If there is one track in the Nationwide series that rookies do not look forward to it could be Darlington Raceway.
It’s not an easy track to come to for the first time and if you can bring your car home in one piece and get a solid finish it should be considered a success.
That’s why my focus is on the rookies this weekend. Can these drivers tame the lady in black on Friday night?
Roush Fenway Racing, rookie Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will need to lean on his teammates, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth for advice on how to drive this track. His feedback will also be key during practice Friday morning.
At Darlington when you exit the corner you shoot directly into the wall, so you’re bound to brush it but the best drivers do not wreck.
Stenhouse cannot afford another poor finish. He has really struggled to finish races and get as much seat time as possible.
Another rookie to watch is James Buescher. In recent weeks we have seen him run much better in the race. In fact at Richmond he spent most of the race in the top 15.
Can Buescher continue his recent turnaround at Darlington? I think he could in fact I think this team is starting to hit its stride in the NNS.
Darlington is not an easy track and most drivers it takes a couple times to find success.
I do think it’s about communicating with the crew chief and the spotter. Early on in the race you’re racing the race track not really your competitors. In order to be battling for the win you have to be there and your car needs to be in one piece.
It’s going to be a very warm day and they are practicing in the morning so the track temperatures will be different even when they qualify on Friday afternoon.
Then when they take the green flag the sun will just be setting and the track will take another transition. The teams that can stay ahead of the track changes will be the teams battling for the win Friday night.
The Royal Purple 200 presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts is Friday at 7ET on ESPN2.