Monday, May 7, 2012

Darlington Raceway History and Notes

· 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.

· 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)

Darlington Raceway Data
Race #: 11 of 36 (05-12-12)
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


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