The man to beat tonight at the Darlington Cup is Greg Biffle. Biffle is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader and he’ll be starting from the pole position today at the Darlington Raceway, the oldest superspeedway in NASCAR.
But tonight’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 won’t be an easy race for Biffle. Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson will be starting from the second position, and driver’s like last-year’s shocking upset winner, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon call all find themselves at the front of the pack when the checkered flag flies.
“I feel really good about where are team is right now… I guess my memory is a little short, but especially back to last year, I feel much more competitive now than I did last year. I feel that in our setups, we have more areas to develop still. Where last year we were kind of at the edge of our package in trying to find new speed. Right now we have a fast car and a lot of great ideas still to come, if that makes any sense. So I feel we’re a lot stronger this year than we were last. I don’t know how to compare it to other years, but things are really good right now.”
But Johnson isn’t the only one feeling good about his setup. Biffle, who currently leads the series, is hoping to become the first driver in history to win a championship in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions.
“It’s easy to say when you’re leading the points that it’s your best opportunity, but I feel like from a competitive standpoint we’re running as good as we have in several years and I think we’re as strong as we were in 2005 right now, I really do.”
Danica Patrick will be racing in her first non-restrictor-plate Sprint Cup race tonight, but don’t expect any heroics from NASCAR’s most popular driver. Patrick said that she’s just hoping to finish the race.
“I just want to finish, which is going to be a challenge, I think… Just getting to the end of the Cup race is going to be the accomplishment for me.”
The live broadcast from the Darlington Raceway will start at 4:30 p.m. ET on SPEEDTV.