DARLINGTON, S.C. - Denny Hamlin won his second consecutive Diamond Hill Plywood 200 last night, again surviving a wreck-filled Busch Series event at Darlington Raceway.
Hamlin, fourth in the Nextel Cup standings, raced to his third Busch Series victory, picking his way through a record-tying 10 caution periods to take the checkered flag. The race matched the 10 cautions from April 1984. A year ago, there were nine caution periods.
Hamlin stood strong through a final restart with six laps left. Busch points leader Carl Edwards got as close as Hamlin's window as he dove low in Turn 1 trying to take the lead, but Hamlin powered through the turn and was never tested again.
Mark Martin, driving a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, finished second, and Edwards was third.
In his post-race celebration, Hamlin, a Virginia native, waved a Virginia Tech flag out his window in memory of the 32 victims of a gunman.
DARLINGTON, S.C. - Clint Bowyer took care of one goal with his first Nextel Cup pole. He hopes to accomplish an even bigger one tonight. Bowyer's lap at 164.987 m.p.h. earned him the top starting spot for tonight's Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway.
It also gave him a place in next winter's Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who announced his planned departure from Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Thursday, got a big ovation from the fans. However, Earnhardt, who hasn't won in more than year, could do no better than 21st at 162.807.
The struggles of Toyota's top two racers continued, with Dale Jarrett and Michael Waltrip failing to make the race.
Martin Truex Jr., who won two Busch Series championships for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said he had no plans to follow Dale Earnhardt Jr. out the door. Earnhardt is leaving at the end of the season, but Truex said his contract ran through 2008.
"I've got to give it a fair shake," the second-year Cup driver said. "They gave me my opportunity, and I've decided I'm going to finish out the year and honor my contract because of all the things they've done for me."
Dover International Speedway is offering fans a free glimpse of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow, with more than 50 teams scheduled to take part in a two-day test session in preparation for the track's Nextel Cup event on June 3.
On Monday, the public can enter the grandstand through Gate 14 at noon, with the session set to run until 6 p.m. Testing will resume on Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Wednesday reserved as the rain date.
Parking behind Turn 2 and admission to the track are free.
Indy Racing League
INDIANAPOLIS - Speeds crept upward on Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Scott Dixon setting the pace with the first lap of the month over 227 m.p.h.
That raised a few eyebrows around the speedway on the last full day of practice before the start of qualifying for the May 27 race. But Indy Racing League president Brian Barnhart expects the speeds to rise even more for today's pole qualifying.