Too tough to tame; this is one of the crown jewel races that truly captures what makes NASCAR such a unique sport with history that is rich comparable to any other. I think this track produces interesting races that can be quite unpredictable, while sometimes we have a stinker, a lot of time these races come down to some exciting finishes.

Throwback weekend is always cool to watch, so even if the race doesn’t live up to expectations, you get to watch beautiful cars all over the track. I already talked enough about the cars in a previous article though. I wanna talk about what the actual competition might look like.

Favorite: Kyle Busch

I’m gonna ride the wave and bet on a guy that could be getting ready to put on a smoke show. Kyle Busch has looked a mess for the last two years, and while Busch looking a mess is a career most would dream of, he still has not been in championship form.

I think that last week’s win will be a big trend setter for this season. Reason being, because he runs very well at Darlington and this is a great pair of races to get back to normal. I think there is a great chance for him to get two wins in a row riding his momentum.

Dark Horse: Erik Jones

I wish I could use Wednesday’s iRacing event as a reason for picking him, but really it’s not. If you want to follow a trend, Brad Keselowski won both the iRacing and race at Talladega. All this did is reaffirm that this is Jones’ best track on the schedule.

With an average finish of 5th in his career, I don’t think his downgrade in equipment will affect him too harshly here at Darlington. Richard Petty Motorsports will randomly produce great cars at tracks like this, and I expect this team to be in contention for a top ten at least.


High-End Picks:

  1. Kyle Busch – $9,800
  2. Denny Hamlin – $10,600
  3. Brad Keselowski – $10,000
  4. Kyle Larson – $11,400
  5. Martin Truex Jr. – $10,300

Mid-Tier Picks:

  1. Erik Jones – $8,200
  2. Austin Dillon – $7,500
  3. William Byron – $8,800
  4. Matt DiBenedetto – $7,800
  5. Tyler Reddick – $7,400

Low-End Pick:

  1. Chris Buescher – $6,500
  2. Daniel Suarez – $6,700
  3. Chase Briscoe – $6,800
  4. Michael McDowell – $6,100
  5. Ross Chastain – $6,300

When it comes to Darlington, experience is key. This is not the place you want to put money on low-end guys with little experience. This track is not for unskilled drivers, and so I would try to live in the mid-tier range as opposed to dumpster diving trying to find wildcards.

Pretty much every RCR affiliate driver in Dillon, Reddick, Jones, and Suarez all have great experience here and would probably give significant value to a lineup. So, if you can pair them with some of the veterans of Joe Gibbs Racing, I think that will be the best play.

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