Mike Skinner crashed with Terry Labonte late in Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 and spun to the center of the track, his car in flames.
Skinner, wearing a head and neck restraint system developed by his team, climbed out unhurt.
But it was a scary reminder of the death of Skinner's Richard Childress Racing teammate, Dale Earnhardt, at the Daytona 500. Earnhardt was not wearing such a restraint when he died of a head injury Feb. 18.
"I thought we (were) finally going to get us a top 10 here at Darlington," Skinner said.
NASCAR stopped the race for almost 11 minutes to clean up the mess from Skinner's crash.
PIT STOPS: Sterling Marlin remained the highlight for Dodge in the manufacturer's return to Winston Cup. He led 13 laps and ran third late before dropping to fifth. Track president Jim Hunter said the track and NASCAR will rethink the abbreviated schedule for the spring race. Qualifying, formerly held Friday, was scheduled for Saturday but was canceled by fog. _ TIMES WIRES
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 9 minutes, 45 seconds.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.527.
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 38 laps.
LEAD CHANGES: 12 among 7 drivers.
LAP LEADERS: J. Gordon 1-47; D. Jarrett 48; S. Marlin 49-61; S. Park 62-116; M. Martin 117; J. Gordon 118-132; S. Park 133-136; J. Gordon 137-146; S. Park 147-198; J. Spencer 199-200; J. Benson 201-225; S. Park 226-278; D. Jarrett 279-293.