NASCAR Preview

Last Updated Sunday, May 21, 2006 2:32 am, EDT

Dodge Charger 500

Status: Final Darlington Raceway

Race Capsule

Darlington Raceway
  • What:

    Race 13 of 38 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC

  • When:

    May 13, 2006 6:55 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    1.366 miles

  • Race Length:

    501.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Kasey Kahne Ran 34th at Richmond, his second consecutive finish outside the top 30; fell to seventh in the standings with 1,274 points; has registered four top-five finishes and six top-10s this season; won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 to record his third career victory; also visited victory lane at Atlanta after registering consecutive fourth-place finishes at California and Las Vegas; ran third from the pole in this race last season, his second career top-five finish here.
Greg Biffle Defending series runner-up has struggled this season, registering just three top-10 finishes through 10 races; delivered his best performance of the season at Richmond on Saturday, placing fourth in the Crown Royal 400; is 20th in the standings with 999 points; captured the checkered flag in this race last season, one of his career-high six victories in 2005.
Jeff Gordon Hoping to bounce back from disappointing 40th-place running at Richmond; fell to ninth in the standings with 1,216 points; has just three top-five finishes and four top-10s through 10 races this season; six-time winner at this track was runner-up to Biffle in this event last season; has 13 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in 25 career starts here.
Tony Stewart Defending series champion ran sixth at Richmond and climbed to second in the standings with 1,466 points; was runner-up to Johnson at Talladega, his second straight second-place finish; leads the circuit with six top-five finishes; won his first race of the season at Martinsville; had the dominant car at Bristol before fading late for a 12th-place finish; placed fifth at Atlanta to rebound from a disappointing finish at Las Vegas; placed 10th in this race last season.
Kevin Harvick Hottest driver on the Nextel circuit bounced back nicely from 23rd-place finish at Talladega by running third at Richmond; had the dominant car at Richmond, leading 247 laps; captured his sixth career checkered flag at Phoenix and finished seventh or better in four races consecutive races from March 26-April 22; is fifth in the standings with 1,313 points; was runner-up to Kurt Busch at Bristol, ran seventh at Martinsville on April 2 and placed fifth at Texas on April 9; finished 14th at this event last season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Captured the checkered flag at Richmond, his first victory of the season; snapped a string of 27 consecutive starts without a victory; rebounded nicely from 31st-place finish at Talladega and climbed to sixth in the standings with 1,305 points; placed inside the top 12 seven times this season; ran eighth in this event last season, his fourth top-10 finish in 11 starts here.
Jimmie Johnson Placed 12th at Richmond and remained first in the standings with 1,521 points, 55 ahead of defending series champion Tony Stewart; captured the checkered flag at the Aaron's 499 to retake the lead in the standings from Matt Kenseth; ran seventh at Phoenix and fell to second in the standings for just the second time in nine weeks this season; finished 11th at Texas and placed third at Martinsville; absolutely dominated the circuit over the first six races, registering two victories and five finishes inside the top six; won the season-opening Daytona 500 and captured the checkered flag two weeks later at Las Vegas; placed seventh in this race last season.
Kyle Busch Rebounded nicely from poor showing at Talladega by finishing fifth at Richmond, his third top-five finish this season; has five top-10 finishes and is eighth in the standings with 1,237 points; finished inside the top 12 in five straight races from February 26-April 2; reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year ran 23rd in this race last season.
Matt Kenseth Finished 38th at Richmond and fell to third in the standings with 1,422 points, 99 behind Johnson; finished third at Phoenix to register his fifth top-five finish of the season; was runner-up to Kahne at Texas; struggled to a 24th-place finish at Martinsville after crashing on a restart in the 493rd lap; appeared primed for a victory at Bristol before being bumped by Kurt Busch in lap 495 and fading to a third-place finish; placed 26th in this race last season.