St. Louis: Eric Darnell preview

Darnell Has Successful Return to Late Model Competition CONCORD, N.C. - When faced with the question of what to do for a three-week break in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Erik Darnell packed a suitcase and headed north to compete...

Darnell Has Successful Return to Late Model Competition

CONCORD, N.C. - When faced with the question of what to do for a three-week break in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Erik Darnell packed a suitcase and headed north to compete in Late Model competition for the season-opening races at Lake Geneva Raceway and Slinger Speedway.

Darnell showed he hadn't missed a beat at Lake Geneva Raceway, running well and setting fast time. Due to field inversion, Darnell started the feature in the 12th position. It didn't take long for him to work his way to the front, taking the lead in just 15 laps. He would hold on to the point for the rest of the 40 lap feature, taking the win with ease.

Darnell's next weekend at Slinger Speedway was a different story. Admittedly always a struggle, Darnell has never been able to get a hold of the tricky high-banked, quarter-mile oval. He started the first 75-lap feature in the 19th position, and managed to finish in the eighth position. He did not fare as well in the second race, finishing 16th after taking the green flag in the 10th position.

"I had a lot of fun getting back up north to race," said Darnell. "It was great to see all my friends that race up there. I'm really going to miss not being able to run as much as I'd like to, but I'm going to get up there when the schedule allows it. I love racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but it's so much fun to go back and run when there's no pressure to perform. It's all about having a good time with it. We've got Lake Geneva figured out, but Slinger is a different story. Hopefully we'll be able to get up there and run a few more times and maybe we can get things turned around."

Darnell returns to the seat of the No. 99 Ford F-150 this weekend for the Missouri/Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200. Darnell has one start at Gateway in the ARCA series, finishing fifth in the 2005 Shop 'n Save 150.

Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Enterprises which operates 14 motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, six in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, Todd Kluever and Danny O'Quinn, and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Martin, David Ragan and Erik Darnell.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Todd Kluever , Erik Darnell , Danny O'Quinn , Mark Martin