BUSCH: Darlington: Round 11 preview

NASCAR Busch Series aids Darlington history under the lights DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 3, 2005) -- Already labeled as the track "Too Tough to Tame," yet another challenge awaits at Darlington Raceway on Friday night. That's right. Friday ...

NASCAR Busch Series aids Darlington history under the lights

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 3, 2005) -- Already labeled as the track "Too Tough to Tame," yet another challenge awaits at Darlington Raceway on Friday night.

That's right. Friday night.

The first race under the lights at the historic track will be contested by the drivers and teams of the NASCAR Busch Series. And Darlington's trademark unpredictability -- now heightened by the flip of a switch -- will play directly into the hands of the season to date.

A prime example: Although Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) held on to the lead in the points standings for the sixth consecutive week, he lost 42 points off that advantage to Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet), who now stands in second place. Edwards finished out of the top 10 in a race for the first time this season at Talladega (33rd), while Bowyer managed to bypass Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) despite his 19th-place finish. Sorenson finished 32nd for the second consecutive race and fell from second to third in the standings.

In fact, drivers ranked in positions two through 10 prior to Talladega find themselves in different slots heading to Darlington. One of those -- Greg Biffle (No. 66 Duck Tape Ford), the defending champion of this race, dropped out of the Top 10 and was replaced by Jon Wood (No. 47 Clorox/Wisk Ford).

However, David Stremme (No. 14 U.S. NAVY Dodge), who gained the most places in the standings following his third-place finish at Talladega and finished fifth in this event last year, is not at all deterred by the venue famous for tagging drivers -- veterans and rookies alike -- with a "Darlington stripe."

"We're on a real roll coming into Darlington," Stremme said. "We've had two third-place finishes in a row, and we're looking to do at least that well this week. It's going to be a really challenging event as we run under the lights for the first time. This team thrives on challenges, so we'll really enjoy whatever is thrown at us this weekend."

Talladega race boasts near-record numbers ... Based on preliminary national results from Nielsen Media Research, the Aaron's 312 at Talladega last Saturday was the second-most viewed non-Daytona NASCAR Busch Series event in broadcast history, based on both average number of households and viewers who tuned in. An average of 5.0 million viewers and 3.6 million households watched the race aired on FOX, an increase of 78% and 63% respectively, over the 2004 event also broadcast on FOX. The 2005 Telcel Motorola 200 in Mexico City is the most-viewed non-Daytona event in NASCAR Busch Series history.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jon Wood , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Reed Sorenson