The four drivers in the JGR stable have been very solid in the last few weeks of the regular season. Overall in the 24 starts of the quartet made over the last six races, Gibbs cars have won three times, scored three poles and notched eleven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.
They’ve also led 597 laps and have combined for an average finish of 9.7, all stats by the way that lead the series.
Don’t look for that juggernaut to slow down this weekend at Darlington based on past experience at the legendary South Carolina track.
Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin have all scored Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Darlington.
“I like going to Darlington – it’s a fun place although it’s bit me a lot of times,” explained Busch, who won the series’ last outing two weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I should have won probably twice as many races as I’ve won there, which is frustrating. I was glad to win there in 2008 and get my Southern 500 win – that was pretty cool.
“Why we’re good there? I don’t know, but it’s a place that a lot of the driver comes into play and I feel like all the JGR drivers obviously are really, really good. Of course, our equipment is good, too, and we can run fast there – run well there – and, if you can keep air in the tires, you might win.”
Busch understands in order to succeed at Darlington drivers have to battle among each other as well as the track’s unique layout.
“It’s tough to pass there, for sure,” he said. “It’s so difficult. So you run your laps until you get to a pit stop and try to get your guys to have a good stop for you so you can jump a couple of guys. Pit stops become really important there, as is track position and trying to stay up front.”
Kenseth’s Darlington win came back in 2013 and the veteran driver needs to replicate that Sunday in order to make the playoffs. He’s currently winless and realizes with only two races left in the regular season, Darlington and next week at Richmond represents his final two shots.
“We understand where things are,” Kenseth said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” But I feel lately we’ve been running well and clicking.”
Kenseth has only finished outside the top 10 once in the series’ last seven races and is hoping to bring that momentum and kind of performance into Darlington on Sunday.
“Darlington’s tough,” he said. “”I’ve had success there and we’ve run well. It’s going to be a challenge for sure. I like the track, the throwback weekend stuff is neat so overall I’m looking forward to getting there and seeing what we can do.”
Daniel Suarez will be making his first Cup start at Darlington, but has finished third in both of his XFINITY Series starts at the track.
"Since I first hit the track back in 2015, I’ve loved racing at Darlington and it’s one of those tracks that I have circled on the schedule every year," Suarez said.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth
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