Nationwide Preview: Royal Purple 200 Presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IMay 5, 2010

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 08:  A general view of cars race during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on May 8, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
John Harrelson/Getty Images

Track Stats


Name: Darlington Raceway

Race Date: May 7, 2010

Location: Darlington, SC

Length: 1.366 miles

Banking in turns one and two: 25 degrees

Banking in turns three and four: 23 degrees

Banking on the frontstretch: three degrees

Banking on the backstretch: two degrees

Grandstand Seats: 63,000

Tickets/track info: or 1 (866) 459-RACE




Last Year’s Top 10


1. Matt Kenseth

2. Jason Leftler

3. Carl Edwards

4. Erik Darnell

5. Justin Allgaier

6. Ryan Newman

7. Mike Bliss

8. Jeff Burton

9. Scott Wimmer

10. Brian Vickers




Interesting Stats


In the last three races at Darlington, Jason Leftler has gained the most points (463), followed by Jeff Burton (407) and Jason Keller (385).


However, in the last five races at Darlington, Matt Kenseth has gained the most points (701), followed by Carl Edwards (641) and Leftler (597)




Good Picks


Denny Hamlin: When you compare average finishes for Darlington, Denny Hamlin sits at the top of the list with an average finish of 4.2. In four starts at Darlington, he has two wins, two top fives, and four top 10s. Hamlin has only run one Nationwide race this year, which was at Las Vegas, where he finished fourth.


Matt Kenseth: As shown by the stat above, Kenseth is good at Darlington, and his average finish backs it up. In 15 races at Darlington, he has three wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s, and an average finish of 7.9. Kenseth has only run one Nationwide race this year, which was last week at Richmond, where he finished 10th.


Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer has yet to appear in the Darlington stats yet, though don’t count him out of your picks. In five races at Darlington, he has one win, five top fives, six top 10s, and an average finish of 9.8. Bowyer was put in the No. 21 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing after John Wes Townley didn’t perform to standards. Since taking over the ride, he has only one top 10 (sixth at Talladega) in four starts with an average finish of 18.8.


Kenny Wallace: Kenny Wallace is the highest ranked Nationwide regular when you compare average finishes of drivers who’ve run more than one race at Darlington. In 24 starts, he has four top fives, eight top 10s, and an average finish of 13.9. Wallace has competed this year with a limited budget; however, he still sits 16th in points.


Jason Leftler: Leftler is another Nationwide regular that should be on the radar, as seen by the stats listed above. In seven races at Darlington, he has one top five, four top 10s, and an average finish of 15.1. Leftler this year hasn’t got off to the start he would’ve liked, as he sits 15th in points with only one top 10.




Good Once Again?


Last year in his first start at Darlington Raceway, Justin Allgaier finished fifth after starting 12th. He looks to repeat that finish and continue his good season to date, as he currently sits fourth in the standings, 180 points out of the lead, with one win, three top fives, and five top 10s.