Darlington brings unique challenge

NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Greg Biffle (16) Denny Hamlin
What will Darlington bring this weekend?
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Jeff Hammond

FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Cup wins as a crew chief.


I love the fact that this weekend the racing is Saturday night and then everyone will be home on Sunday to honor our moms and our wives who are moms. Our moms, just like our wives, are special to all of us in the sport, they have played an integral role in our careers and even more importantly, our lives.

The other reason I love going to Darlington Raceway is this place is so full of history. It will forever hold a special place in our sport. They call the joint the “Track too tough to Tame” and “The Lady in Black” for a reason.

Darlington is an extremely difficult place to race. It’s full of challenges from the minute you roll in there. That’s part of its allure and why we all view Darlington as so special.

It’s an iconic place and when you mention the name Darlington, we all immediately say those two catchphrases “The Lady in Black” and “The Track Too Tough to Tame.” It all fits into one sentence that perfectly describes that historic spot in South Carolina.

This may be a little off the chart here, but Darlington is so iconic that it ranks up there with a Valley Forge, Tombstone, Gettysburg or the Alamo where just the mention of the name brings history flooding into your mind.

In the world of racing, places like Daytona and Darlington sit side by side with Indianapolis and places like LeMans.

It’s a special weekend with a special race at a very historic and special place. Don’t you just love the irony that on Sunday we are honoring ladies and in the racing world on Saturday we are racing one of the toughest ladies there is – the one in black?

I’ve always loved going to Darlington, again for from the historical place it has in our sport but also because of the challenges it gives you as a driver or team that you don’t get anywhere else. There’s no doubt this is going to be a unique challenge for the Gen-6 car but to a person we are all expecting a fantastic race.

I won’t be the least surprised to talk to you all next week about how our race weekend started out special, then moved to unique and finished up unbelievable when it’s all said and done Saturday evening at Darlington Raceway.

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