Seven in seven.
No, we’re not talking about the popular bar drink. It’s a reference to the seven different winners in the first seven races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Earnhardt Jr., Harvick, Keselowski, Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Logano. All are names from a Who’s Who list of the top stars of the Cup series. All are winners in 2014.
Eight for eight? Why not? It’s a strong possibility now that winning is everything in Sprint Cup competition. Everything now means a ticket to the Chase.
The eighth different winner could come from a strong pool of candidates that includes Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer; all are itching to get their ticket punched for postseason play.
Next up it’s “The Track Too Tough to Tame.” Darlington Speedway in South Carolina didn’t come by that nickname when a marketing guru thought it up. And it didn’t come by way of a contest that let fans decide the track’s nickname.
This track came by its nickname the only way it could. From the drivers. Once you’ve raced on Darlington’s oddly shaped oval, with its high banks and track so narrow that it makes two-wide look scary and three-wide seem absolutely impossible, the nickname comes to you naturally.
She’s also been called "The Lady in Black" because at the end of every race, her outer walls, which are painted white prior to race day, bear the black scars of tire scuffs or body rubs—proof that someone needed the wall to make that next-to-impossible pass or to make his ill-handling race car work.
There's also the "Darlington Stripe" that appears on the right rear quarter panel of most of the cars this weekend. That's from contact with the outside wall, sometimes a necessity when you're pushing the limits.
Call Darlington Speedway whatever works best for you. As for the teams of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this week they'll call it "What's Next."