Monday, March 14, 2011

Darlington Digital Diorama

Kasey Kahne's winning ride at the Darlington Too Tough To Tame 200.

There were probably 2,500 fans on pit road before the race, many of them kids. All drivers were stationed to sign autographs for an hour. That turned into an hour and a half, or longer, for some drivers. Austin Dillon was the last to leave.

Parker Kliggerman had a decent 14th place run in Brad Keselowski's #29 truck.

Elliott Sadler was up front all night. I took several pics of the trucks as they rolled out of inspection, like this one. E Sad was sponsored by Vienna Sausages. They were handing out free samples.... I was NOT that hungry!

Sadler's teammate, fellow KHI driver, Ron Hornaday scored a second place finish in this sweet Tide Ride.

By far, the most popular full time driver in the Truck Series is the pilot of this black #3, Ausin Dillon.

Rookie, Jeffery Earnhardt, crashed in practice. Here we have his crew working hard to prep the backup truck. They were at it for several hours and still missed qualifying. Earnhardt started on the last row, yet finished on the lead lap.

The #20 of rookie, Johanna Long rolls towards the pre-race inspectors. Long was involved in the night's biggest wreck, along the front stretch, and caused the action to be red flagged.

The G.O.A.T., Ricky Carmichael, was a sitting duck, across the start finish line when he was drilled by Long.

The pole winning Red Bull truck of rookie, Cole Whitt. Whitt set a track record, and impressed the hell out of me. When he was out front, no one could touch him. It was his first visit to Darlington, and he was a lot better than some 10 year vets I've seen there.

The winning truck from KBM rolls through pre-race inspection. This inspector, and one on the other side, is checking the clearance between the under carriage and the asphalt. This is the last of three pre-race inspection stations.


  1. Cool pics Gene! Thanks for posting them.

    I've got to agree with ya on young Mr. Whitt. I figure with a first name like Cole he oughta do big things! And his hair is naturally on fire!

    We used to have a name for those Vienna sausages...

    Wish I was there...

  2. Awesome stuff! How did you get inside the track? Did you watch the race from the infield or from the stands? Can't wait until Darlington rolls around on the Cup schedule!

  3. Dwindy... the laps that Whitt was running were unbelievable. He ran up against the wall on both ends of the track... and he was fast. Kahne started taking the same line after he followed Whitt for awhile.

  4. Gene, cool pics! For a rookie making his first start in ANY series at Darlington, that was an IMPRESSIVE performance by Cole Whitt. He's going to be a Cup driver sooner rather than later. (Ya think Rick Hendrick was taking notes and thinking of ways to sign him up to succeed Jeff Gordon in the #24 when Gordon retires?)

  5. JM.... thanks, I had garage and pit passes. I watched from the pits during the last truck race in August, and, while interesting, you can't see a lot of racing. This time I went to the grandstands after qualifying was over, and watched the race. There was a decent crowd there, but we still could see the whole track from our seats.

    I'm looking forward to the Cup and NW at Darlington in a couple of months.

  6. Jon... Whitt walked by me in the garage. I didn't get a pic of him... I thought it was just some 14 year old kid. Scary, how young he looks, and how well he got around the track. Once he learns how to work traffic he'll be awesome.

  7. Great pics Gene! Thanks for sharing..and thanks for getting a snap of Parker's truck. He is also highly regarded in the garages. A lot of young exciting talent coming up out of trucks...should be a bright future for nascar!

  8. Kris.... yes, PK is a nice kid. Saturday night there were 10 rookies in the race, and 6 more drivers who had never raced at Darlington. They had a record 10 yellows, too.