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Darlington Raceway: History

Darlington Raceway:

History

  • Darlington Raceway was built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950.
  • Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950. – won by Johnny Mantz.
  • The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953.
  • The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
  • The track was repaved in 1995.
  • The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
  • The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season.

Notebook

  • There have been 110 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fourth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races.  
  • 702 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 426 in more than one.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 33 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 27.
  • Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Darlington in 1950 with a speed of 82.034 mph. 
  • 47 drivers have Coors Light poles at Darlington, led by David Pearson with 12. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers with four.
  • Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Darlington. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five (1975 – 1977).
  • Youngest Darlington pole winner: Kurt Busch (09/02/2001 – 23 years, 0 months, 29 days).
  • Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (09/06/1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days).
  • 46 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.
  • Youngest Darlington winner: Kyle Busch (05/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).
  • Oldest Darlington winner: Harry Gant (09/01/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days).
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Darlington in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 14.
  • 11 different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Darlington; led by Chevrolet with 40 victories; followed by Ford with 28.
  • 19 of the 110 (17.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Dale Jarrett in 1997. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson has won from the pole four times at Darlington – the series’ most. 
  • The Coors Light pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (19) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second most wins (17).  
  • 36 of the 110 (32.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 19 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
  • 95 of the 110 (86.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Six of the 110 (5.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington was 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NSCS event.
  • Buddy Baker and Richard Petty are tied for theseries most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with four.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19. 
  • Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 22.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.758.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.375.
  • Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (5.3) and Jimmie Johnson (8.8).  
  • 13 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990)and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for theseries lead in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each. 
  • All six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Darlington Raceway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Among active drivers, Kyle Busch won at Darlington in the fewest previous appearances (three).   
  • Matt Kenseth competed at Darlington Raceway 19 times before winning last season; the longest span of any the six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
  • Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 27.
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway was the (03/16/2003) race won by Ricky Craven with a MOV of 0.002 second – the MOV is tied with the 2011 Talladega race as the closest finishes in the NSCS using electronic scoring. 
  • There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway: 2005 (367/370), 2011 (367/370) and 2012 (367/368).
  • Eight of the 110 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the fall race of 2000. 
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway five times; most recently was the fall race of 2004. 
  • Terry Labonte (09/04/1978) made his series debut at Darlington Raceway.
  • Ken Schrader (03/29/1987), Kurt Busch (09/02/2001) and Clint Bowyer (05/13/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Darlington.   
  • Regan Smith (05/07/2011) and Terry Labonte (09/01/1980) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Darlington. 
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,736 laps led in 33 starts.
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04/09/2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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