Nadeau Darlington preview

"Darlington hasn't been very good to me. I've had some kind of problem each time I've raced there. It's an old track and it's not very wide, so there's not a whole lot of room to get out of the way when someone has trouble. That makes your ...

"Darlington hasn't been very good to me. I've had some kind of problem each time I've raced there. It's an old track and it's not very wide, so there's not a whole lot of room to get out of the way when someone has trouble. That makes your chances of having a wreck there pretty high. "We're going very fast, so you're always looking far ahead. Some guys always do well there -- I guess they're comfortable with it. I'm still working on getting comfortable at Darlington.

"The Darlington Stripe? Well, let's just say I've had more than just a stripe left on my MichaelHoligan.com Chevy at Darlington."

Since the NFL season begins this weekend, and Nadeau is a big football fan, here are his thoughts on the upcoming season on the gridiron and his predictions for his favorite teams.

"I've been so busy this year that I haven't seen much of the NFL preseason. But, I'm always checking out what the Miami Dolphins are doing. I've been a Dolphins fan since I was a kid. My dad was and still is a big Dolphins fan. I know they've got a new coach and a new quarterback this year. The coach is from Chicago so I'll expect we'll see some big things from him. The new quarterback is a young guy and he'll have big shoes to fill. I'll miss watching Dan Marino. He's a great guy and an awesome football player. It was great when I drove for his team.

"I'll also be following the Denver Broncos because they've got (former Miami Dolphin quarterback) Bob Griese's son, Brian, as quarterback. Plus they've got a really good running back in Terrell Davis. He was awesome in the Super Bowl a few years ago when he played hurt.

"I'll follow the New England Patriots, too, since they're from near my hometown. They've had a few tough seasons, but all of my buddies in Danbury (Conn.) are big fans and they're telling me that this could be a good year for the Patriots.

"I'm not sure about the (Carolina) Panthers. It was a good deal getting Reggie White out of retirement, but they've been hit with a lot of injuries in the preseason.

"I like to watch football. With the kind of schedule we have, I usually only get to watch it on Monday night, but you can bet I'll keep up with it as much as I can."

Viggy's Dining Guide -- Nadeau's motorcoach driver, John "Viggy" Vignona, is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of the restaurants near each of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series tracks. However, the Long Island, N.Y., doesn't have a favorite restaurant in the Darlington area. Instead, we've stolen the secret recipe for Viggy's famous grilled chicken sandwich, one of Nadeau's favorites at the track each week.

"First of all, folks, I made a mistake last week," Vignona said. "Instead of Fish 'N Tails, I should have told you about the Chop House in Kingsport, Tenn. Good atmosphere, good pork chops -- the fat man was happy. "But considering that we're going to Darlington this week -- what is there to eat in Darlington? Well, you can go to Cracker Barrel or the Outback. But, instead, this week we'll choose to eat on the bus -- marinated steak for dinner and my famous marinated chicken sandwiches for lunch, plus a little tri-color pasta salad on the side.

"Here's how to make my famous chicken sandwich. Start out with a quality chicken breast and trim off the extra fat. Slap it in some Italian dressing for a few hours, then throw it on the grill. Jerry likes his chicken well done. Everything we cook is on the well-done side since Jerry's afraid of getting sick on race weekends.

"When the chicken is ready to come off the grill, put your New York-style bagel -- a real bagel -- into the toaster. Slap the chicken onto the bagel, add American cheese, cover it up with the other half of the bagel and 'Hello belly!'"

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Series NASCAR Cup