NASCAR

Greg Biffle Needs to Step it up and Darlington is the Place to Start

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Biffle had a disappointing thirty-sixth place finish at Talladega Superspeedway last week in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. That matched his uncharacteristic finish the week before at Richmond. No problem since NASCAR is at a Greg Biffle type of track this week, Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

The Darlington Raceway is one of the tracks on the NASCAR circuit that is not like any of the other tracks.  No cookie cutter track this weekend.  The Darlington Raceway is almost a true oval track except turns 1 and 2 are wide and sweeping, where turns 3 and 4 are tight like a true oval.  There is 25 degrees of banking in turns 1 and 2 and 23 degrees of banking in turns 3 and 4.  The front and back stretch has 6 degrees of banking.  Drivers and their crews will be working hard during practice to get their cars to be fast at both ends of the race track.  Since each end is so different they will not get their cars perfect.  Some cars will be really good in turns 1 and 2 while others will be good in turns 3 and 4.  The track is 1.366 miles in length and the race is 367 laps or 501.3 miles.

Looking at the driver ratings for this race it looks like the race is between Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin.  Denny Hamlin is cleared to race the whole race but there is a question on whether or not he is up to it. That leaves Jeff and Greg to fight it out.

Looking further into the statistics, Jeff and Greg are still in a virtual tie. Jeff has an average finish of 11.8 while Greg’s is 14. Jeff has an average running position of 8.3 and Greg 9.8. Make no mistake about it this race will at some point come down to Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle.  Greg likes this track and needs a win to get back into the top ten in points.

I love the Darlington race track, I’ve got a couple of wins there and I’m ready to put Talladega behind us.” Greg said, “This will be the first time there with the new car, so we don’t know what to expect.  There should be a lot of grip. I’m excited, the team is excited, we are looking for a win to get back some points. The last two weeks have been really rough on us. I can’t wait to race the black Meguiar’s car under the lights Saturday night at Darlington.

Last year Greg Biffle won the pole for this race but finished the race 12th.

If you can’t get to Darlington Raceway, The Bojangles’ Southern 500 will be broadcast on Fox starting at 6 PM ET Saturday May 11th.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary. On Pinterest at NASCARnews. Also add to your network on Google.

Top 12 Driver Rating at Darlington

Jeff Gordon………………………… 111.8
Greg Biffle………………………….. 110.5
Denny Hamlin……………………… 109.5
Jimmie Johnson…………………… 105.7
Kyle Busch………………………… 102.3
Kasey Kahne……………………….. 98.3
Ryan Newman………………………. 97.6
Martin Truex Jr……………………… 95.2
Carl Edwards……………………….. 93.9
Dale Earnhardt Jr………………….. 90.4
Tony Stewart……………………….. 90.0
Matt Kenseth……………………….. 86.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (eight total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.