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Darlington Viewer's Guide
It's 57 years old, and they're getting around here in a little over 30 seconds on this egg-shaped track. Drivers must run near the top of the track, and they're walking a fine line between getting the car turned and getting into the wall. We're going to see a lot of cars in the wall, some harder than others, but the 25-degree banking won't help much here.
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Pit PerspectivesIn nearly 25 years of covering NASCAR, I've never heard all drivers say the same exact thing about how a car was handling like they did last week at Richmond loose in, tight in the center, loose off. The Car of Tomorrow is a work in progress, and the teams are having a hard time getting the car to turn. They have to slow down the car so much to get it turned that it's extremely different than they're usual setup. Will they get it to turn better? Certainly, some teams have figured it out better than others. Darlington will be the fastest track where these teams have run the Car of Tomorrow. Higher speeds should exascerbate handling problems the faster they go, the harder they are to drive. There's a lot of trepidation heading into this race. To begin with, it's a difficult track. Add in the Car of Tomorrow, and it's got everybody on their toes.
Finish LineDarlington has always been a place where you've got to keep up with the racetrack as opposed to the competition so drivers must race the track and not their competitors. The winner will do the best job of keeping up with this track. You're never going to conquer the racetrack, but the team that's closest is the one that's going to win. It's such a challenging racetrack at the best of times with the best of cars. It's going to be a huge test for these teams and drivers.
NASCAR on FOX and SPEED host and reporter Steve Byrnes has covered racing for more than 20 years.