Marlin fastest in Darlington Happy Hour

Sterling Marlin was fastest in Saturday's final practice for the Winston Cup teams with a lap of 164.101 mph. Marlin takes the green flag for Sunday's last Labor Day weekend Southern 500 from the 13th position. Joe Nemechek was the second ...

Sterling Marlin was fastest in Saturday's final practice for the Winston Cup teams with a lap of 164.101 mph. Marlin takes the green flag for Sunday's last Labor Day weekend Southern 500 from the 13th position.

Joe Nemechek was the second speediest competitor, clipping off a time of 164.084 mph. Dale Jarrett was third at 163.975 mph.

Pole sitter Ryan Newman's speed was considerably slower than his time trial effort, posting a lap of 163.871; several miles an hour off his qualifying hot lap of 169.048 which earned Newman his sixth pole this season.

Series rankings leader Matt Kenseth rounds out the top five best times. Kenseth looks to widen his point margin over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Sunday, as he starts from the sixth spot on the grid. Kenseth currently has a 351 point cushion in the race for the last Winston Cup. Kenseth has held the series lead since the fourth event of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and has been devilishly consistent -- racking up 22 top-15 finishes in 24 races this season.

In eight Darlington attempts, Kenseth has garnered three top-10 finishes, with his best result being a sixth in March of 2000. His other five finishes were all 19th or worse.

Entering into Darlington with 15 consecutive top-15 results, Kenseth is a threat for another top-10 run, as well as a contender for Victory Lane.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman