Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina going into the Goodyear 400 on Sunday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
Darlington Raceway – Qualifying / Race Data
Track Qualifying Record: Aric Almirola, Ford, 184.145 mph, 26.705 secs. April 11, 2014
Track Race Record (500 miles): Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 141.383 mph, (03:32:45), May 11, 2013
Track Race Record (400 miles): David Pearson, Ford, 132.703 mph, (03:00:54), May 11, 1968
2021 Pole Winner: None — Metric Qualifying, Brad Keselowski — Started 1st, May 9, 2021
2021 Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 123.562 mph, (03:14:21), May 9, 2021
At Darlington Raceway:
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 September 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). The race to 6 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds to complete.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 Raceway.The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season.There have been 121 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. From 1960 — 2004 the track hosted two Cup Series races per year.
A total of 745 different drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 467 drivers have competed in more than one race at Darlington.NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in starts at Darlington with 65.Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in starts at Darlington with 28A total of 124 different drivers have made their NASCAR Cup Series career debut at Darlington Raceway; the most recent was J. Bell (May 7, 2011). The best finish by a driver making their series debut at Darlington was fourth-place by NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte on September 4, 1979.Fred Lorenzen (16 starts) leads the series in average starting position at Darlington with a 3.688.Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the series in average starting position at Darlington with an 8.4 in 19 starts.
Top 10 in Average Starting Position at Darlington Raceway (All-Time and Active)
RankAll-Time DriversAvg StartRacesRankActive DriversAvg StartRaces1Fred Lorenzen3.688161Denny Hamlin8.421192David Pearson6.277472Brad Keselowski9.438163Frank Mundy6.66733Kyle Larson9.75084Fonty Flock7.00084Joey Logano10.500165Jeff Gordon7.000365Ryan Blaney10.800106Scott Pruett7.00026Chase Elliott11.100107Dick Hutcherson7.20057Kurt Busch11.643288Fireball Roberts7.200208William Byron12.14379Bob Burdick7.50029Kevin Harvick13.4292810Pete Hamilton7.600510Kyle Busch13.85020
A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at least one pole at Darlington Raceway; 26 different drivers have won multiple poles at the 1.366-mile track.Five of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series pole winners at Darlington Raceway are active this weekend.Active Pole WinnersPolesSeasonsKevin Harvick22017, 2014Kurt Busch22013, 2001William Byron12019Denny Hamlin12018Brad Keselowski12015NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Darlington with 12 – (1967, ‘70, ‘72, ‘73 sweep, ‘75 sweep, ‘76 sweep, ‘77, ‘78 and ‘82)Pearson‘s 12 Darlington poles are tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (12 poles at Daytona) for the second-most poles all-time at a single track in the NASCAR Cup Series. Pearson also holds the series‘ record for most poles at a single track with 14 poles at Charlotte.Kurt Busch (2001, 2013) and Kevin Harvick (2014, 2017) lead all active drivers in poles at Darlington with two each.Curtis Turner won the inaugural pole at Darlington Raceway in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph.Nine drivers have won consecutive poles at Darlington, but none are active this weekend — most recent was Kasey Kahne (2005-2006).David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five straight from 1975 – 1977.Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Cup Series pole at Darlington Raceway.First-Time Pole WinnersSeasonDriver’s AgeClint Bowyer200727Elliott Sadler200327Kurt Busch200123John Andretti199532Ken Schrader198731Bill Elliott198125Fred Lorenzen196126Cotton Owens195733Youngest Darlington pole winner: William Byron (Sept. 1, 2019 — 21 years, 9 months, 3 days).Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (Sept. 6, 1982 — 47 years, 8 months, 15 days).A total of 12 different manufacturers have won at least one pole in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.Ford leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Darlington Raceway with 43 poles; followed by Chevrolet (22), Mercury (13), Pontiac (10), Dodge (8), Buick (3), Oldsmobile (3), Plymouth (3), Toyota (2), Chrysler (1), Hudson (1) and Studebaker (1).
A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Darlington Raceway; 28 drivers have won multiple times.Six of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Darlington Raceway are active this weekend.Active Race WinnersWinsSeasonsDenny Hamlin42021, 2020, 2017, 2010Kevin Harvick32020, 2020, 2014Martin Truex Jr22021, 2016Erik Jones12019Brad Keselowski12018Kyle Busch12008NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in victories at Darlington with 10 wins (1968, ‘70, ‘72, ‘73, ‘74, ‘76 sweep, ‘77, ‘79, 80); followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine and Jeff Gordon with seven.Denny Hamlin leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in victories at Darlington with four (2021, 2020, 2017, 2010).A total of 13 drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for the series-most consecutive wins at Darlington with three each.Youngest series Darlington winner: Kyle Busch (May 10, 2008 — 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).Oldest series Darlington winner: Harry Gant (Sept. 1, 1991 — 51 years, 7 months, 22 days).Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR 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).A total of 20 different starting positions have led to wins in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.A total of 11 different drivers have won from the pole or first starting position at Darlington; led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with four wins (1971, 1972, 1976 sweep). Kevin Harvick is the only active driver to win from the pole (2014) at Darlington.20 of the 119 (16.8%) NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway have been won from the pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in 2014.The first 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).The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 — the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event held at the historic raceway.The deepest in the field that an active race winner has started at Darlington is 16th by Denny Hamlin on May 20, 2020.
NASCAR Cup Series Wins by Starting Positions at Darlington Raceway
Starting PositionWinsWinning %Starting PositionWinsWinning %12016.53%1132.48%21814.88%1210.83%31310.74%1332.48%497.44%1421.65%5129.92%1532.48%654.13%1610.83%743.31%2321.65%875.79%3110.83%986.61%3721.65%1064.96%4310.83%Additional StatisticsWinning %WinsWinning from the first Starting Position:16.53%20Winning from the Front Row:31.40%38Winning from a top-five Starting Position:59.50%72Winning from a top-10 Starting Position:84.30%102Winning after Starting Outside the top 20:4.96%6Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 28 starts; followed by Joey Logano with 16.Seven active organizations have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.RankWinsActive OrganizationsSeasons114Hendrick Motorsports2012, ’09, ’07, ’04 sweep, ’03, ’02, 1998, ’97, ’96 sweep, ’95, ’91, ’86210Joe Gibbs Racing2021 sweep, ‘20, ’19, ’17, ’15, ’13, ’10, ’08, ’0038Wood Brothers Racing1981, ’77, ’76 sweep, ’74, ’73, ’72, ’6848Richard Childress Racing1994, ’93, ’90 sweep, ’89, ’87 sweep, ’8655RFK Racing2006, ’05, 1999 sweep, ’9363Stewart-Haas Racing2020, ’20, ’1473Team Penske2018, 1975 sweepHendrick Motorsports has the most wins by an organization at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series with 14 victories — Tim Richmond (1986), Ricky Rudd (1991), Jeff Gordon (1995, ‘96 sweep, ‘97, ‘98, ‘02, ‘07), Terry Labonte (2003), Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep and 2012) and Mark Martin (2009).A total of 11 different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.Chevrolet leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Darlington Raceway with 41 victories; followed by Ford (31), Mercury (10), Toyota (10), Oldsmobile (six), Dodge (five), Pontiac (five), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Hudson (three) and American Motor Company (two).
ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS
A total of 62 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have finished runner-up at Darlington Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty with eight second-place finishes each.Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013) and Kyle Larson (2021 sweep) lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington Raceway with three each.
Top Five In Runner-Up Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
RankAll-Time DriversRunner-UpsRankActive DriversRunner-Ups1Darrell Waltrip81Denny Hamlin32Richard Petty8 Kyle Larson33David Pearson73Kevin Harvick24Mark Martin6 Kyle Busch25Fireball Roberts45Alex Bowman1 Jeff Gordon4 Austin Dillon1 Brad Keselowski1 Joey Logano1 Kurt Busch1
A total of 142 different drivers have finished in the top-five at Darlington Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty with 25 top-five finishes.Kevin Harvick leads all active series drivers in top-five finishes at Darlington with 12 top fives.
Top Five in Top-Five Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
RankAll-Time DriversTop FivesRankActive DriversTop Fives1Richard Petty251Kevin Harvick122David Pearson242Denny Hamlin113Bill Elliott223Kyle Busch64Dale Earnhardt194Brad Keselowski5Jeff Gordon19 Kyle Larson5
A total of 234 different series drivers have posted top-10 finishes at Darlington Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott with 35.Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 17 top 10s.
Top Five in Top-10 Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
RankAll-Time DriversTop 10sRankActive DriversTop 10s1Bill Elliott351Kevin Harvick172Richard Petty342Denny Hamlin153David Pearson303Kyle Busch134Bobby Allison264Kurt Busch12Mark Martin265Martin Truex Jr.10
Average Finishing Position:
Bob Burdick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington Raceway with a 3.0 in two starts.Kyle Larson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington Raceway with a 5.500 in eight starts.
Top 10 in Average Finishing Position at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
RankAll-Time DriversAvg FinishRacesRankActive DriversAvg FinishRaces1Bob Burdick3.00021Kyle Larson5.50082Kyle Larson5.50082Denny Hamlin7.053193Denny Hamlin7.053193Erik Jones10.12584Marty Robbins8.00024Martin Truex Jr10.789195Shorty Rollins9.00025Brad Keselowski11.063166Bill Elliott9.365526Kyle Busch11.950207Erik Jones10.12587Austin Dillon12.182118Herb Thomas10.42978Kevin Harvick12.357289Nelson Stacy10.50069Joey Logano14.3131610Martin Truex Jr10.7891910Tyler Reddick14.6005
TRACK / EVENT STATS
Since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway is the March 16, 2003 race won by Ricky Craven with a margin of victory of 0.002 second over Kurt Busch. Darlington‘s 0.002 sec. margin of victory is tied with the 2011 Spring Talladega race as the closest finishes in the series using electronic scoring.
Top Five Closest Margins of Victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway
Margin Of VictoryDateRace WinnerRunner-Up0.002Sunday, March 16, 2003Ricky CravenKurt Busch0.132Sunday, March 21, 2004Jimmie JohnsonBobby Labonte0.144Sunday, August 31, 1997Jeff GordonJeff Burton0.169Sunday, March 23, 1997Dale JarrettTed Musgrave
Top Five Largest Margins of Victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway
Margin Of VictoryDateRace WinnerRunner-Up7.400Sunday, March 27, 1994Dale EarnhardtMark Martin6.390Sunday, September 4, 1994Bill ElliottDale Earnhardt5.230Sunday, September 1, 1996Jeff GordonHut Stricklin4.058Sunday, September 1, 2019Erik JonesKyle Larson3.631Sunday, September 6, 1998Jeff GordonJeff BurtonNASCAR Overtime: Four NASCAR Cup Series races have resulted in a NASCAR Overtime finish at Darlington Raceway:Scheduled LapsActual LapsOvertime LapsRace WinnerDate3673747Kevin HarvickSaturday, April 12, 20143673681Jimmie JohnsonSaturday, May 12, 20123673703Regan SmithSaturday, May 7, 20113673703Greg BiffleSaturday, May 7, 2005A total of 10 of the 121 NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened from their scheduled number of laps; the most recent was in 2020.DateScheduled LapsActual LapsFewer LapsRace WinnerWednesday, May 20, 202022820820Denny HamlinSunday, September 3, 200036732839Bobby LabonteSunday, September 5, 199936727097Jeff BurtonSunday, March 21, 1999293164129Jeff BurtonSunday, September 5, 199336735116Mark MartinSunday, September 6, 199236729869Darrell WaltripSunday, September 6, 1987367202165Dale EarnhardtSunday, April 13, 1980367189178David PearsonMonday, September 1, 1969367230137LeeRoy YarbroughMonday, September 1, 19583673643Fireball RobertsQualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway six times: 1952, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2016.The last five NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington did not hold qualifying due to the COVID-19 pandemic/restrictions: In 2020, the May 17 race (random draw), May 20 (inverted field), Sept. 6 (metric qualifying). In 2021 both races were by metric qualifying May 9 and Sept. 5. .NASCAR Cup Series has held eight races on Mother‘s Day producing seven different winners.Last season‘s race at Darlington Raceway, won by Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Martin Truex Jr., was the most recent Cup race on the holiday Mother‘s Day.Buck Baker has won the most NASCAR Cup Series races on Mother‘s Day — twice (1956, 1954).Race WinnerDateTrackHoliday1Jeff GordonSunday, May 13, 2007Darlington RacewayMother’s Day2Cale YarboroughSunday, May 14, 1978Talladega SuperspeedwayMother’s Day3Benny ParsonsSunday, May 9, 1971South Boston SpeedwayMother’s Day4Bob WelbornSunday, May 11, 1958Greensboro FairgroundsMother’s Day5Buck BakerSunday, May 13, 1956Orange SpeedwayMother’s Day6Tim FlockSunday, May 8, 1955Arizona State FairgroundsMother’s Day7Buck BakerSunday, May 9, 1954Wilson SpeedwayMother’s Day8Martin Truex Jr.Sunday, May 9, 2021Darlington RacewayMother‘s Day
In total 176 different drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series have led at least one lap at Darlington Raceway.NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Darlington Raceway with 2,648 laps led in 44 series starts.Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with 812 laps led in 28 starts at Darlington.The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by the race winner was 351 laps of the scheduled 400 laps (87%) by Johnny Mantz on September 4, 1950. He started the race from the 43rd position.The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by a driver that did not win the race was 284 laps of the scheduled 367 laps (77%) by Kyle Larson on September 2, 2018. He started the race from the second position.The fewest laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by the race winner was just the final lap by Ricky Craven on March 16, 2003. He started the race from the 31st position.
Top 10 Lap Leaders at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
RankAll-Time DriversLedCompleted% LedRaces1Dale Earnhardt2,64814,01118.9%442Richard Petty2,39117,12014.0%653David Pearson2,11612,53616.9%474Jeff Gordon1,74411,45815.2%365Darrell Waltrip1,72316,39510.5%556Cale Yarborough1,64712,95912.7%497Bobby Allison1,60112,63012.7%458Harry Gant1,0889,14411.9%319Bill Elliott98017,4775.6%5210Fireball Roberts9164,57220.0%20RankActive DriversLed Completed% LedRaces1Kevin Harvick8129,3708.7%282Denny Hamlin7446,66611.2%193Kyle Busch7256,71010.8%204Martin Truex Jr6936,67110.4%195Kyle Larson6562,86822.9%86Brad Keselowski3845,5636.9%167Kurt Busch3789,3114.1%288Chase Elliott1513,1724.8%109Joey Logano1225,5002.2%1610Erik Jones1082,5244.3%8
Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series — Danica Patrick, Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson.DriversStarting PositionFinishing PositionDateDanica Patrick33269/3/2017Danica Patrick25249/4/2016Danica Patrick30429/6/2015Danica Patrick33224/12/2014Danica Patrick40285/11/2013Danica Patrick38315/12/2012Averages33.228.8 Janet Guthrie26169/5/1977Shawna Robinson42423/17/2002
NASCAR IN SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina has hosted a total of 318 NASCAR national series races among 10 different tracks.Track NameCityCupXfinityTruckTotalFirst YearDarlington RacewayDarlington1216391931950Columbia SpeedwayColumbia4300431951Greenville-Pickens SpeedwayGreenville2920311951Piedmont Interstate FairgroundsSpartanburg2200221953Rambi Race TrackMyrtle Beach9130221958Coastal SpeedwayMyrtle Beach20021956Lancaster SpeedwayLancaster20021957Gamecock SpeedwaySumter10011960Hartsville SpeedwayHartsville10011961Newberry SpeedwayNewberry10011957Totals231789318The first NASCAR 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.
SOUTH CAROLINA IN NASCAR
A total of 140 different drivers have made at least one NASCAR national series start with their home state recorded as South Carolina.James Hylton leads all NASCAR drivers from South Carolina with the most NASCAR national series starts with 607.Three drivers from South Carolina have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame — David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, and Cotton Owens.11 drivers from South Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR‘s three national series totaling 239 victories; seven have won in the NASCAR Cup Series.South Carolina Race WinnersCup XfinityTruckCombinedDavid Pearson10510106Cale Yarborough830083Cotton Owens9009Tiny Lund5005James Hylton2002Johnny Allen1001Joe Eubanks1001Larry Pearson015015Jason Keller010010Butch Lindley0606Jeremy Clements0101Totals206330239
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