Race: Goodyear 400
Date: May 2nd at 3:30pm
Venue: Darlington Raceway
2020 Winner: Denny Hamlin (2:24:23)
Darlington Raceway — “The Lady in Black” is a 1.4 mile egg shaped asphalt track that opened in 1950 by Harold Brasington making it the 2nd oldest track on the series. The turns are between 23 and 25 degrees and the straights are between 2-3 degrees. Crews work hard to make sure the car can handle the different turns between one of the race track and the other. The closest comparative track to Darlington would be Texas which is slightly longer and a Quad-Oval vs. an Egg-Shaped Oval.
Kevin Harvick (fourth selection this year) — I’m picking Harvick again and dubbing him the king of Darlington. He has 3 wins and nothing but top 10 each of the last 9 races here.
Austin Dillon (second selection this year) — Dillon has one 20th place finish as his sole blemish here over the last 4 races which includes three top 12 finishes and a 2nd place. Each of the last 4 races he’s been among the top 15 as he’s worked his way into the top 12 in points. He also won at Texas last year.
High Risk/High Reward
Kyle Larson (third selection this year) — Larson has been among the top 15 each of the last 5 races at Darlington. He was among the top three the last two races. After a win at Las Vegas and subsequent top 10 finishes at Phoenix and Atlanta earlier this season, he’s only had one top 15 finish (across the last five races).
Tyler Reddick (fifth selection this year) — Doubling down on Reddick. He was 2nd and 15th at the 2 Texas races and 7th at Darlington during the regular season. The only blemish was his 23rd place finish at the playoff Darlington last year. He’s fresh off back to back 7th place finishes this season at Talladega and Kansas.
The Dark Horse
Erik Jones (third selection this year) — I’m tripling down on Jones. The last 5 races at Darlington he finished among the top 10 each time. Erik has just one top 10 finish in his last seven races and maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but I believe another one coming this weekend.
Fun Fact: The race was shortened last year due to rain
Favorite: Avg Finish 13th (34th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 20th (51st Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 14th (36th Percent)