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Darlington Speedway-The Facts, Figures and Stats

May 12th, 2012 at 11:48 AM
By Neal Fisher

Darlington Raceway

Track Size: 1.366 miles

Race Length: 501.322 miles

Banking Turns 1 & 2: 25 degrees

Banking Turns 3 & 4: 23 degrees

Banking/Frontstretch: 6 degrees

Banking/Backstretch: 6 degrees

Frontstretch: 1,229 feet

Backstretch: 1,229 feet

 

Qualifying/Race Data

2011 pole winner: Kasey Kahne (181.254 mph, 27.131 seconds, 05-06-11)

2011 race winner: Regan Smith (129.678 mph, 05-07-11)

Track qualifying record: Kasey Kahne (181.254 mph, 27.131 seconds, 05-06-11)

Track race record: Kyle Busch (140.350 mph, 05-10-08)

 

Race Facts

There have been 108 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway since the track opened in 1950.

There was one race per year in 1950, 1951, from 1953-1959, and again every year since 2005. Darlington held two races a season in all other years.

Curtis Turner won the first pole, in 1950.

Johnny Mantz won the first race, in 1950.

47 drivers have posted poles at Darlington.

David Pearson leads all drivers with 12 poles at Darlington.

45 drivers have won races at Darlington; 25 drivers have won more than once there.

David Pearson leads all drivers with 10 victories, followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine.

Jeff Gordon is third overall and leads all active drivers with seven victories.

Hendrick Motorsports has won 13 races at Darlington, more than any other organization.

19 races at Darlington have been won from the pole, the most productive starting position. Dale Jarrett was the last driver to win from the pole in 1997.

The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 43rd, in the track's inaugural race in 1950 by Johnny Mantz. That race had a 75-car field.

Darlington is the site of one of the closest race finishes in NASCAR history. Ricky Craven edged Kurt Busch by 0.002 seconds on March 16, 2003 – which is tied with Talladega (April 17, 2011) as the two smallest margins of victory since NASCAR instituted electronic timing in 1993.

Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Darlington Raceway winner: Kyle Busch (05/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).

Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Darlington Raceway winner: Harry Gant (05/06/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days)

Who's Hot at Darlington

Denny Hamlin – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is carrying a retro paint scheme this weekend to honor Hall of Famer and former Darlington standout Cale Yarborough. But Hamlin's no slouch at the South Carolina track either and has an active driver best career average finish of 6.5 and won the 2010 edition of the race.

Brad Keselowski – For sheer momentum, Keselowski is a hot pick for Saturday night's race. Although he has limited Sprint Cup Series experience at Darlington with only three starts, two of those were top 10 finishes and coming off his Talladega win, Keselowski is sky high right now.

Jimmie Johnson – He's struggled in recent years but Johnson's performance at Darlington has bee solid during his Cup career. He swept the season when the track hosted two races back in 2004 and has an average finish of under tenth dating back to 2003. Could be the perfect place for Johnson to bounce back after his Talladega disappointment.

Who's Not

A.J. Allmendinger – Darlington has indeed been too tough to tame for Allmendinger who has five career starts and a best finish of 17th to his credit.

Paul Menard – The Richard Childress Racing driver hasn't fared well at Darlington during his Sprint Cup tenure with a 26.8 average finish in five career starts.

Juan Pablo Montoya – A fifth place finish two years ago the exception rather than the rule for the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing pilot who has an 18.8 average finish in five Darlington starts.

 

Notebook

Built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-50, Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950.

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.

133 NASCAR drivers (all-time) have their home state recorded as South Carolina.

There have been 11 race winners from South Carolina in NASCAR's three national series

Tags: Motorsports

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