As NASCAR leaves Kansas for South Carolina, the sport gets set for one of the most anticipated tracks on the circuit in Darlington. However, before we get in to the Goodyear 400 Preview I think we have to spend a bit of time talking about the incredible action at last week’s Advent Health 400.
I mentioned that Kansas was well-suited for the NextGen car and boy did this race ever deliver. The Advent Health 400 had everything. Side-by-side racing throughout the field for the entirety of the race? Check. A last lap pass for the win by Denny Hamlin on Kyle Larson? Check. Drama on pit road with tensions bubbling over and a punch thrown? Another check! A high standard has been set for this week’s Goodyear 400 but Darlington can absolutely deliver.
With Darlington’s rich racing history, the race has been designated as a throwback weekend of sorts for many NASCAR teams. I always look forward to this race on the schedule for unique paint schemes and nostalgia. Fans flock to Darlington for some intense on track action as well as pieces of the past.
Of course, the uniqueness of the weekend doesn’t just apply to the paint schemes. Darlington itself is an incredibly unique and challenging track for drivers. The track comes in under the 1.5-mile mark at 1.366 miles and features two very different sets of turns. The differences in Turns 1 & 2 and Turns 3 & 4 make discovering the perfect set up extremely difficult. Additionally, the second turn tends to be huge trouble spot as coming off the turn onto the back stretch, the track narrows in a hurry.
Are NASCAR’s best up for the challenge? Check out the entry list below:
Josh Berry continues to sub for the injured Alex Bowman while Ryan Newman returns to NASCAR for Rick Ware Racing. We aren’t looking at any other major changes for the rest of the field.
In the Spring race last year at Darlington, Joey Logano dominated en route to a win. The Fall race saw Erik Jones claim a surprising victory. However, neither Penske nor Legacy have shown a ton of speed this year.
The unpredictable nature of Darlington has produced some incredible finishes – including the all time closest finish between Kurt Busch and Ricky Craven in 2003. I’m not sure who comes out on top this Sunday but I have a sneaking suspicion that Chase Elliott could be a major factor for the win for the first time since before missing time for injury.
Check out the below schedule to make sure you don’t miss any on-track action from Darlington Raceway.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying – 2:35 p.m. CT on FS1
NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying – 4:35 p.m. CT on FS1
Buckle Up South Carolina 200 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) – 6:30 p.m. CT on FS1
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – 10:20 a.m. CT on FS1
Shriners Children’s 200 – 12:30 p.m. CT on FOX
Goodyear 400 (NASCAR Cup Series) – 2:00 p.m. CT on FS1