Loudon II: Erik Darnell preview

* ERIK DARNELL returns to pilot the No. 96 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford Fusion this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300. * DARNELL AT LOUDON... Darnell has made a total of four starts at NHMS -- one Nationwide and...

* ERIK DARNELL returns to pilot the No. 96 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford Fusion this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300.

* DARNELL AT LOUDON... Darnell has made a total of four starts at NHMS -- one Nationwide and three Truck Series. He has four top-10 and two top-five finishes.

* LAPS... Darnell has completed 100% of the laps he has attempted at NHMS -- 200 laps of Nationwide Series competition and 600 laps of Truck Series racing. He has led just eight laps at Loudon -- all in Truck Series competition.

* ON THE TRACK...The No. 96 will sport the colors of Northern Tool + Equipment this weekend at New Hampshire. NT+E will also be the primary sponsor on Darnell's Ford at Kansas in October.

* SEVEN RACES IN 2009... Darnell will be behind the wheel of the No. 96 entry for seven races this season. After this weekend at Loudon, Darnell's next Cup Series race will be at Kansas.

* IMPRESSIVE IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES... In the Nationwide Series, Darnell has just 11 starts, but so far has achieved one pole, two top-five and five top-10 finishes -- he has led 20 laps.

Erik Darnell on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

"Racing at Loudon reminds me a lot of racing at Milwaukee -- where I grew up racing. I've always run well on flat-mile tracks. I've never finished outside the top 10 at Loudon in the Truck or Nationwide Series and would really like to keep that record going this weekend in the Cup Series. Northern Tool + Equipment will be my sponsor this weekend, those guys have supported me throughout my entire career, so a good finish for them this weekend is high on my list of priorities."

Crew chief Ben Leslie on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

"Erik did a spectacular job in his first Cup start at Atlanta. He didn't put himself in a position to get wrecked. He didn't overdrive the car to where he would have put himself in a position to wreck. His feedback was very concise and to the point. I couldn't be happier. Given all the circumstances and looking at that as his very first COT race and he was racing against some of the best drivers out there. At one point he passed Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman -- that really shows his talent and I'm looking forward to seeing what he's got this weekend at Loudon, a track that should compliment his driving style."

-credit: yr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman , Erik Darnell