NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Goodyear 400
The Place: Darlington Raceway
Track Length: 1.366 Mile Asphalt Oval
The Date: Sunday, May 12
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
The Purse: $8,090,969
TV: FS1, 1:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400.2 miles (293 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 90),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 185), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 293)

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200
The Place: Darlington Raceway
Track Length: 1.366 Mile Asphalt Oval
The Date: Saturday, May 11
The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,371,756
TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200.8 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)

 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series

Next Race: Buckle Up South Carolina 200
The Place: Darlington Raceway
Track Length: 1.366 Mile Asphalt Oval
The Date: Friday, May 10
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $770,233
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200.8 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)

 NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR is ‘Throwing It Back‘ at Darlington Raceway

It‘s time to turn back the clock and celebrate Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway.

NASCAR legends of today and yesteryear will come together this weekend to pay homage to the sport‘s past, and in the process run the 13th race of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, the Goodyear 400 (Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Many of the drivers and teams will be paying tribute to the past this weekend with special paint schemes on their cars. For a full detailed list of the paint schemes and cars/trucks participating, select this link and visit NASCAR.com‘s 2024 Throwback Weekend Gallery.

Historic Darlington Raceway is a perfect stage for Throwback Weekend

The industry and fans alike all agree Darlington Raceway is the perfect stage for Throwback Weekend.

The historic 1.366-mile egg-shaped paved oval, known as Darlington Raceway, has hosted 125 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to 1950. The raceway was originally built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950 and hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history, and the first on asphalt on September 4, 1950. A total of 75 cars competed in the inaugural event and Curtis Turner won the pole at 82.034 mph. The race was won by Johnny Mantz (Plymouth, 75.250 mph), and it took 6 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds to complete. 

Since then, Darlington Raceway has undergone some changes through the years. In 1953, the track was re-measured to 1.375 miles. Then in 1970, the track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race of that season. The track was repaved in 1995 and then again prior to the 2008 season. Over the years the historic facility has become known amongst its competitors as ‘the track too tough to tame.‘

In total, the 125 NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway have produced 54 different pole winners and 54 different race winners.

 Ring-in Mother‘s Day this Sunday with NASCAR

This weekend‘s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway (Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be the 11th-time in NASCAR Cup Series history the series has competed on Mother‘s Day.

The 2021 season was the first time since 2007 the NASCAR Cup Series had competed on Mother‘s Day. Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Martin Truex Jr. took the win on May 9, 2021 becoming the seventh different driver to win on Mother‘s Day in the series.

Then in 2022, Team Penske‘s Joey Logano joined in the Mother‘s Day festivities grabbing his first win on the special holiday on May 8, 2022, becoming the eighth different driver to win on Mother‘s Day.

And last season, Hendrick Motorsports‘ William Byron joined the list of drivers to win on Mother‘s Day after capturing his first win on the special holiday on May 14, 2023, becoming the ninth different driver to win on Mother‘s Day.

Prior to the 2021 season race, the most recent winner on Mother‘s Day in the NASCAR Cup Series was NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon, who won the 2007 rain delayed Darlington Raceway race on May 13, 2007.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker holds the record for the most wins on Mother‘s Day in the NASCAR Cup Series with two victories on the special holiday (1956, 1954).

 

Mother’s Day Race WinnersDateTrackHolidayWilliam ByronSunday, May 14, 2023Darlington RacewayMother‘s DayJoey LoganoSunday, May 8, 2022Darlington RacewayMother‘s DayMartin Truex Jr.Sunday, May 9, 2021Darlington RacewayMother‘s DayJeff GordonSunday, May 13, 2007Darlington RacewayMother’s DayCale YarboroughSunday, May 14, 1978Talladega SuperspeedwayMother’s DayBenny ParsonsSunday, May 9, 1971South Boston SpeedwayMother’s DayBob WelbornSunday, May 11, 1958Greensboro FairgroundsMother’s DayBuck BakerSunday, May 13, 1956Orange SpeedwayMother’s DayTim FlockSunday, May 8, 1955Arizona State FairgroundsMother’s DayBuck BakerSunday, May 9, 1954Wilson SpeedwayMother’s Day

Majority of Darlington wins come from starting in the top-10

Looking through the data, it‘s clear starting inside the top-10 is advantageous to a driver‘s winning chances. Of the 125 NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway, 104 have been won from a top-10 starting spot — a winning percentage of 83.2%. Defending Darlington winner, William Byron, grabbed the win at 1.366-mile track last season after taking the green flag in the fourth starting spot.

The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (21) than any other starting position at Darlington (16.80%). The outside front row (second starting position) has produced the second-most Darlington wins at 18 (14.40%)

A total of 54 different drivers have won the Cup Series pole at Darlington Raceway, and only 12 drivers have won from the pole or first starting position at Darlington Raceway in the series; led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with four wins from the pole (1971, 1972, 1976 sweep). Team Penske‘s Joey Logano (2022) is the only active driver to win from the pole in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington.

 

Darlington Winners From PoleWinsSeasonsDavid Pearson41976 sweep, 1973, 1972Bill Elliott31988, 1985 sweepDale Earnhardt21993, 1990Bobby Allison21972, 1971Richard Petty21967, 1966Fred Lorenzen21964, 1961Joey Logano12022Kevin Harvick12014Dale Jarrett11997Tim Richmond11986Harry Gant11984Fonty Flock11952

NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Darlington Raceway with 12 (1967, ‘70, ‘72, ‘73 sweep, ‘75 sweep, ‘76 sweep, ‘77, ‘78 and ‘82). This weekend, six of the 54 NASCAR Cup Series Darlington pole winners are active, led by Team Penske‘s Joey Logano with two poles (2022 sweep).

 

Active Darlington Pole WinnerPolesSeasonsJoey Logano22022 sweepChristopher Bell12023Martin Truex Jr12023William Byron12019Denny Hamlin12018Brad Keselowski12015

Dancing with the ‘Lady In Black‘

Almost every driver who has ever competed in NASCAR will tell you that Darlington Raceway is one of the most challenging tracks to master, and because of that challenge, it is one of the competitor‘s favorites on the schedule.

Over the years Darlington has produced 54 different Cup winners. This weekend, eight of the 54 former winners are entered in Sunday‘s Goodyear 400, led by Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Denny Hamlin with four victories (2010, 2017, 2020, 2021).

Active Darlington Race WinnersWinsSeasonsDenny Hamlin42021, 2020, 2017, 2010Erik Jones22022, 2019Martin Truex Jr22021, 2016William Byron12023Kyle Larson12023Joey Logano12022Brad Keselowski12018Kyle Busch12008

NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in victories at Darlington Raceway with 10 wins (1968, ‘70, ‘72, ‘73, ‘74, ‘76 sweep, ‘77, ‘79, 80); followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine and Jeff Gordon with seven.

This weekend‘s Goodyear 400 will be 293 laps (400.2 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first stage will be 90 laps, the second stage will be 95 laps and the final stage will be 108 laps.

On-track activity for the NASCAR Cup Series is set to start with practice and Busch Light Pole qualifying, and both events will be televised on FS1 starting at 10:30 a.m. ET on May 11. 

Loop Data Lowdown: Stats point to Hamlin as the driver to beat at Darlington

Among active drivers this weekend, one driver has risen above the rest statistically at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series — Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Denny Hamlin.

The 43-year old, Hamlin, has made 23 starts at Darlington Raceway and leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the following stats at the 1.366-mile track:

Wins: 4 (2010, 2017, 2020, 2021)Runner-Ups: 4 (2007, 2012, 2013, 2022)Top Fives: 12Top 10s: 16Driver Rating: 107.2Average Starting Position: 8.826Average Running Position: 7.778Average Finishing Position: 8.435Laps Led: 978Laps in the Top 15: 7,043 Laps, 88.0%

Approaching regular season midway point, nine Playoff spots still available 

As the NASCAR Cup Series approaches its midway point of the regular season with race No. 13 on 2024 schedule, the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway (Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) it‘s no surprise the season is off to a hot start competitively. As the series heads to Darlington Raceway this weekend, seven drivers — Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Daniel Suarez — have earned their spots in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs by virtue of their wins this year, leaving nine postseason positions still available.

Currently, of the drivers trying to earn a spot on points, Martin Truex Jr. has the largest point cushion above the cutoff with +155 points. But at the other end Playoff outlook in the hot seat is RFK Racing‘s Brad Keselowski, who is grasping ahold of his 16th and final Playoff spot by a mere four points over 23XI Racing‘s Bubba Wallace in 17th, and 18 points over two-time Cup Series champion Joey Logano in 18th.

2024 Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 12RankDriverPointsWinsStagesPlayoff PtsPts From Cutoff1Denny Hamlin4113318In On Wins2William Byron36230153Kyle Larson46726164Chase Elliott4121165Tyler Reddick3741166Christopher Bell2961277Daniel Suarez2501058Martin Truex Jr.4380221559Ryan Blaney3670118410Ty Gibbs3380225511Alex Bowman3360005312Ross Chastain3310114813Chris Buescher3160113314Kyle Busch3140003115Chase Briscoe290000716Brad Keselowski287000417Bubba Wallace283000-418Joey Logano269011-1819Noah Gragson216000-7120Austin Cindric215022-7221John Hunter Nemechek205000-8222Carson Hocevar #200000-8723Josh Berry #196000-9124Todd Gilliland190000-9725Ricky Stenhouse Jr.186000-10126Michael McDowell185011-10227Erik Jones181000-10628Daniel Hemric175000-11229Ryan Preece172000-11530Corey LaJoie166000-12131Austin Dillon158000-12932Justin Haley134000-15333Harrison Burton129000-15834Zane Smith #107000-180

Five former Darlington winners without victories this season

A total of eight former NASCAR Cup Series Darlington Raceway winners are active this weekend in the Goodyear 400 (May 12 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), and five of them are still looking for their first win of the 2024 season.

Returning after two weeks off due to injury is Legacy Motor Club‘s Erik Jones, who won at Darlington Raceway in 2019 and in 2022. Jones is currently wrestling a winless streak that dates back to his win at Darlington on September 4, 2022 — 57 races ago. The Byron, Michigan native has made 12 starts at the ‘Lady In Black‘ posting two wins (2019, 2022), five top fives and eight top 10s. His average finish at 1.366-mile track is 11.8 (fifth-best among active drivers).

Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Marttin Truex Jr. also has multiple Cup Series wins at Darlington Raceway (2016, 2021). Currently, Truex is managing a winless streak that dates back to July 17, 2023 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway — 28 races ago. At Darlington, Truex has made 23 career series starts putting up one pole, two wins (2016, 2021), four top fives and 10 top 10s. His average finish at the 1.366-mile track is 13.4 (eighth-best among active drivers).

RFK Racing‘s Brad Keselowski captured his victory at Darlington Raceway in 2018, but don‘t count him out this weekend. Keselowski is straddling a winless streak that dates back to April 25, 2021 at Talladega Superspeedway — 110 races ago. Keselowski has made 20 series starts at Darlington putting up one pole, one win (2018), six top fives and 11 top 10s. His average finish is 11.4 (fourth-best among active drivers).

Richard Childress Racing‘s Kyle Busch secured his NASCAR Cup Series Darlington victory in 2008, then driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Now, the two-time Cup Series champion returns to Darlington on a winless streak that dates back to June 4, 2023 at World Wide Technology Raceway — 33 races ago. Busch is also looking to extend his series record of 19 straight season with a victory to 20. Busch has made 24 series starts at Darlington posting one win (2008), six top fives and 14 top 10s. His average finish at Darlington is 13.3 (seventh-best among active drivers).

Team Penske‘s Joey Logano earned his lone victory at Darlington Raceway in 2022 from the pole position. This season, Logano finds himself below the Playoff cutline (18th) looking for his first win of the year. Logano is riding a winless streak that dates back to March 19, 2023 at Atlanta Motor Speedway — 43 races ago. Logano has made 20 series starts at Darlington putting up one pole, one win (2022), six top fives and 10 top 10s. His average finish is 13.2 (sixth-best among active drivers).

NASCAR Cup Series & the Next Gen car continue to deliver

For the second-time this season the NASCAR Cup Series race came down to a photo-finish, further proving the series and the Next Gen car produce some of the greatest racing on the planet. Here just a few of the highlights from this season thus far.

Last Sunday the average Margin of Victory of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway was 0.001-second, the closest Margin of Victory in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Two of the NASCAR Cup Series top-five closest Margins of Victory have occurred this season — 1. 2024 Kansas (0.001), 2.  2003 Darlington (0.002), 2011 Talladega (0.002), 3. 2024 Atlanta (0.003), 4. 1993 Talladega (0.005), 2007 Daytona (0.005), 5. 2001 Atlanta (0.006).

This season the NASCAR Cup Series has produced 37 different lap leaders through the first 12 races of the season, the series-most different lap leaders since 2011 (40). This season is also averaging 12.33 lap leaders per race, the third-most in the Modern Era (1972-2024).

This 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 29.25 average lead changes per race, the third-most in the Cup Series through 12 races in the Modern Era (1972-2024); behind the 2011 (33.6), and 2010 (30.7) seasons. The NASCAR Cup Series is seeing a year-over-year increase of +17.9% in lead changes (‘23 vs ‘24).

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Kansas Speedway race produced 66 Green Flag Passes for the Lead — series-most at Kansas since the inception of the Loop Data stat in 2005. The previous Kansas record for Green Flag Passes for the Lead in the Cup Series was 65 Green Flag Passes for the Lead set in 2023.

Through the first 12 races on the Cup Series schedule, the 2024 season‘s Green Flag Passes for the Lead total (979) is up +24.6% compared to the 2023 season‘s total (786 Green Flag Passes for the Lead).

You can expect more great action this weekend at one of NASCAR‘s most historic and iconic tracks — Darlington Raceway. In fact, the 1.366-mile track at one time held the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history (2003 race — Ricky Craven won by 0.002-second over Kurt Busch).

Below are the top five closest finishes at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series:

 

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

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Ray Evernham named Grand Marshal for Sunday‘s Goodyear 400 – Darlington Raceway announced this week that NASCAR Hall of Famer, former team owner and crew chief Ray Evernham will serve as the Grand Marshal on Sunday for the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. The NASCAR legend will deliver the starting command for one of the most thrilling NASCAR Cup Series races of the season, which culminates The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR at the Track Too Tough to Tame.

“There are few NASCAR crew chiefs as decorated and committed to improving the sport of stock car racing as Ray Evernham,” said Josh Harris, President of Darlington Raceway. “It‘s a pleasure to highlight Evernham‘s impact by naming him as Grand Marshal during NASCAR‘s Official Throwback Weekend.”

Less than a decade into his illustrious career, Ray Everham‘s name was cemented in the history books. As crew chief, Evernham led Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 team to three Cup Series Championship titles, four Cook Out Southern 500 victories at Darlington Raceway, two DAYTONA 500 triumphs and a series-leading 49 wins in the 1990s. His innovation on pit road earned his No. 24 pit crew the nickname “Rainbow Warriors.”

Evernham recognized the special abilities of his pit crew and capitalized on their strengths, incorporating regular physical conditioning, speed and coordination drills and film review sessions into their training.

In 2001, Evernham became a team owner, spearheading the return of Dodge to NASCAR with Evernham Motorsports. His Cup Series drivers won 13 times under his leadership, including Bill Elliott‘s victory in the 2002 Brickyard 400. At Darlington, Evernham‘s teams garnered four top-five finishes and three poles.

Evernham, a New Jersey native, found success as a modified driver in the northeast during the 1970s and 1980s. Evernham raced against the stars of the Northeast modified circuit, including Jerry Cook and Richie Evans, both NASCAR Hall of Famers. He competed regularly at Wall Stadium Speedway, a 1/4-mile high-banked paved oval track in Wall Township, N.J.

Geoff Bodine named Grand Marshal of Throwback Parade in Darlington — Darlington Raceway announced today that former NASCAR Cup Series driver Geoff Bodine will serve as the Grand Marshal for Saturday‘s Darlington Raceway Throwback Parade. Bodine will lead the annual parade of NASCAR‘s Official Throwback Weekend, accompanied by a host of local dignitaries, vintage race cars and nostalgic floats.

“The annual Throwback Parade is a highlight for so many in our local community as well as race fans that have traveled to Darlington, so we are proud to continue celebrating our rich racing history and the legends of NASCAR,” said Josh Harris, President of Darlington Raceway. “In recognition of Geoff Bodine‘s 1982 career-altering triumph at The Lady in Black, it‘s a pleasure to name him as Grand Marshal of the Darlington Raceway Throwback Parade.”

Bodine credits his 1982 NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Darlington Raceway as the race that launched his NASCAR Cup Series career. Driving the No. 99 for team owner Frank Plessinger, Bodine held off Jody Ridley by nearly 5 seconds to take the victory. The race featured several NASCAR Cup Series drivers, including the likes of David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt and Harry Gant. The following week, NASCAR Cup Series team owner Cliff Stewart was so impressed with Bodine‘s effort that he called him and offered him the driver‘s seat of his No. 50 Pontiac, stating “if you can win Darlington, you can win anywhere, so drive my car.”

Bodine, 75, was a celebrated NASCAR Modified racer from Chemung, N.Y., prior to trying his hand in stock cars. During his grass roots racing career, he raced against NASCAR Hall of Famers Jerry Cook and Richie Evans among others in the Modified division. Throughout his 29-year career, Bodine amassed 18 NASCAR Cup Series triumphs, including a DAYTONA 500 victory (1986), and was named one of NASCAR‘s 75 Greatest Drivers (2023).

The Darlington Raceway Throwback Parade will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at South of Pearl (117 Edwards Ave) and conclude in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Garage at Darlington Raceway. Other slated participants include Jeff Burton, Kenny Wallace, Leonard Wood, Ron Hornaday Jr. and more.

Milestone Watch: NASCAR Cup Series edition — Below are a few of the possible milestones that can be achieved this Sunday and over the next few weeks in the NASCAR Cup Series.

 Starts

Ross Chastain will make his 200th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Darlington Raceway this weekend becoming the 145th different driver in the series to make 200 or more starts. In the Florida native‘s first 199 starts in the Cup Series he has managed to put up four wins, 29 top fives, 48 top 10s and one pole. He has also led 1,510 laps in the series. This will be Chastain‘s 10 career Cup start at Darlington Raceway this weekend. He has posted two top-five finishes at the 1.366-mile track.

 Corey Lajoie is expected to make his 250th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

Chase Elliott is expected to make his 300th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson is expected to make his 350th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Nashville Superspeedway. 

Austin Cindric is expected to make his 100th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Pocono Raceway

Kyle Busch is expected to make his 700th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Wins

Denny Hamlin currently has 54 NASCAR Cup Series wins, if he were to win another race, he would tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace for 11th on the all-time wins list with 55 victories each.

Martin Truex Jr. currently has 34 NASCAR Cup Series wins, if he were to win another race, he would tie Brad Keselowski for 24th on the all-time wins list with 35 victories each.

Joey Logano currently has 32 NASCAR Cup Series wins, if he were to win another race, he would tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Fireball Roberts for 27th on the all-time wins list with 33 victories each.

Kyle Larson currently has 25 NASCAR Cup Series wins, if he were to win another race, he would tie Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Fred Lorenzen for 32nd on the all-time wins list with 26 victories each.

Laps Led

Four drivers could reach milestones in laps led this weekend at Darlington Raceway.

DriversCareer Laps LedNext MilestoneLaps Led NeededDenny Hamlin14,95815,00042Erik Jones8271,000173Ryan Blaney3,8254,000175William Byron2,8063,000194

If Hamlin were to reach 15,000 laps led, he would become the 12th driver all-time to accomplish the feat.

Crew Member Spotlight: Darlington Raceway — This weekend at Darlington Raceway we wanted to highlight several of the team‘s crew members that are from the surrounding areas of the track in South Carolina.

Chris Jackson is the Rear Tire Changer for the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team. Jackson hails from Fort Mills, South Carolina and prior to working in NASCAR Jackson attended Fort Mills High School and Charleston Southern University. He then went on to compete in Arena Football, the Canadian Football League and the NFL.

Telvin McClurkin is the Tire Carrier for the No. 6 RFK Racing Ford team. McClurkin calls Columbia, South Carolina his hometown. Prior to working in NASCAR, McClurkin attended Coastal Carolina University and played college football. 

Bailey Walker is the Fueler for the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford team. Walker hails from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina and prior to working in NASCAR he attended Gardner-Webb University where he played college football as an offensive lineman.

 Daniel Rosensteel is the Hauler Driver for the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet team. Rosensteel is from Greenville, South Carolina. 

Lucas Tucker is the Interior Mechanic for the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet team. Tucker is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Cody Sauls is a Mechanic for the No. 2 Team Penske Ford team. Sauls is from Hampton, South Carolina.

South Carolina charm 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.

In total, 11 drivers from South Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR‘s three national series totaling 240 victories; seven have won in the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

NASCAR Winners From South CarolinaCupXfinityTruckCombinedDavid Pearson10510106Cale Yarborough830083Cotton Owens9009Tiny Lund5005James Hylton2002Johnny Allen1001Joe Eubanks1001Larry Pearson015015Jason Keller010010Butch Lindley0606Jeremy Clements0202Totals206340240

NASCAR Xfinity Series

NASCAR Xfinity Series takes on Darlington Raceway

The NASCAR Xfinity Series was off last weekend but will be back in action this weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 on Saturday May 11 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Darlington Raceway nicknamed the track ‘too tough to tame,‘ has hosted 67 Xfinity Series races, producing 36 different race winners and 32 different pole winners.

Of the 67 races, 15 have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Denny Hamlin in 2017.

A few drivers have made a name for themselves at Darlington Raceway by leading the Xfinity Series in key statistical categories:

NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the Xfinity Series with the most wins (eight), most poles (eight), most top fives (14), most top 10s (18), and most laps led (972) at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin: race record (141.355 mph) — 9/5/2015

Carl Edwards: qualifying record (176.994 mph) — 5/9/2008

Xfinity Series drivers will kick off their weekend on Friday, May 10 with practice at 5:05 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 5:35 p.m. ET on FS1.

 Darlington: The Track ‘Too Tough To Tame‘… for some

Darlington Raceway may not be “too tough” for some drivers after all as three drivers in the field have conquered the 1.366-mile track and will be pushing to land themselves in Victory Lane yet again as they look to score their first win of the season — JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones, and Stewart-Haas Racing‘s Cole Custer.

Allgaier is a force to be reckoned with at Darlington, with two wins (2021, 2022), seven top fives and 13 top 10s in his 17 starts. He‘s had a string of strong finishes in his last six starts at the track, all in the top 10.

Jones‘ win at Darlington came in 2020 after taking the lead from Ross Chastain in the final two laps. In his 12 starts, he‘s posted one win (2020), two top fives and five top 10s.

Custer has never had a bad race at Darlington, posting a win in 2019 and a top five finish in four out of his five starts. His only finish outside the top five was in his debut at the track in 2017 where he finished ninth. 

Throwin‘ back at Darlington Raceway

This weekend is NASCAR‘s official throwback weekend, and the Xfinity Series drivers are excited to show off their paint schemes at the track.

Take a look at the paint schemes that have been announced thus far:

Cole Custer‘s No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will pay homage to the 2006 car that Johnny Sauter drove for Haas CNC Racing in the Xfinity Series.

Riley Herbst‘s No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will be a throwback to his family‘s racing history with Terrible Herbst Motorsports in the 1990s/early 2000s.

Justin Allgaier‘s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will pay tribute to one of the first trucks, a 1948 REO, that BRANDT utilized during the early days of the company.

Sammy Smith‘s No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will honor Harrold Annett and TMC‘s first entry into motorsports with sprint car driver Mike Brooks.

Brandon Jones‘ No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will pay homage to Dale Earnhardt‘s Jr. 2018 Hellmann‘s primary.

Ryan Ellis‘ No. 43 Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet will honor Cole Trickle.

Brennan Poole‘s No. 44 Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet will pay homage to Kyle Petty‘s iconic 1997 paint scheme at Darlington Raceway.

Parker Kligerman‘s No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet will throw it back to team owner Scott Borchetta‘s championship winning truck at Nashville, complete with a nod to his wife with the “Thanks Sandi” decal on the B post.

Sheldon Creed‘s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will be a throwback to Off-Road truck legend Ivan Stewart.

Shane van Gisbergen‘s No. 97 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will honor Marcos Ambrose‘s 2012 Watkins Glen win.

Jeremy Clements‘ No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet will pay tribute to Robert Pressley.

Painting the Playoff picture heading into Darlington

NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have 10 races under their belts and the Playoff spots are slowly but surely being filled. Of the eight different winners in 10 races this season, only four of them have clinched their spot in the 2024 Playoffs by virtue of wins — Austin Hill (Daytona, Atlanta), Chandler Smith (Phoenix, Richmond), Sam Mayer (Texas), and Jesse Love (Talladega).

Chandler Smith currently holds the lead in the Xfinity Series points standings with 394 points. Although yet to post a win this season, Cole Custer is right on his tail, just one point back.

Sliding in at third is Austin Hill (-17) with his rookie Richard Childress Racing teammate Jesse Love right behind him in fourth (-57).

Also, searching for a win this season is series veteran Justin Allgaier, who sits in fifth in the standings with 313 points (-81). Riley Herbst (-91), AJ Allmendinger (-99) and Sheldon Creed (-117) assume the next three spots.

Parker Kligerman has had some solid finishes this season, putting him at ninth in the points standings with 261 points (-133). Anthony Alfredo (-147), Sammy Smith (-147) and Brandon Jones (-162) round out the top 12 in points with Ryan Sieg still in the Playoff hunt with 225 points and some near wins the last few weeks.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 JR Motorsports adds six races to Carson Kvapil‘s NXS schedule — Carson Kvapil will be running six additional NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season behind the wheel of the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

His first of the six races will be this weekend at Darlington Raceway, followed by New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, again at Darlington in the fall, and then Talladega Superspeedway.

Kvapil has only made two starts thus far in the Xfinity Series at Martinsville and Dover, already making some impressive finishes (fourth and second, respectively).

Double duty at Darlington — Two Cup Series drivers will be double dipping this weekend at Darlington and will be competing for a win in the Xfinity Series‘ Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 on Saturday — William Byron and John Hunter Nemechek.

Byron will be getting behind the wheel of the No. 17 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. This will be his second Xfinity Series start of the 2024 season and his second at Darlington in the series. His first was in 2017 where he posted a fifth-place finish.

Nemechek will pilot the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota for his sixth Xfinity Series start of the 2024 season. In his five starts thus far, he‘s posted one win (Las Vegas), two top fives and three top 10s.

He‘s made five starts in the Xfinity Series at Darlington, posting three top fives, four top 10s and has won the pole twice (2023).

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series to jumpstart Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway

After an adrenaline-charged weekend in Kansas, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series is set to kickoff Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 on Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM Radio.

The 1.366-mile track has hosted 11 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races, producing 8 different winners and 7 different pole winners. Two races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by John H. Nemechek in 2022.

Here‘s a look at the drivers who have etched their names in the Darlington Raceway record books:

Race record: Bobby Hamilton 133.645 mph (03/14/2003)Qualifying record: Cole Whitt 173.933mph (03/12/2011)Most races: Matt Crafton (11)Most poles: Carl Edwards, Jason Leffer, Timothy Peters, Jack Sprague, Cole Whitt, John H. Nemechek, and Corey Heim (1)Most wins: Bobby Hamilton, Kasey Kahne, Sheldon Creed (2)Most top fives: Matt Crafton, Bobby Hamilton, Ted Musgrave, Grant Enfinger, and Carson Hocevar (3)Most top 10s: Matt Crafton (7)Laps led: Sheldon Creed (193)Laps Completed: Matt Crafton (1,624)

The Buckle Up South Carolina 200 will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 45 laps each and the final stage will be 57 laps for a race total of 147 laps (200.8 miles).

Practice will begin Saturday, May 10 at 3:05 p.m. ET on FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio followed by Cometic Gasket Pole Qualifying at 3:35 p.m. ET.

 Plenty of CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers to watch at ‘Too Tough to Tame‘ track

Two previous winners are entered in this weekend‘s Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at Darlington Raceway, but they‘re not the only drivers who have had consistently great performances at the ‘Lady in Black‘.

Christian Eckes: The breakout star behind the wheel of the No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet is one of only a handful of drivers who have consistently ran in the top 10 each week this season — the only exception being at Atlanta (32nd) due to brake failure. In three starts at Darlington, Eckes has recorded one win (2023), two top fives, two top 10s, and has led 84 laps. The 23-year old is the most recent Darlington winner.

 Ben Rhodes: The reigning 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion has had a slow start to the year — collecting only one top-10 finish at COTA. The driver of the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford has made five starts at Darlington posting one win (2020), two top-five, and two top-10 finishes. Rhodes finished 18th at the 1.366-mile track last season.

 Matt Crafton: The only driver in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series to make all 11 previous Darlington starts knows the ‘Lady in Black‘ all too well. In those starts, the driver of the No. 88 ThorSport Ford has posted three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The 47-year old finished 12th at the ‘Too Tough to Tame‘ track in 2023.

 Corey Heim: The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series‘ most recent winner is on course for another incredible season having finished in the top-10 in all eight races this season. In three starts at the ‘Lady in Black,‘ the driver of the No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota has recorded one pole (2023) and one top-10 finish. The Marietta, Georgia native has also led 68 laps. Heim finished eighth at the 1.366-mile track last season.

 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series celebrate blasts from the past at Darlington

This weekend is NASCAR‘s official throwback weekend, and the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers are thrilled to show off their paint schemes at Darlington.

Take a look at some of the paint schemes that have been announced so far:

Christian Eckes‘s No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet will pay tribute to Brownie King, a pioneer driver from the 1950-60‘s who raced on the Daytona Beach course and in the inaugural Daytona 500.

Corey Heim‘s No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota will pay homage to legend Cale Yarborough and his iconic 1974 Southern 500 scheme.

Taylor Gray‘s No. 17 TRICON Garage Toyota will throwback to Mark Green’s Hensley Racing Busch Series car, honoring its former Crew Chief and Team Manager, Jeff Hensley.

Tanner Gray‘s No. 15 TRICON Garage Toyota will celebrate his 2018 title-winning Gray Motorsports NHRA Pro Stock scheme from when he became the youngest driver to ever become an NHRA Drag Racing champion.

Daniel Dye‘s No. 43 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet will pay tribute to Kyle Petty‘s 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix which he raced in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Tyler Ankrum‘s No. 18 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet is inspired by Russ Wheeler‘s car from the 1990 Days of Thunder movie.

Nick Sanchez‘s No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NASCAR‘s Drive for Diversity Program, paying homage to all those who came before him.

Bayley Currey‘s No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet will give a nod to the team‘s General Manager, Cody Efaw‘s late father and his 1980‘s ZERO Dirt Late Model.

Thadd Moffitt‘s No. 46 Faction46 Chevrolet will represent the STP 25th anniversary vehicle Bobby Hamilton debuted while driving for Petty Enterprise‘s.

Layne Riggs‘ No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford will throw it back to the RC Cola truck that launched his father‘s career in the Truck Series.

Stewart Friesen‘s No. 52 Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota will pay homage to Jimmie Johnson‘s 2010 Coke 600 paint scheme.

Dean Thompson‘s No. 5 TRICON Garage Toyota will honor the racer who taught him to drive a stock car, multi-time Irwindale Track Champion and five-time ARCA Menards Series West winner “Flyin” Ryan Partridge.

Jack Wood‘s No. 91 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet will celebrate the NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock and his co-driving monkey Jocko Flocko.

 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.

 Two NASCAR Cup Drivers pulling double duty at Darlington — Of the 32 entries in this weekend‘s Buckle Up South Carolina 200, two NASCAR Cup drivers will attempt double duty.

Kyle Busch, the winningest driver in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, will run his fifth race on his select-tour behind the wheel of the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend. The three-time NASCAR Cup Series Darlington race winner has never made a start at the ‘Lady in Black‘ in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series.

Ross Chastain will pilot the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet. The 32-year old from Alva, Florida has made two previous CRAFTSMAN Truck Series starts at Darlington finishing 13th at the 1.366-mile track in 2023 and 26th in 2022. 

Dawson Sutton set to make debut at North Wilkesboro Speedway — Pro Late Model driver Dawson Sutton is set to team up with Rackley W.A.R. at North Wilkesboro Speedway to pilot the No. 26 Rackley W.A.R. Chevrolet.

Stepping into a race car for the first time in 2022 during the U.S. Legends Cars Series to compete nationally on asphalt and dirt, Sutton was a quick study — scoring wins and consistent podium finishes in the series under the direction of Joe Ryan (Joe Ryan Racecars) and Ron Hornaday Jr.‘s driver development program.

In his first full-time late model season (2023), Sutton stacked up four pole awards, two wins, and 16 top fives, including five runner-up results. He capped it off with the Pro Late Model Rookie of the Year honors at Nashville‘s historic Fairgrounds Speedway in his No. 26 Chevrolet.

“This is no doubt a huge step for Dawson in his driving career and speaks volumes of his development,” said Rackley W.A.R. co-owner Willie Allen.

“He‘s wrapped his mind around learning and growing his skillset in the race car, and the entire race team is really pumped to add him to our North Wilkesboro roster with Ty Dillon. We are super excited about the growth of our program. Team Chevrolet has been a huge help in Dawson‘s development with us and we are extremely thankful for our relationship with those folks all around.”

— NASCAR —

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