DARLINGTON BRINGS BACK MEMORIES FOR KIDD: Darlington Raceway is a very special place for Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kevin Kidd. In his first year as the crew chief of JGR’s No. 20 Nationwide Series team, Kidd reached a milestone in his career by notching his first win as a crew chief. In May 2010, Kidd led driver Denny Hamlin and the No. 20 team to Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway. The Tazewell, Va.-native now calls the shots for Nationwide Series Championship contender Brian Vickers and the No. 20 Dollar General team.
VICKERS A FORMER DARLINGTON WINNER: In 2003, Vickers first full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, he “tamed” one of the toughest tracks on the circuit – Darlington Raceway. His win at Darlington was one of three victories en route to winning the 2003 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship. Ten years later, Vickers is back in the hunt. Heading into this weekend’s event at Darlington Raceway, Vickers is positioned eighth in the Nationwide Series Championship point standings.
JOE GIBBS RACING AT DARLINGTON: Joe Gibbs Racing has proved their knack for the Lady in Black with six wins at Darlington Raceway in the last seven years. The organization has 32 Nationwide Series starts at the South Carolina-track with seven wins, 13 top-five finishes, 21 top-10 finishes and five poles. In their first ever Nationwide Series start at the track “Too Tough to Tame”, the team raced their way into Victory Lane with driver Bobby Labonte.
DG HOPES FOR RETURN TO VICTORY LANE AT DARLINGTON: Last year’s Nationwide Series event at Darlington Raceway was one of the highlights of Dollar General’s first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Joey Logano drove his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota to Victory Lane at Darlington, earning the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount retailer their first of four Nationwide Series wins with Joe Gibbs Racing. Matt Kenseth gave Dollar General their first-ever Sprint Cup Series win earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Stacker 2, Amerigas, Republic Plastics, Scrubbing Bubbles, Sun, Clorox, Pepsi Max, Hefty, Alpo, Betty Crocker, Energizer, Sparkle and Downy will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Darlington Raceway.
RACE INFO: The Nationwide Series VFW Sports Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, May 10. Watch and listen live on ESPN2, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.
Brian Vickers: “Darlington is one of my favorite tracks, if not my favorite. It’s a challenge and it’s unlike any other track on the circuit. With the two distinct corners, each lap can present a challenge, especially when you get in to lapped traffic.You have to be on your game the whole time and know the limits. And with fast speeds and tight racing, you can easily push it over the limits. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Darlington. It’s been quite a while since I won there, and it would be great to do it again this weekend.”
Crew chief Kevin Kidd: “My first win as a crew chief came at Darlington, so I have fond memories of that place. One of the coolest experiences of my life was at Darlington when I was a boy, coming back from the beach. My father stopped at the track and we got out and walked what was turn one then, now turn three. It’s a very special place for me.”
“Darlington is now getting its grey back. Since the repave, the asphalt has been good and the tires don’t wear much. Each year we go back, it gets a little more worn out. I think it’s just slowly getting back to where tire strategies will play a role. It will be nice to go to Darlington with a veteran driver. It’s such a tough racetrack because you run so close to the wall with little margin for error.”