Is Darlington any place to visit after the wildness at Kansas?

It definitely seems like Throwback Weekend came a week early. We had plenty of on-track anger — particularly from Kyle Busch’s in-car radio — and some final-lap beatin’ and bangin’ that the oldtimers will tell you was once very common (it wasn’t, by the way).

Oh, and an honest-to-goodness punch was thrown during post-race “cool-down.” Isn’t it awkward when the guy doing the confronting (Noah Gragson, in this instance) is the guy who takes the only punch (from Ross Chastain)?

In fairness, Noah did throw a punch, but it was intercepted by security. Not sure if that says more about the security man’s strength or Noah’s lack thereof.

Goodness, who had Kansas in the “Where will all hell break loose” pool?

NASCAR POLL Ross Chastain vs. Noah Gragson? Denny Hamlin’s bumper? Um, passing? What stood out most at Kansas? Vote!

NASCAR SPEED FREAKS Ross Chastain punches, Denny Hamlin punts, and now Darlington? Yes!

Carl Edwards is returning to NASCAR this weekend. Kinda. He won’t be in a driver’s uniform.

The coming weekend should restore the calm, right?

Here’s the thing: You never know. You go into Darlington, where the traffic lane is narrower Richard Petty’s pants leg, expecting  all kinds of mayhem, and a church picnic might break out.

Might.

I don’t hear church bells, do you? Sunday’s dance with the Lady in Black has all the makings of can’t-miss TV.

For good measure, Ryan Newman returns to NASCAR this week with Rick Ware Racing, Chase Elliott’s daddy will spend time in the Fox TV booth, and so will Carl Edwards. That’s right — Cousin Carl, who’s pulled a full Greta Garbo since retiring, is dropping in to say hey.

You know, you never even mentioned the Kansas winner?

There’s a lot going on, you know.

You had to love Denny Hamlin’s willingness to play rough with Kyle Larson, as well as Larson’s willingness to accept it for what it is — a bruising battle on the final lap for the win, exactly when such things should occur. If Denny had gotten that physical in Stage 1 or 2, Kyle might not have been so understanding.

Kyle will surely return the favor when the opportunity arrives, and Denny will accept it in gentlemanly fashion. OK … maybe.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: NASCAR: On to Darlington with Ross Chastain … and Carl Edwards!

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