XFINITY rookies test at Darlington Raceway

JR Motorsports driver William Byron drives around the track at Darlington Raceway during a rookie testing session on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. (WBTW)

DARLINGTON (WBTW) – Darlington Raceway is one of most challenging tracks in NASCAR, even for the sport’s veterans. For rookies it’s a learning curve different from anything they’ll encounter.

Tyler Reddick discovered that firsthand when he slammed into the track’s wall during XFINITY testing Wednesday.

“I didn’t just hit it a little bit, I hit it a lot,” said Reddick, driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Chevrolet. “That’s the worst part – it got away from me there. So unfortunately (the crew is) having to try to fix it right now when the guys should be eating lunch. So they’re not too happy with me, so I’ve got to try to make it up to them by not hitting the wall anymore and going pretty fast out there.”

Reddick is one of four XFINITY rookies running laps at Darlington Raceway this week. JR Motorsports driver William Byron also is driving at the “Track Too Tough To Tame” for the first time. His experience hasn’t been quite as jarring, but it’s still provided a glimpse at the track’s difficulties.

“You just have to be on your toes every lap,” Byron said. “You can’t really take a chance to rest and sit back and think about things. Every lap you have to think about where your entry is and how much brake you’re using, and it can bite you like that.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer and Richard Childress Racing’s and Daniel Hemric also are testing this week. The session began Monday, runs through Thursday and is open to the public each day. All four drivers will return for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 on Sept. 2.