June 18, 2008 6:11 PM

The Milwaukee Mile Will Always Be Home for Darnell

CONCORD, N.C. (June 18, 2008) - When Erik Darnell takes the track at the Milwaukee Mile for the Camping World RV Sales 200 this Friday, he will certainly be overcome with both emotion and excitement. As with all drivers, there is that one special track they call home. A place filled with memories from throughout the years; that it’s impossible to pick a favorite. Darnell considers the Milwaukee Mile home after growing up only 40 miles south of the track in Beach Park, Illinois. A track Darnell has been around since he was little kid dreaming one day of driving professionally. His dream eventually became a reality, and his memories of the Milwaukee Mile will certainly continue on for years to come.

The Milwaukee Mile has been a part of the Darnell family for years. Both his dad and grandfather raced competitively at the track and Darnell can remember watching his dad run ASA races back in the early 1990s. When he wasn’t cheering on his dad, Darnell would camp out with his grandfather in the track’s infield watching what was then the Busch Grand National Series. “It was a lot of fun being at the track with friends and family. When I think of this track, those are some of the first memories that come to mind,” said Darnell.    

Milwaukee was also the place where Darnell got to see some of his favorite NASCAR drivers race for the first time. “One of my favorite memories was seeing Rusty Wallace and Davey Allison race in the Busch Series. Being able to meet Davey and get his autograph at the track was so cool. It was a good story to tell my friends when I went back to school,” added Darnell. A few years later though, he would have the unpleasant memory of seeing Allison race for one of the very last times. Darnell was at the track the day Allison ran his second to last NASCAR race; just nine days before his tragic death in 1993.

Darnell got his first shot on his “home track” back in 2000 while participating in late model races. Four years later he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at the Milwaukee Mile. Even though he finished 26th, it was an experience he will never forget. “There is so much history and tradition at this track and to be able to start my truck series career at Milwaukee was incredible,” said Darnell.

Besides the obvious reasons why Darnell considers the Milwaukee Mile one of his favorite places to visit, he enjoys racing on the track the most. “I find it to be one of more unique tracks we race at during the season. It’s low banking gives way to a lot of fun racing. But, if I could change one thing about the track, it would be the entrance to pit road. There’s just a little opening for the trucks to get to the pits. It’s an entrance like no other,” explained Darnell.

With plenty of friends and family in attendance Friday night, Darnell hopes to add a few more memories to his Milwaukee list.  

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Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

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