Nascar Racing

Cup Teams Take It To Darlington  

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Over the years the Darlington Raceway has gone by several names. The Lady in Black is one popular name it goes by and the Track Too Tough To Tame is another. Mostly right now, it simply goes by Darlington Raceway. The other names are still very much in the minds of fans and drivers, but that doesn’t change what it is. It is a track that is Too Tough To Tame for many and it ends up as The Lady In Black and she is really no lady to many of the competitors. For many today, she will deliver the Darlington Stripe.

One of the things that stands out to me as a fan is that, if she is understood and treated right and with the respect she deserves she will and does deliver a win to those that understand her. That seems to be the way of The Lady In Black.

There are those that understand that and they have been on the receiving end of the charms of the “Lady” and wins are proof of the relationship they have come to understand with this track. It is a track that eats tires up quickly and, since tires are most important for being able to finish up front, the drivers that can manage their tire wear the best usually end up as contenders for the win at this track. That’s not to say they will always be the winner but it does say they have a chance to win when it comes down to the final laps of a race at Darlington.

Over time, there are drivers that have learned the important lesson of racing at Darlington Raceway and that one lesson makes a big difference when it comes down to it. The lesson is that, to win at Darlington, you race the track and not so much the other drivers. Speed helps but speed out of control at this track will often cost the one that doesn’t understand the patience required to “tame” this track will often fade from being a front runner to an also ran.

From this fan’s view, there are several that understand what it takes to master Darlington Raceway. They don’t always win but they are usually regular contenders for the win. They don’t always start up front but they do often finish up front as either contenders or the winner at the end of the day.

As has been the case much of this 2024 NASCAR Cup season, the expected front runners are the Chevys and the Toyotas. In particular, the JGR and 23XI Toyotas and the Hendrick Chevys. To boil it down even further, most of them are starting in the top ten rows. Okay, maybe I’m boiling it down a little too much. There are a bunch of possible winners for today’s race starting in the top twenty.

There are actually several surprises starting in the top ten. Most notable are the Fords of Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher of RFK Racing and Ross Chastain from TrackHouse Racing. I suppose some would say Chris Buescher starting in the top five isn’t that much of a surprise considering how he finished last weekend at Kansas, losing to Kyle Larson by one thousandth of a second. He and his boss are starting second and third and are ones to watch as the laps wind down for this one.

Some of the usual ones to watch are also starting in the top ten and, of course, they are from the JGR, 23XI and HMS teams. Tyler Reddick starts from the pole position and could be up front a lot today. Ty Gibbs starts fourth and he could be in contention and possibly take his first win in Cup today. William Byron and Kyle Larson start fifth and sixth followed by Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain and Martin Truex Jr.

From this fan’s view, the top ten is filled with people that could not only win but dominate today’s race. The other problem is there are others in the top twenty that could take the win. There are even some that didn’t qualify all that well but they have plenty of time and laps to move from their starting spots in the back, all the way to the front and end up in Victory Lane at the end of the day. Some them didn’t qualify all that well not because they didn’t have speed but because they brushed the wall in their qualifying lap which killed their momentum and put them far back in the field.

Yessir, today’s race at Darlington Raceway is going to be another nailbiter to the very end considering the way things have been going so far this season and on tracks like this or similar in length. At the time of this writing, I can’t really decide which of the drivers might dominate or win the Goodyear 400 today at the Track Too Tough To Tame… How about you… ?

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 12, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
All audio productions by and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.

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