Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/7/14

LONG POND, PA - JULY 31: David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford, sits in his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at the Pocono Raceway on July 31, 2009 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
Welcome to the May 8, 2013 edition of Start ‘N’ Park Blog’s Stock Watch. Each week we’ll take a look at who’s rising, falling, and treading water in the world of NASCAR. This stretches all division and all aspects of NASCAR, including drivers, owners, crew members, media and fans. Finding their way onto this week’s watch includes NASCAR’s caution policy, Kurt Busch, Regan Smith, David Ragan, and Sam Hornish, Jr. Is your favorite NASCAR personality rising, falling, or treading water? Find out below. Rising David Ragan (Sprint Cup Series) – Ragan pulled off the shocker of the year by rocketing up to the front during the green/white/checkered finished and held on for his second career victory. Even better, was the fact it was a one/two finish for underfunded Front Row Motorsports. They have been in the series since 2005. I talked to Ragan at Las Vegas and he told me how much owner Bob Jenkins has put into the team, including funding three teams out of pocket over 50% of the time. It was great to see him rewarded for sticking around the sport and for Ragan to get a second win after being discarded by Roush Fenway Racing after the 2011 season. David Gilliland (Sprint Cup Series) – Gilliland did his best to push his teammate to victory Sunday and it worked out for both drivers. While not a win, Gilliland did score his first top-5 finish since a third place finish at Daytona in 2011. It was a shining day for he and Ragan and one they both won’t forget anytime soon, because Darlington is only six days away. Regan Smith (Nationwide Series) – Smith got his second win in nine starts with JR Motorsports and vaulted into the points lead. He presents JR Motorsports’ first legitimate title contender since Brad Keselowski left following the 2009 season. It was a controversial win for sure, but it doesn’t matter to Smith and his crew. He was a driver who deserved a break after some success in the Sprint Cup Series for an underfunded team. Falling Kasey Kahne (Sprint Cup Series) – Kahne just lasted 42 laps before being taken out in the first “big one” Sunday at Talladega. It was the fitting end to his weekend after having the Nationwide Series race taken from him on Saturday. He will look forward to going to Darlington and gaining back those points he lost Sunday. Sam Hornish, Jr. (Nationwide Series) - Hornish started off the season strong. He finished 2nd, 7th, 1st, 4th, and 2nd through five races. At Texas he finished 34th, which was a slight hiccup. Then rebounded with a 7th place finish at Richmond. At Talladega, he was caught up in the big wreck and finished 25th. I know he couldn’t control that, but in the back of my head I’ve kept questioning his consistency. He’ll need to rebound big Friday at Darlington to get him out of the danger zone in my book. NASCAR Caution Policy (Nationwide Series) – Most everyone (including me) thought that it was Kasey Kahne who won the race on Saturday. Upon review, the caution flag was thrown just prior to the cars crossing the start/finish line. NASCAR said Sunday from the track it was because of the severity of the Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler’s wrecks, that they wanted the safety crews to get there ASAP to attend to the drivers. That’s a reasonable explanation, but confusing based on the precedent that NASCAR has set foot. They have left it green for far worse accidents (cars flipping, for example) yet this time they pulled the trigger early. Again, consistency is an issue with NASCAR, go figure. Treading Water Ryan Newman (Sprint Cup Series) – Newman was taken out on a wreck on lap 182, like a handful of other drivers, and relegated to a 32nd place finish. Normally someone who finishes that low would make it on the treading water, but this for Newman’s post-accident comments that score him on this list. Newman let into an unnamed party, presumably NASCAR, for getting exactly what they wanted by re-starting the race in rain and in the dark. This was the second time during a wreck at Talladega that a car has landed on the top of Newman’s car and it will be interesting how NASCAR responds to his pointed comments. They weren’t about the car, so he should be in the clear. Denny Hamlin (Sprint Cup Series) – It was a positive step at Talladega for Hamlin to actually get into the car and race after breaking his vertebra in a wreck at Fontana. The negative was he had to get out of the car for replacement driver Brian Vickers to take over. He then came into the Hollywood Hotel to give commentary with the rest of the race. That was really cool of him to stick around and do that. That got me thinking that maybe they should do that with drivers, if they fall out early, have them come talk. Although, upon review, if they’re out early they might not want to stick around. Kurt Busch (Nationwide Series) - Kurt went all out in the Nationwide Series race trying to get the win for Phoenix Racing. The problem is he came up short and finished fourth after being near the front right until the end. He ran a cool looking car, as seen here, and brought it home in one piece. It would have been great for the team and old school fans to see him in victory lane, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Porn star gets into funny Twitter exchange with Eagles player

Report: Muschamp is Auburn's next defensive coordinator

NFLPA responds to denial of Adrian Peterson’s appeal

Teammate: Johnny Manziel a ‘nightmare’ to practice against

Adrian Peterson appeal denied

Raiders had to study game tape to learn celebrating techniques


The NBA is considering shortening the preseason

More key evidence thrown out in Aaron Hernandez trial

Reports: Bruins 'front runners' to host 2016 NHL Winter Classic

Carmelo: Waiving no-trade clause would make me weak

Report: Patriots doctor altered report to recoup player's bonus

Josh Gordon maintains effort no matter the quarterback

Yoenis Cespedes’ value lies solely in his name

Report: 2016 Winter Classic will be held in Boston

Four transactions that slipped through the cracks

Why the NFC South winner will really be a loser

Buckingham Palace absolves LeBron of breaching ‘royal protocol’

Sugar Bowl ticket prices up 213% since OSU’s last appearance

Winners and losers of 2014 MLB Winter Meetings

The Knicks show why not rebuilding is even more painful

Tim Tebow to make broadcast booth debut at Peach Bowl

Bruce Arians had an awesome postgame conference

Urban Meyer's wife has hair catch on fire blowing out candles

Game of the week: 49ers vs. Seahawks

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Adrian Peterson appeal denied

Winners and losers of the Winter Meetings

Key evidence tossed in Hernandez trial

Porn star, Eagles player have funny Twitter exchange

Game of the week: 49ers vs. Seahawks

Olivia Munn talks sex life, Rodgers

Sharper indicted on rape charges

Man steals $1.5M in LeBron sneakers?

10 MLB Winter Meetings takeaways

The best sports media feuds of 2014

Jeter advises on how to avoid bad press

Video surfaces of Kobe's practice tirade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.