Erik Darnell

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Not to be confused with Eric Darnell.
Erik Darnell
Erik Darnell.jpg
Darnell in 2008
Born (1982-12-02) December 2, 1982 (age 33)
Beach Park, Illinois, United States
Achievements 2003 Wisconsin Challenge Series Champion
Awards 2006 Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
9 races run over 2 years
2011 position 51st
Best finish 47th - 2009
First race 2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 (Atlanta)
Last race 2011 Good Sam RV Insurance 500 (Pocono)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
52 races run over 5 years
2012 position 17th
Best finish 17th - 2012
First race 2008 Corona México 200 (Mexico City)
Last race 2012 Ford EcoBoost 300 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 5 1
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
76 races run over 4 years
Best finish 4th - 2008
First race 2004 Black Cat Fireworks 200 (Milwaukee)
Last race 2008 Ford 200 (Homestead)
First win 2007 O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 (Kansas)
Last win 2008 Cool City Customs 200 (Michigan)
Wins Top tens Poles
2 32 3
Statistics current as of February 23, 2013.

Erik Darnell (born December 2, 1982) is an American stock car racing driver. He is the grandson of former USAC and NASCAR driver Bay Darnell, who also started three NASCAR races (including one for Holman Moody).[1] Darnell former ran for Roush Fenway Racing, joining the team in 2005 after being a co-winner on the Discovery Channel program Roush Racing: Driver X, along with David Ragan.

Pre-NASCAR career[edit]

Erik began racing at the age of 12 in the River Vally Kart Club. He won the championship in the purple plate class in his second year of competition, later racing Allison Legacy Series cars after go karts. His first year of super late models was at Illiana Motor Speedway, with Erik finishing 3rd in the final standings with 1 win. Erik beat the best Wisconsin super late model drivers to win the 2003 Wisconsin Challenge Series championship. At that time his five wins were the most in the series' history.[2] He set the super late model track record at Lake Geneva Raceway in 2004.[3]

Move to national driver[edit]

Darnell drove in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Milwaukee in 2004, finishing 26th. He also raced in numerous NASCAR touring series races.

Darnell drove in several NASCAR touring series and six ARCA races in 2005.

NASCAR career[edit]

Darnell raced full-time in the Craftsman Truck Series (CTS) in 2006. He had twelve Top-10 finishes in 25 events, and he was the series' Rookie of the Year. He continued to drive for the team in 2007, as well as testing the team's Busch Series cars. On April 28, 2007 Darnell won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway for his first Craftsman Truck Series win.

Darnell started the 2008 season by capturing the pole position at the Daytona International Speedway. He won his second career CTS race in June 2008 at Michigan International Speedway by .005 of a second over Johnny Benson.

For 2009, Darnell planned to compete in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series races, sharing the car with Cup Series driver David Ragan. Darnell ran for Rookie of the Year and Darnell ran his first of 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway where he finished 12th. Also, Darnell competed in seven of the final 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ran the car at Atlanta, Loudon, Kansas, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead. Darnell competed in the #96 Academy Sports + Outdoors Ford for the Atlanta, Talladega, and Texas races. He alternated the ride with Bobby Labonte.

In 2010, Darnell found himself without a ride for most of the season due to the lack of sponsorship. He continued to stay on at Roush Fenway Racing as a practice-qualifying driver for Carl Edwards at Standalone Nationwide Series races. Darnell did a 3 race deal to drive the #16 Ford in the Nationwide Series. His best finish was 14th at Dover and Texas.

In 2011, Darnell returned to the Cup Series, driving for Whitney Motorsports in several races; for 2012, he competed for Key Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.

Darnell didn't race in NASCAR during 2013. He won the Dick Trickle 99 Super Late Model Oktoberfest race at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway.[4]


Darnell beating Johnny Benson to the line to win at Michigan in 2008 
2008 Truck at Michigan 
2009 Nationwide car at Milwaukee 
Darnell at Road America in 2012 

Motorsports career results[edit]


(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]


  1. ^ Bay Darnell's NASCAR driver statistics at, Retrieved March 8, 2007
  2. ^ May 21, 2006; "Haseleu goes for second WIR spring win"; The Post-Crescent,
  3. ^ Lake Geneva Raceway Checkered Flag Final Season (2006)
  4. ^ Brown, Jeff (October 5, 2013). "Trickle would have enjoyed Darnell's victory". La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse, WI. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Todd Kluever
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Willie Allen