Darrah continues KKR success

HUNTERSVILLE – Cody Darrah was the only Kasey Kahne Racing driver without a win entering the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series’ April 11 feature race at Kings (Calif.) Speedway.

Darrah’s teammates, Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman, had won the two most recent events heading into the feature at Kings.

Darrah, a Huntersville resident and the driver of the No. 4 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Chevy for KKR, made it three in a row for the KKR team at Kings Speedway.

The 24-year-old passed pole-sitter Joey Saldana on lap 16 of the 35-lap A-main, and held the top spot for the remainder of the race. Darrah’s victory followed wins by Pittman and Sweet at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway one week earlier.

“This win means so much for us, for my team," Darrah said in a KKR release. "First and foremost I've got to thank (team owner) Kasey (Kahne), he's given me such an opportunity to come out here and drive this car.

“A couple of weeks ago he called me up and said, ‘If we don't run any better, we might have to pull off the road.’ We're out here racing for more than a win, we're racing for a job and to make him proud and show him we can do it."


Kenseth closes in on points lead

HUNTERSVILLE – Matt Kenseth doesn’t have a win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ season just yet, but he’s knocking on the door of the points lead.

Kenseth’s sixth-place finish April 12 at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 – a race Kenseth won last year – moved him to within one point of series leader Jeff Gordon.

Gordon, like Kenseth, is winless this season. The drivers closest to the pair in points – Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – have one win each, an important feat given Sprint Cup’s new “win-and-you’re-in” Chase format. Sixteen drivers qualify for the Chase, going by most wins, then wins and points. The 16th spot is reserved for the points leader after 26 races if he has no wins, so Kenseth could still easily qualify for the Chase.

The second-year Joe Gibbs Racing driver, the 2003 Sprint Cup champion, won a series-high seven races in 2013 on his way to a second-place finish in points.


Sadler goes green throughout April

HUNTERSVILLE – Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler will have a new look on his No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota when it hits the track again.

Sadler’s car will carry a green paint scheme in the ToyotaCare 250 on April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, Sadler’s home track. The car, a departure from Sadler’s usual blue-and-white scheme, is part of NASCAR’s Green initiative, which promotes environmental awareness.

Fans interested in helping out the cause can post pictures of trees they’re planting on Twitter with the hashtag “showmeyourtrees.” Selected fans are eligible to receive autographed Sadler gear.

Sadler – who finished second in the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 on April 11 at Darlington Raceway – ranks third in series standings, 20 points behind leader Chase Elliott after seven races.