Darlington: Justin Lofton preview

* Another strong run, on to a new one... Justin Lofton and the No. 7 team put together another solid run last weekend in Nashville. The team practiced within the top-10 in both practice sessions, and followed up the speed by qualifying ninth for...

* Another strong run, on to a new one... Justin Lofton and the No. 7 team put together another solid run last weekend in Nashville. The team practiced within the top-10 in both practice sessions, and followed up the speed by qualifying ninth for the 150-lap race. Under the guidance of crew chief Mark Rette, Lofton drove his Toyota to a solid ninth place finish. The result gave Lofton his third top-10 of the season. This week, Lofton will visit another track he has yet to race on, that of Darlington Raceway. Though crew chief Mark Rette has been to the egg-shaped South Carolina track multiple times serving in various roles, it will be Lofton's first time behind the wheel on the abrasive 1.366-mile track.

* Inching closer... Lofton's run in Nashville allowed him to maintain the 12th position in the driver point standings. He was able to gain some ground in the standings thanks to the strong run, as he now trails 11th by just 102 markers. He is also on the cusp of the top-10, falling just 142 points behind. Lofton has moved from 14th to 12th over the last two races courtesy of fifth and ninth place runs.

* Old reliable... Lofton will climb behind the wheel of his No. 7 Toyota this Saturday at Darlington, in a proven race truck. Though Darlington will be just the second race for this specific chassis, it is the same truck Lofton ran just a few weeks ago at the "Tricky Triangle," Pocono Raceway. The team was fast throughout the weekend, running within the top-five in the final practice, and qualifying seventh before crossing the stripe in the fifth spot.

* Rette remembers... In 2003 Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch had one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history during the Sprint Cup Series stop at Darlington, also known as "The Track Too Tough to Tame." No. 7 crew chief Mark Rette remembers the day fondly, or bitterly, since Busch got the short end of the stick that day, as Craven edged him at the finish line by just 0.002 second. Rette was on Busch's team at the time, serving as a tire changer.

Justin Lofton on racing at Darlington Raceway "We have had a great month of August so far and I feel great heading into Darlington. It is another track where not too many drivers have much experience and it will really even out the field. I think that will benefit all of us on the No. 7 team and lead us to another great run."

Crew Chief Mark Rette on Darlington Raceway "I'm excited to go to Darlington. It's going to be a real hot, slick racetrack. Justin seems to perform well on tracks where there isn't any concern of aero, and you approach it as race the racetrack and then your competition. You have to drive every lap cautiously, and on edge, or that place can bite you."

Equipment Information Lofton will race chassis RHR123 at Darlington. It is the same truck that Lofton drove to a fifth place finish in Pocono.

-source: justinloftoninc.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ricky Craven , Justin Lofton