A long test session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series turned into a mad scramble for the Joe Gibbs Racing team of Kyle Busch Friday at Darlington Raceway after he acquired a Darlington stripe. For the second time this season, NASCAR is using a low-downforce package for Sunday’s Southern 500. Due to this, teams had a bit longer final practice session Friday. At the end of the 115-minute “Happy Hour”, Brad Keselowski was atop the speed chart with a lap of 175.880 mph put down late in the session.
Greg Biffle, who led the first session earlier in the day, was second in the final practice with a lap of 175.729 mph. Kurt Busch, the only driver who has elected to run the new digital dashboard this weekend, was fast in both sessions; second in the first, and third just behind Biffle in the final. The focus however was on the low-downforce package. As they did at Kentucky Speedway in July, the Sprint Cup cars the weekend have a spoiler height of 3.5 inches, down from 6 inches at other tracks this season. Also, front splitters have 1.75 inches less overhang. The package met with near universal approval after the Kentucky race as for the first time cars were able to pass seemingly at will and on occasions there were three and four wide battles for position.
Friday the package seemed to be meeting with approval. Carl Edwards has been a proponent of the package since NASCAR announced it. MORE>>>