Simply put, it's Joey Logano's turn to win Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway.
Logano drives the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, and the #20 has been to victory lane at Darlington in each of the past three seasons.
Denny Hamlin won from the pole in 2006 and again in 2007, and Tony Stewart won last year's race for his first NASCAR win at the famed track.
Unlike when Hamlin and Stewart won, however, Logano is making his first start at Darlington in a national NASCAR series. Hamlin's first win came in his third start at the track (all Nationwide races) and Stewart's in his 20th (15 Cup, five Nationwide).
"Going to Darlington for the first time is a little intimidating," Logano said. "It's a track whose reputation precedes it. To go there and run well right out of the box would be an awesome experience - the place is a beast. It was the one track that I circled on the calendar when I made the move up to the Nationwide Series."
Darlington's reputation is such that it has two nicknames - 'The Lady In Black' and 'The Track Too Tough To Tame'.
It is also known for 'awarding' drivers a Darlington stripe.
"The famous Darlington stripe is always something that's in the back of your mind," said Jason Leffler, who is third in the points standings, three points ahead of Logano. "You run so close to the wall there that the chances of rubbing up against it, at least once, are pretty good. Of course, hopefully it's just a little love tap and not a full out smack that can easily end your night early."
Although he has yet to experience the track, Logano knows what he is up against.
"I've always heard that you have to 'race the racetrack' and not worry about the other drivers," Logano said. "It's just a unique test of your skill."
by Bill Marx/Sporting News