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 – 75 cars competed in the event – Curtis Turner won the pole at 82.034 mph, and the race was won by Johnny Mantz (Plymouth, 75.250 mph, 6:38:40).
- 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.
- There have been 111 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fifth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races.
- 709 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 428 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 34 starts; followed by Tony Stewart with 22.
- Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.824.
- Jeff Gordon (6.8), Ryan Newman (8.6) and Kasey Kahne (9.1) are the only active three drivers with an average starting position in the top 10.
- 125 different drivers have made NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career debut at Darlington Raceway.
- Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph.
- 48 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. Kasey Kahne is the only active driver with consecutive Coors Light poles (2005-2006).
- 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).
- Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Darlington Raceway: Cotton Owens (1957), Fred Lorenzen (1961), Bill Elliott (1981), Ken Schrader (1987), John Andretti (1995), Kurt Busch (2001), Elliott Sadler (2003) and Clint Bowyer (2007).
- 47 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven wins; followed by his HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson with three.
- Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway: Johnny Mantz (1950), Nelson Stacy (1961), Larry Frank (1962), Terry Labonte (1980), Lake Speed (1988) and Regan Smith (2011).
- 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 41 victories; followed by Ford with 28 and Toyota has three.
- 20 of the 111 (18.02%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in last season’s event.
- 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 (20) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second-most wins (17).
- 37 of the 111 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 20 from first-place and 17 from second-place.
- 96 of the 111 (86.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
- Six of the 111 (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 is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NSCS event.
- 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 the series-most in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each.
- All seven 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.
- Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 22.
Additional Finishing Position Stats
- Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty are tied for the series 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; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine.
- Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with 12 each.
- Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 6.889.
- Three active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (6.8), Kyle Larson (8.0) and Jimmie Johnson (8.4).
Track/Event Specific Stats
- Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway is the (03/16/2003) race won by Ricky Craven with a MOV of 0.002 second over Kurt Busch. The MOV is tied with the 2011 Talladega race as the closest finish in the NSCS since the inception using electronic timing and scoring.
- There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting in a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway: 2005 (367/370), 2011 (367/370), 2012 (367/368) and 2014 (367/374).
Additional Finishing Position Stats
- Eight of the 111 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.
- Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,744 laps led in 34 starts.
Female Competitor Stats
- Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
|Active Drivers||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Date|
|Inactive Drivers||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Date|
NASCAR in South Carolina
- There have been 221 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 10 tracks in South Carolina.
|Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds||Spartanburg||22|
|Rambi Race Track||Myrtle Beach||9|
|Coastal Speedway||Myrtle Beach||2|
- The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held in the state of South Carolina was at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4, 1950 – the event was won by Johnny Mantz in a Plymouth.
NASCAR In South Carolina
- 133 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as South Carolina.
- 117 of the 133 (87.9%) South Carolina drivers have competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
- 10 drivers from South Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; seven have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
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