Saturday evening at Darlington is about two points: used tires and horsepower. The old track in South Carolina– alternately nicknamed The Woman In Black and The Track Too Tough To Tame– is weather-beaten and also knotted, and also because of this, its surface grinds up tires like no one’s company. Take one lap around Darlington and you’ve already wrecked the tires you get on, and also if anybody late in a race just takes two, you can be sure he’s headed directly to the back. The location is a high-banked 1.33-miler (25 as well as 23 degrees of financial), suggesting torque is crucial, and also in spite of advancements made by the Roush/Yates engine program, I still assume Dodge makes the cruelest engines.
Obviously, Darlington is additionally about a motorist’s capacity to drive quick on worn tires. Any individual who can maintain his vehicle way up in the track’s fastest groove– just millimeters from the wall surface– while gliding about on chewed-up Goodyears will certainly be really rapid Saturday night. It takes a steady hand to glide the vehicle’s back side like that and remain fast, which is why former dirt-trackers like Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon are constantly an element below. As well as last year’s Darlington victor, Greg Biffle, most likely suches as to glide his cars and truck out of a turn greater than any chauffeur on the Smokeless Establish.
Darlington is, naturally, a one-event track now, which is type of sad, since it’s a really enjoyable auto racing location. Vehicles can pass, it’s possible to come from behind (Sterling Marlin won from the 43rd starting area back in 2002), as well as automobiles that are just mediocre for the race’s initial half can suddenly stumble upon the right arrangement as well as make stirring costs and intimidate for the win. This Mom’s Day event is a replacement for the standard Labor Day weekend Southern 500, once among the beauty races in the sport. Make indisputable: this is an area where individuals intend to win.
Over the previous four years, winners at Darlington dodge tracker have actually included Marlin, Gordon, Ricky Craven in an impossibly amazing win over Kurt Busch, Terry Labonte, Jimmie Johnson two times as well as Biffle. The people with the best average finish here over that time duration are Kasey Kahne (7th-place finishing standard, though he’s only run below 3 times), Johnson (7.71 ), Carl Edwards (8th, though he’s just run here two times), Jamie McMurray (11.4 ), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (11.4) and also Biffle (11.8 ). Let’s have a look at the men that I believe represent the most effective bets Saturday evening under the lights.
Take Jimmie Johnson (11-2), 1/3rd device. Johnson is really, great at Darlington. He swept this joint in 2004, and came 7th here last spring. As a matter of fact, in the last 4 years at Darlington, Johnson has actually stopped working to complete in the top-10 exactly as soon as. Don’t stress over practice rates, don’t fret about qualifying. When the time comes for him to make a relocation, watch out. And also, it’s worth keeping in mind that Hendrick autos have actually won four of the last six
occasions at Darlington. That must make you curious about Jeff Gordon (8-1) (who’s won at this track six times), Kyle Busch (13-1) and also perhaps even Brian Vickers (35-1). Well, alright, no. Most likely not Vickers.
Take Greg Biffle (6-1), 1/3rd unit. I liked what I saw out of Biffle at Richmond last weekend break, when he completed fourth after not having a very good automobile in the race’s second half. Like he’s done numerous times this year, the Biff appeared of eviction with guns blazing, and also led a ton of laps early, yet like in other races this year, he fell off a cliff, as well as appeared like he ‘d struggle merely to remain in the top-10. Lo as well as behold, however, Biffle had the ability to find some intestines and also dig in, registering his first top-five of a season in which he was thought to be a severe danger to win the points title. He’s got a long way to head to make the Chase, however I think Darlington’s sliding design fits him perhaps much better than any person on the circuit.
Take Kasey Kahne (9-1), 1/3rd unit. I actually was attracted to take Ryan Newman (20-1) either in this area or in Biffle’s. Newman probably would’ve won the Darlington race in 2005, however, for some horrible pit technique in which he avoided while everybody else transformed tires. He’s never won here, however he’s obtained four top-fives in the last six Darlington occasions. The trouble with Newman is he doesn’t seem to be able to obtain comfortable with the Dodge Battery Charger, with Kurt Busch (13-1) as his colleague, or with qualifying, which he utilized to dominate. So instead, I’m mosting likely to opt for Kahne, that in his three Darlington occasions has logged a third, a fifth as well as a 13th. I like the Dodge horsepower, I believe Kahne is a legitimate danger to make the Chase as well as threaten for the title, and also I’m remembering his efficiencies at the high-banked tracks at Atlanta and also Texas. Now, those are mile-and-a-half cookie cutters, as well as Darlington is anything but a cookie cutter (if you’ve ever played PlayStation NASCAR and driven Darlington, you know that Turn 2 comes with you like Oprah Winfrey on a steamroller), and also certainly the track surface areas are wildly various, yet the banking is comparable. Perhaps Kahne obtains it with each other as well as uploads his third win of the year.