Power Rankings – Darlington

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will race under the lights Saturday night at a classic NASCAR track, Darlington. With new pavement, the track “too tough to tame” will be providing high speed action with the cars hitting close to or over 200mph on the straightaways.

The Power Rankings tells you who we think will be burning up the track. Feel free to let us know your thoughts, send us an email. Power Rankings
Kyle Busch – Love him or hate him, Busch is the top driver out on the track. And, when he is out there, Kyle will let nothing get in his way as he charges to the checkers. One caveat though, will he have the patience that a track like Darlington requires?

Carl Edwards – Carl is a driver that fits the Darlington mold, fast when he needs to be and patient when required. Look for a great finish this weekend. Running the Nationwide race should help as well.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – After a run of tracks that “should be the track he will win at”, Dale heads to another track that he has run well at. The dejection was completely apparent after coming so close at Richmond, we’ll have to see how he bounces back.

Denny Hamlin – Talk about bouncing back from adversity. Not only hurt by a flat tire taking away a sure win, Denny landed hard on his hip playing basketball the next day. If his car is as good at Darlington as it was at Richmond, all the hurt will go away and so will Denny away from the competition.

Jeff Gordon – Last year’s winner at this track also has the benefit of a tire test on the new Darlington surface. Coming from the back of the pack and a lap down to post a top ten finish at Richmond last weekend shows that this team is ready to charge back up the standings.

Jimmie Johnson – Don’t count out Jimmy, Darlington has been a good track for him. Armed with his teammates tire test notes and the best crew chief in the business, Johnson will be fine.

Tony Stewart – The “quiet” driver at Joe Gibbs racing is looking to add to the team win total. Tony has run well at Darlington and will also run the Nationwide series race to try to figure out the new track surface.

Greg Biffle – Biffle was part of the tire test group at Darlington, which should help his chances this weekend. Greg has won at Darlington twice but is currently in the middle of lower than expected outcomes when the checkers have waved. This weekend should be a change of fortune.

Jeff Burton – The driver in second place in the standings is easy to overlook. But, with two wins at this track and one of the best at getting everything out of a car, Burton should leave Saturday night with a top ten finish if not better.

Mark Martin – Another driver that is easy to overlook because he is running a partial schedule, Martin is one of the hottest drivers right now. Mark has a streak of three top ten finishes in a row with the last two races culminating in top five finishes. Martin, like Burton, is a master at getting everything out of the car without using it up, a key to finishing well this weekend.

Others to watch:
Clint Bowyer – Last week’s winner.
Matt Kenseth – Desperately needs a top ten finish.
Martin Truex Jr. – Great start and finish at Richmond.
Kevin Harvick – Needs a win to keep up with RCR teammates.
Travis Kvapil – Five top 20 finishes including two top ten this year. Lafayette Ford will sponsor the car this week with a paint job reminiscent of Fred Lorenzen’s ride back in the ’60s. It would really be cool to see this car at the front of the pack, probably won’t happen but it would be cool.
Did you know: Fred Lorenzen’s career earnings were a little over $490K for twelve years of racing. Kenny Wallace earned a little over $250K for finishing last in this year’s Daytona 500. Times have changed.

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