Chase Elliott finally got his first win of the season at Dover this past Sunday, and I’m sure the number 9 team feels like a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders as they head into this weekend’s race. This week is throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway one of the oldest continuous tracks on the Nascar circuit and is affectionately known by race fans worldwide as “The Lady in Black” or “The Track Too Tough to Tame”. Darlington is a 1.3-mile egg-shaped track that will give some of the world’s best drivers all they can handle. For this week’s Top 5 I look at crafty veterans who have historically run well at Darlington in their careers. Although I do believe there is room for some new blood to make an impact this weekend. While Darlington doesn’t meet the definition of a superspeedway by today’s standards some in the racing world look at it as the grandfather of the modern superspeedway, with its long straightaways and high banked turns, so don’t be surprised to see the likes of Bubba Wallace, Austin Cindric, or Chase Briscoe competing for a win this weekend. Don’t forget to join Steve Risley, Joe Spilman, and Ryan Peters on The Grueling Truth Nascar Show Wednesdays at 7 pm as they recap all the action from the previous week and give you their top picks for the next race. You can Find the Grueling truth on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Google Podcast, and I Heart radio, Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on the races!
Kyle Larson is once again the Vegas odd’s makers favorite for this Sunday’s race at Darlington. However, Larson being the favorite to win is not without reason. Larson has finished 2nd in his last three Cup races at Darlington, and in eight career starts there he has five Top 3 finishes. If Larson can run a clean race and stay out of trouble look for him to finish strong possibly taking home his second checkered flag of the season. Larson is +500 to win, +150 to finish in the top 3, and -140 to finish in the top 5.
Kevin Harvick has 28 starts at Darlington, with 812 laps led and 3 wins. Two of Harvick’s 3 wins at the track came just two years ago in 2020. Although Harvick has struggled with speed this year Darlington is a track that highlights driver ability, and I believe Harvick is still one of the best all-around drivers in the sport. Darlington might be one of Harvick’s best chances for a win this season. Harvick is +1600 to win, +450 to finish in the top 3, and +200 to finish in the top 5.
Martin Truex Jr. is one of those crafty veterans who still has a lot left in the tank. Truex Jr, won last year’s May race at Darlington, and I look for him to finish well this week. If Truex Jr. can avoid mistakes like last week when he spun himself out on the last turn, I look for a strong finish out of him and possibly a win this Sunday. Truex Jr. is +700 to win, +175 to finish in the top 3, and -125 to finish in the top 5. Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the races!
Kyle Busch has 20 cup series starts in his career at Darlington and although he has only managed to take home the checkered flag once in 2008, he has come away with 4 top 3 finishes and 14 top 10’s. Look for Busch to run another strong race this weekend and don’t be surprised if he collects his second checkered flag of the 2022 season. Busch is +1000 to win, +250 to finish in the top 3, and +125 to finish in the top 5.
Denny Hamlin is not having a very good 2022 season other than his win at Richmond. However, Hamlin has done exceptionally well at Darlington in his 19 Cup series starts with 4 wins, 2 of which have come in the last two years. Hamlin also has 11 top 5 finishes at the track, and if Hamlin can overcome the suspensions with his pit crew and crew chief from their tire mishap leaving the pits last Sunday look for him to be in contention at the end of the race. Hamlin is +800 to win, +200 to finish in the top 3, and +100 to finish in the top 5.