Drivers Counting on Breaks and Brakes at Darlington Raceway
DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 20, 2008) – The action at Darlington Raceway has been non-stop since crews finished repaving the racing surface earlier this month.
Seven-time Darlington winner, Jeff Gordon, two-time Darlington winner Greg Biffle and 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman were the first to tackle the new surface at Darlington Raceway and all three agreed, the new surface is super smooth and super fast, 200 miles per hour fast, in fact.
To win at Darlington drivers have always needed to catch a few breaks, but now with speeds on the backstretch reaching 200 mph drivers will need brakes to slow them down before entering the tight, tricky, treacherous, high-banked turns at Darlington Raceway.
“I would not be surprised to see teams running brakes similar to what we see at Martinsville,” said Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning. “Brakes have always been a factor at Darlington, but with speeds reaching 200 mph brakes will play a more important role than ever.”
The alternative to not slowing down means plowing into the SAFER barrier, scraping and sliding against it through the turns, creating what is known to drivers as the Darlington Stripe.
To help prepare the new surface officials at Darlington Raceway contracted with a private racing school to put Goodyear rubber on the track before the Dodge Challenger 500 weekend, May 8-10. The racing school ran for eight straight days following the Goodyear test and used Goodyear tires on all of the cars used to give track rides.
“In the eight days the racing school was here they turned 16,416 laps on the new surface, a 500-mile race with 43 cars is equivalent to 15,781 laps,” said Browning. “We hope running this racing school here helps weather the surface before the upcoming Dodge Challenger 500.”
With the new racing surface and speeds reaching 200 mph at Darlington Raceway, one thing is clear: Darlington Raceway will be just as treacherous as ever and still “Too Tough to Tame.”
Don’t miss your chance to see another incredible finish at Darlington Raceway when the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take on the track “Too Tough to Tame” in the Dodge Challenger 500 on May 10, 2008. The racing action kicks off with the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on May 9th. Order your tickets now by calling 1-866-459-RACE or logging onto http://www.racetickets.com.