top 10 in the last eight races at Darlington. Has led only one lap at Darlington since 2004.

• Kevin Harvick – only one top 10 finish in the last nine races at Darlington. His average finish of 18.75 is his second worse at active tracks.

• Juan Pablo Montoya – only one finish better than 20th in six races at Darlington.

• Clint Bowyer – only one top 10 in seven starts at Darlington, finished ninth in 2007.

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. – best finish in the last four races at Darlington is 14th.

Statistics provided by Racing Recall

 

4:00p ET -- Good afternoon and welcome to Darlington Raceway! Temperatures are currently in the low 80s, but are expected to drop into the low 70s as the sun goes down with a 30% chance of rain.  

Bojangles' Southern 500 - Practice

(Photo: Getty Images)

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