Darlington: In the loop

'IN THE LOOP' AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY End of the Trend? DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2007) -- A pattern has developed over the past two years at Darlington. The pattern is a simple one: A Greg Biffle win followed by a Greg Biffle win. During...

'IN THE LOOP' AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY

End of the Trend?

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2007) -- A pattern has developed over the past two years at Darlington.

The pattern is a simple one: A Greg Biffle win followed by a Greg Biffle win.

During a press conference this week during testing at Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway, Biffle adamantly proclaimed his love for the historic South Carolina track.

But the trend of Biffle dominance is, at best, a question mark going into this weekend. The unknown is the Car of Tomorrow, which will run on its longest track to date -- 1.366 miles (the previous longest was Phoenix at one mile).

Biffle has tremendous statistics at Darlington in the non-COT over the past two years. But after four races in the COT, Biffle has had up and down efforts.

The question this Saturday night: which Biffle will show up? Will it be the Biffle who has owned Darlington the past two years? Will it be the Biffle who has struggled in the COT? Or will it be a combination of both?

First take a look at some of the startling stats Biffle has accumulated over the past two years at Darlington. His average Driver Rating at Darlington is an amazing 143.8.

NASCAR's Loop Data includes a statistic called Laps in the Top 15. Biffle's dominance allows the stat to be pared down even further. Check out the Laps in the Top Five. (A total of 737 laps were run at Darlington over the past two years.):

Laps in the Top Five at Darlington (2005-2006)
1. Greg Biffle -- 699 of 737
2. Ryan Newman -- 510 of 737
3. Jimmie Johnson -- 507 of 737
4. Kasey Kahne -- 470 of 737
5. Jeff Gordon -- 305 of 737

As the above shows, Biffle spent only 38 laps outside the top five the last two years.

Now the bad news for Biffle.

In the COT races, Biffle has finishes of fifth, 32nd, 17th and 19th.

All that should make for an interesting watch come Saturday night. Usually, Biffle would be considered a top-five lock at Darlington. But with the COT, who knows?

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne