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THE NEXT Winston Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO

THE RACE: Carolina Dodge Dealers 400

Winston Cup Race #5 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, March 16th, 2003 in Darlington, SC

  • TV: Fox - 1:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: Fox - 12:30pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Race Re-Air: March 19th at 8:00pm/et on Speed Channel, March 20th at 1:00am/et and 3:00pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Purse/Race Awards: $3,922,407 (was $3,405,766 in 2002)

  • Entry List: Entry List for Darlington from NASCAR.com

  • 2002 Race Winner: Sterling Marlin, 126.070mph, started 11th

  • Track Race Record: Dale Earnhardt, Mar 1993, 139.958mph

  • Track/Race Length: 1.366 egg-shaped oval, 367 laps, 501.3 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 45mph


    Practice

  • Practice: Friday, Mar 14th, 10:50 -12:50pm/et; and Saturday, Mar 15th, 9:30 - 10:15am/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Mar 15th, 11:10 - 11:55am/et on TV-FX tape delay at 3:00pm/et


    Qualifying

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, Mar 14th, 9:50am/et

  • Qualfying Order: Darlington qualifying order - ThatsRacin.com and/or Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 qualifying order - NASCAR.com

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, Mar 14th at 2:35pm/et, TV-FSN Fox Sports Net live [and re-aired on Speed Channel, Friday, Mar 14th at 8:00pm/et and on Sat, Mar 15th at 1:00am/et], and live via MRN radio/internet (link below) and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required)

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).

  • Second-Round Qualifying: there is no longer a 2nd round of qualifying (since the 2001 season)

  • Track/Event Qualifying Record: Ward Burton, Mar 1996, 173.797mph

  • March 2002 Pole Sitter: Ricky Craven, 170.089mph, finished 41st


    Track Specs:
    Banking: Turns 1/2 - 25 degrees, width 79 ft; Turns 3/4 - 23 degrees, width 62 ft; Front - 3 degrees, Back - 2 degrees.
    Frontstretch 1,229 ft long, 90 ft wide;
    Backstretch - 1,229 ft long, 90 ft wide
    Pit Road: Length: 2,025 feet, Width: 46 feet
    Track Repaved in late 1995
    Grandstand Seating: 65,000

  • Track Homepage: Darlington Raceway


    GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    NO LONGER BEING SENT OUT - no idea why not


    RACE BONUS INFO

  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $50,000 at Darlington for leading the points and winning the race (Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings(3-9-2003)


WEATHER, TV/RADIO COVERAGE
LOCAL NEWS, TRACK/FAN INFO

Radio Coverage:
Motor Racing Network(MRN) and
XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio - Channel 144
including Internet coverage (NOTE: now a paid subsription thru NASCAR.com)



Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations
Gofastmotorsports.com


Scanner Frequencies:
are linked on my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page



Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Darlington, SC Area:
The State
The Myrtle Beach Sun News
Morning News Online
GoUpstate - Spartanburg Herald Journal
Charleston Post-Courier
www.spartanburg.com


WEATHER FORECASTS:
The Weather Channel
Accuweather
Accuweather - Current Radar
Intellicast - NASCAR weather
National Weather Service
Weather Underground


TRACK/TRAVEL/CAMPING INFO FOR THE FANS:
ARS Racing Outlet - Darlington Review
ARS Racing Outlet - Darlington review with pictures
Laid Back Racing


DRIVER APPEARANCES:
any I know of are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links


TV Coverage/Info/News Pages:
Race Fan TV

IN-CAR AUDIO SITES


QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links

  • Why no points for Brett Bodine? been asked why Brett Bodine got no drivers points for the race at Darlignton and the #57 Team CLR team go no owners points - they were classified by NASCAR as being 'Post Entry' [PE]. What does that mean? what it means is that a driver/owner is not eligible for any points as the race entry blank was received after the deadline which is normally 13 days before the race date.(3-17-2003)

  • Rumblings - Darlington: The win was Pontiac's first of the season, and was worth $173,150 for Ricky Craven from the over $3.8M in posted awards. This victory also guarantees him a start in The Winston in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and moves him into a tie for 86th on the all-time win list. Kurt Busch gave it all he had, but had to settle for the brides maid's spotagain. He's had three runner-up finishes in the five events this season. Dave Blaney (3rd) had his career-best finish today. His previous best had been 6th, which he'd accomplished three times, the last being at Homestead last November. Greg Biffle (12th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 13th, which he'd done twice including last week at Atlanta. Ken Schrader (17th) had his best finish since he was 13th at Loudon last September. Brett Bodine (31st) had his best finish since he was 26th at Lowe's Motor Speedway last October.
    STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in a row. Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
    This Week's Elevator...UP: Ricky Craven (+30) runs the table and nabs the Operator of the Week award. He was followed by Joe Nemechek (+25), Ricky Rudd (+24), and Mark Martin (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Todd Bodine (-33), followed by Jerry Nadeau (-32), Sterling Marlin (-31), Jeff Gordon (-28), and Ward Burton (-22).(StockCarFans.Com)(3-17-2003)

  • WOW! now that was a great race: #32-Ricky Craven won the The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 is on at Darlington Raceway by a few inches [2/1000th's of a second] with him and #97-Kurt Busch beating and banging the last lap, both slapping the wall a few times. Busch had no power steering the last 10 laps. It is Craven's 2nd career Winston Cup win and he is the 40th driver to ever win a Cup race at Darlington [thanks Mike Joy]. It is the first career win for #32 Crew Chief Scott Miller and the first win by a single car team since Craven won in 2001. Crave last won at Martinsville in Oct 2001, 46 races ago. Busch has 3 top fives this year, all 2nds. #77-Dave Blaney was 3rd, his first ever top five finish in 116 races. Only 10 drivers finished on the lead lap. After a wild start, only 4 cars ended up in the garage. Kind of funny, the two best finishes this year so far are at the tracks rumored to lose their spring race dates [Rockingham and Darlington]. #17-Matt Kenseth keeps the points lead at 760, with #20-Tony Stewart at 703. If five races so far this season, there are five different pole winners and five different race winners. The top ten unofficial finishers:
    #32-Ricky Craven (1 Lap Led - The final one, by an inch or two)
    #97-Kurt Busch (23 laps led)
    #77-Dave Blaney
    #6-Mark Martin (71 laps led)
    #15-Michael Waltrip
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr (91 laps led - led the most laps)
    #38-Elliott Sadler (12 laps led)
    #17-Matt Kenseth
    #9-Bill Elliott
    #20-Tony Stewart
    Laps Leaders (11): #38-Sadler (12 laps led); #12-Newman (1); #7-Spencer (4); #8-Earnhardt Jr (91 led the most laps); #88-Jarrett (4); #31-Gordon (1); #6-Martin (71); #24-Gordon (79); #25-Nemechek (3); #97-Busch (24); #32-Craven (1-the final one);
    Cars on the lead lap: 11 (of 43 starters)
    Off track/out of race (4): #54-Bodine (out-accident); #99-Burton (out-engine); #74-Raines(out-accident); #43-Andretti(out-accident); #40-Marlin (out-accident);
    Cautions 7 for 33 laps
    Caution 7: Laps 237-242: Debris between turn turns 3 and 4.
    Caution 6: Laps 191-196: #7-Spencer and #43-Andretti got together, sending Andretti hard into the inside frontstretch wall, car is pretty much done, Andretti is OK.
    Caution 5: Laps 68-74: #12-Newman and #22-Burton were racing side by side in turn 2, Burton drifted up and they got together and both spun. The track sent the blowers out to clean off the debris on the track.
    Caution 4: Laps 34-39: #99-Burton and #20-Stewart got together, Burton is smoking badly, looks like he lost an engine which caused Stewart toget into him.
    Caution 3: Laps 24-28: #48-Johnson got into #40-Marlin, who then went into the wall, #18-Labonte spun out, then hit by #29-Harvick. This is a wild race so far.
    Caution 2: Laps 13-16: #0-Sprague spun around on the backstretch, didn't hit anything.
    Caution 1: Laps 7-9: #01-Nadeau spun around, followed by a spin by #17-Kenseth after getting tapped by #42-McMurray, no damage reoirted. Nadeau was running 2nd at the time.
    NOTES: On lap 283, #24-Gordon went up the track and slapped the wall and #23-Wallace hit the car, but both drove off and continued. During caution 7 pit stops, #6-Martin's car left with a missing lugnut and had to come back into the pits to get it put on. Green flag pit stops happened around lap 128-132 range, and again around laps 185-190. #01-Nadeau had an oil leak and had to pit as he was running 3rd, was smoking bad. #40-Marlin, #74-Raines came back out to the track on lap 68-69 range but went back into the garage after running a few laps. During caution 5, ALL the cars came in to pit except #31-Gordon who led a lap, then pitted. all the cars who were a lap down (#'s 14, 57 and #29 got their laps back when the yellow flag came out. Lots of contact between many of the cars so far as of lap 30. During caution 3 all but #88-Jarrett and #24-Gordon came in to pit. All but 17 cars came in to pit on the first caution.
    Re-Air: the race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Mar 19th, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, Mar 20th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
    Result Links at:
    ThatsRacin.com, NASCAR.com or Motorsports One.(3-16-2003)

  • WOW! now that was a great race: #32-Ricky Craven won the The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 is on at Darlington Raceway by a few inches [2/1000th's of a second] with him and #97-Kurt Busch beating and banging the last lap, both slapping the wall a few times. Busch had no power steering the last 10 laps. It is Craven's 2nd career Winston Cup win and he is the 40th driver to ever win a Cup race at Darlington [thanks Mike Joy]. It is the first career win for #32 Crew Chief Scott Miller and the first win by a single car team since Craven won in 2001. Crave last won at Martinsville in Oct 2001, 46 races ago. Busch has 3 top fives this year, all 2nds. #77-Dave Blaney was 3rd, his first ever top five finish in 116 races. Only 10 drivers finished on the lead lap. After a wild start, only 4 cars ended up in the garage. Kind of funny, the two best finishes this year so far are at the tracks rumored to lose their spring race dates [Rockingham and Darlington]. #17-Matt Kenseth keeps the points lead at 760, with #20-Tony Stewart at 703. If five races so far this season, there are five different pole winners and five different race winners. The top ten unofficial finishers:

    #32-Ricky Craven (1 Lap Led - The final one, by an inch or two)
    #97-Kurt Busch (23 laps led)
    #77-Dave Blaney
    #6-Mark Martin (71 laps led)
    #15-Michael Waltrip

    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr (91 laps led - led the most laps)
    #38-Elliott Sadler (12 laps led)
    #17-Matt Kenseth
    #9-Bill Elliott
    #20-Tony Stewart

    Laps Leaders (11): #38-Sadler (12 laps led); #12-Newman (1); #7-Spencer (4); #8-Earnhardt Jr (91 led the most laps); #88-Jarrett (4); #31-Gordon (1); #6-Martin (71); #24-Gordon (79); #25-Nemechek (3); #97-Busch (24); #32-Craven (1-the final one);
    Cars on the lead lap: 11 (of 43 starters)
    Off track/out of race (4): #54-Bodine (out-accident); #99-Burton (out-engine); #74-Raines(out-accident); #43-Andretti(out-accident); #40-Marlin (out-?);

    Cautions 7 for 33 laps
    Caution 7: Laps 237-242: Debris between turn turns 3 and 4.
    Caution 6: Laps 191-196: #7-Spencer and #43-Andretti got together, sending Andretti hard into the inside frontstretch wall, car is pretty much done, Andretti is OK.
    Caution 5: Laps 68-74: #12-Newman and #22-Burton were racing side by side in turn 2, Burton drifted up and they got together and both spun. The track sent the blowers out to clean off the debris on the track.
    Caution 4: Laps 34-39: #99-Burton and #20-Stewart got together, Burton is smoking badly, looks like he lost an engine which caused Stewart toget into him.
    Caution 3: Laps 24-28: #48-Johnson got into #40-Marlin, who then went into the wall, #18-Labonte spun out, then hit by #29-Harvick. This is a wild race so far.
    Caution 2: Laps 13-16: #0-Sprague spun around on the backstretch, didn't hit anything.
    Caution 1: Laps 7-9: #01-Nadeau spun around, followed by a spin by #17-Kenseth after getting tapped by #42-McMurray, no damage reoirted. Nadeau was running 2nd at the time.

    NOTES: On lap 283, #24-Gordon went up the track and slapped the wall and #23-Wallace hit the car, but both drove off and continued. During caution 7 pit stops, #6-Martin's car left with a missing lugnut and had to come back into the pits to get it put on. Green flag pit stops happened around lap 128-132 range, and again around laps 185-190. #01-Nadeau had an oil leak and had to pit as he was running 3rd, was smoking bad. #40-Marlin, #74-Raines came back out to the track on lap 68-69 range but went back into the garage after running a few laps. During caution 5, ALL the cars came in to pit except #31-Gordon who led a lap, then pitted. all the cars who were a lap down (#'s 14, 57 and #29 got their laps back when the yellow flag came out. Lots of contact between many of the cars so far as of lap 30. During caution 3 all but #88-Jarrett and #24-Gordon came in to pit. All but 17 cars came in to pit on the first caution.
    Re-Air: the race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Mar 19th, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, Mar 20th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
    Result Links at: Jayski - Darlington Race Results
    ThatsRacin.com, NASCAR.com or Motorsports One.(3-16-2003)

  • To the back #97 and #15 - scambles the top 10 a bit: #97-Kurt Busch blew an engine in the first Saturday practice, so he will fall back from his 6th place starting spot and go to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag. Busch took the car to the garage and walked to the hauler without comment. There were also rumors that #17-Matt Kenseth had lost an engine, but it ended up being some smoke only, he took it to the garage and got it repaired. Also, towards the end of Happy Hour, #15-Michael Waltrip hit the wall and will need to go to a backup and will have to fall from his 9th place starting spot to the rear of the field.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)(3-15-2003)

  • Winston Cup Happy Hour practice is over. The quickest was #17-Matt Kenseth at 167.385mph, followed by #48-Johnson at 166.141 and #24-Jeff Gordon at 166.062. Slowest were #14-Larry Foyt at 160.438 and #43-John Andretti at 162.458. #97-Kurt Busch got out late in the practice and ran 18th fastest. Happy Hour is scheduled to be televised on FX via tape at 3:00pm/et or after the Busch Series race. For speeds, see NASCAR.com.(3-15-2003)

  • Sadler wins the pole at Darlington: #38-Elliott Sadler won the pole for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 170.147mph. It is Sadler's first ever Bud Pole in 146 starts, Sadler is the 5th different driver, in 5 races, to win a pole in 2003, there are now 15 drivers eligible for the 2004 Budwesier Shootout. Sadler is the the 6th ever driver to win a pole for Robert Yates Racing and the 6th ever driver to win win their first ever pole at Darlington. Starting on the outside of the pole is #12-Ryan Newman with a speed of 169.374mph. #16-Greg Biffle has the best starting spot of a Rookie of the Year Candidate at 17th. In 99 Cup races at Darlington, only 12 drivers who have started outside of the top 10 have won a race there.
    For Starting Lineup, qualifying results and provisionals, as well as other lineup links, pole progession, rookie rundown, see my Darlington Qualifying/Lineup page.(3-14-2003)

  • Saturday AM Cup practice: is over. Fastest was #01-Jerry Nadeau at 166.721, followed by #48-Jimmie Johnson at 166.710 and #9-Bill Elliott at 166.332. Slowest were #57-Brett Bodine at 161.270 and #14-Larry Foyt at 161.482. #97-Kurt Busch is listed with a speed of 94.557 which may indicate a problem of some kind, engine?
    For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(3-15-2003)

  • Friday Cup Practice is over at Darlington Raceway. #38-Elliott Sadler was the quickest at 168.845mph (only ran 5 laps), followed by #18-Bobby Labonte at 168.330 (38 laps) and #12-Ryan Newman at 168.112 (28 laps). Slowest were #45-Kyle Petty at 161.928 (34 laps) and #74-Tony Raines at 162.501 (in 28 laps).
    For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(3-14-2003)

  • Qualifying Order is up for Darlington. See above for the links. 43 cars are listed [all make the race, no provisionals charged]. First driver due out is #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Last and 43rd driver svheduled to go out is #54-Todd Bodine.(3-14-2003)

  • Only 42 cars at Darlington? UPDATE: the Entry List is up for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Winston Cup race at Darlington Raceway. There are only 42 drivers/cars/teams listed, all the full time teams [#09-Mike Wallace will NOT be attempting the race as rumored]. 43 make up a full field (a full field - why 43? see my Racing FAQ page). If it stays at 43 or under, no team that uses a Provisional will be charged, this is the first race that 2003 Owners Points are used to determine Provisional's. See above for the Entry List link and much more info and links.
    UPDATE: make it 43 as Brett Bodine has been entered in the #57 Team CLR Ford.(3-11-2003)

  • Brett Bodine to run the #57 car at Darlington: Brett Bodine, owner/driver of the #11 Hooter's Ford, who is running a limited 2003 Cup Schedule and had not planned to run at Darlington Raceway, will drive drive the #57 Team CLR Ford, which will fill out the field at Darlington to 43 cars.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(3-11-2003)

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski's Provisional Status page

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: NASCAR Online and That's Racin'


TRACK/RACE NEWS

  • Darlington may NOT lose a 2nd Cup race UPDATE: during an interview on XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required, NASCAR's Jim Hunter, says it is premature to think that Darlington Raceway will lose a Winston Cup race date [rumored to be the spring race in March].(3-14-2003)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has suggested that Darlington Raceway could lose the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 to another track next year. But there's at least one person at the sanctioning body who's not so certain that will happen. NASCAR vice president and chief spokesman Jim Hunter, who spent eight years as Darlington's president, thinks there is a good chance the Winston Cup series will be back next spring. "I think it's premature for people to assume that this place is going to lose a race next year, for example," Hunter said Friday. "I don't think that's going to happen. I would be surprised if that happened." Nothing will be determined soon, Hunter said. NASCAR is talking to all track owners to determine the best schedule for 2004. Hunter said that should be completed by late summer. "I may be wrong, but I would be surprised if this track did not have two races in 2004," Hunter said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-15-2003)

  • The Darlington Pole Trophy: When the fastest qualifier for the March 16, 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, the historic 100th NASCAR Winston Cup Series visit to Darlington Raceway, is presented his trophy during pre-race ceremonies, the award will have a different look than in years past. Following a three-week contest and three days of very difficult judging, the track has selected a new design for its pole day trophy. The winning designer is Mark McKellar of Mt. Pleasant, SC. Track staff members expected a good response following the announcement of the track's "Design Darlington Raceway's Pole Day Trophy" contest in January. What they didn't expect was to be overwhelmed. From Rock Hill to Hartsville, Myrtle Beach to Spartanburg, South Carolina residents were not the least bit hesitant to put their ideas and visual impressions of NASCAR's original superspeedway on paper, in graphics files and, in one notable case, in granite, and to submit them for consideration in the contest. Designs ranged from full-scale recreations of the track, complete with flagstand and grandstand seats, to a large number "1" emblazoned with the word "Tamed," a reference to Darlington's famous reputation for being the track "Too Tough To Tame." Several designs incorporated the palmetto, South Carolina's state tree, while others used a more traditional trophy style featuring bronzed driver figures with their arms held high in victory. In the end, judges chose a trophy which reflects Darlington's basic unpretentiousness. McKellar took the track's famous egg shape and literally turned it lengthwise, a vantage point that strongly resembles the letter "D for Darlington, of course. Only 12 active drivers have been pole winners at Darlington:. Kurt Busch, Jeremy Mayfield, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Ward Burton, Ricky Craven, John Andretti, Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader and Sterling Marlin. For his winning design, McKellar a Johnny Benson fan will receive four tickets to all pole day events at Darlington Raceway through the year 2007; four tickets to the March 16 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway; four admissions to the "Darlington Stripe Zone" fan hospitality area on Sunday, March 16; a guided track tour; and a one-time cash award of $1,000. He will also present the new trophy to its first winner during pre-race ceremonies for the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400.(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-13-2003)



  • Superbirds at Darlington: On Sunday, March 16, The Winged Warriors, a car club devoted to the preservation, restoration and enjoyment of Dodge and Plymouth automobiles manufactured between 1962 and 1974, will take part in the pre-race parade lap as the track "Too Tough To Tame" hosts its 100th NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. The parade lap is tentatively scheduled to begin at 11:00am/et. The Dodge and Plymouth "B-Body" cars include RoadRunners, Chargers, Coronets and GTXs. In racing form, these cars were used extensively and successfully in NASCAR, USAC and ARCA events during the 1960s and 70s. The street versions were some of the hottest-selling muscle cars of that era. The Charger 500, a re-design of the 1969 Charger which Dodge.had aerodynamically improved, was the first significant breakthrough for the Chrysler Corporation in special-bodied stock cars. Testing at the proving grounds and on the racetrack proved it to be superior in smooth airflow and reduced drag, but too much rear lift made it virtually uncontrollable. During his qualifying run in his new Charger 500, where he lost control and narrowly missed crashing in the corner due to the lift, Buddy Baker pronounced it to be the most dangerous car he'd ever driven. Back to the drawing board. More revisions were made, including the addition of a rear wing and a pointed nosecone, and the famed Dodge Daytona was born. Following its debut in July 1969, it went on to win many races and set many speed records. In fact, it was the first car ever to go 200 mph on a closed course, and gave Baker his only two Darlington wins. By the end of the 1970 season, NASCAR had effectively banned the Daytona from competitive racing. One Daytona did run in the 1971 Daytona 500, but was restricted to a 350 engine that made the car a non-contender. The cars, called "Winged Warriors," continued to race in USAC and ARCA for many years, and have a rich racing heritage. Cars at Darlington will be traveling from Canada, Oregon, California, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.(Darlington Raceway PR), a few sites dedicated to the cars at wwnboa.org and aerowarriors.com.(3-12-2003)

  • National Anthem at Darlington: Dr. Ann Benson, a professor of music at Columbia College in Columbia, SC, will perform the national anthem during opening ceremonies for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway on March 16. Dr. Benson has been praised for her velvety soprano voice and as a committed singing actress who has captivated audiences both in the US and abroad with dynamic portrayals of operatic heroines. She made her New York operatic debut in the title role of Puccini's Tosca with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center in 1993. A skillful interpreter of art song, Dr. Benson made her 1989 New York City recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. A native of South Carolina, she is a graduate of Columbia College, holds a Master's degree from Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Benson is currently teaching voice at Columbia College. The 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway marks the 100th visit of NASCAR's Winston Cup Series to racing's most historic track. For tickets or more information on upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, please contact the Raceway ticket hotline at 843-394-8499. (Darlington Raceway)(3-10-2003)

  • Darlington/ISC Meeting after next weeks race: Darlington Raceway president Andrew Gurtis plans to meet with officials from the track's parent company, International Speedway Corp., after next week's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 about the future of the facility's spring Winston Cup event. NASCAR is considering moving some events in a schedule realignment for 2004, and the Darlington race is a prime candidate. That issue hasn't stopped Gurtis from laying the groundwork for a spring race in 2004 and beyond. He said the track is "very close" to signing an extension with Carolina Dodge Dealers, the title sponsor of the March event. "We're going full guns ahead," he said Tuesday at the track. "Right now, NASCAR's announcement confirmed the rumors that we're on the bubble. But as far as we're concerned, we've got two dates, and we will have two dates going forward."(Charleston Post and Courier)(3-5-2003)

  • Darlington Names Grand Marshal: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford will serve as grand marshal during opening ceremonies for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway. The race marks the Cup Series 100th visit to the track. Race weekend at Darlington kicks off on Thursday, March 13, with Bud pole qualifying for the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series. Friday, March 14 will feature Bud pole qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, followed by the Craftsman 200 NASCAR Truck Series race. On Saturday, March 15, the NASCAR Busch Series returns to the track Too Tough To Tame in the darlingtonraceway.com 200. On Sunday, March 16, Darlington Raceway will make history once again as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series runs its 100th race, the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400.(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-18-2003)

  • Darlington Expects to keep both Cup races: Darlington Speedway president Andrew Gurtis says fans of the race track shouldn't be worried about the possibility of losing one of its races. "I am confident NASCAR will be here for two races in 2004," Gurtis said on Wednesday. "Darlington is the original superspeedway even before Daytona and our situation hasn't changed."(Florence Morning News)(1-23-2003)

  • Design Darlington Trophy Contest: Darlington Raceway is sponsoring its "Design Darlington Raceway's Pole Day Trophy" contest through January 31. The contest is open to South Carolina residents, and the winner will have the opportunity to present the new trophy to the polesitter for the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. The grand prize also includes $1,000 cash, five years' worth of admission tickets for all pole day events at Darlington Raceway, and tickets to the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, Darlington Raceway's 100th NASCAR Winston Cup event. Designs may be submitted in a variety of ways. Hand-drawn or sculpted designs are acceptable, along with computer-generated graphic images. In keeping with her long tradition of sporting pride and Southern hospitality, Darlington's new trophy will offer tangible evidence of its winners' achievements at the toughest track in all of racing. Trophy design submissions may be mailed or sent electronically. The contest ends on January 31, and the winner will be selected and announced the following week. For tickets or Contest information visit www.darlingtonraceway.com.(1-17-2003)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Darlington Raceway


DRIVER/TEAM NEWS

  • Sadler wins the pole at Darlington: #38-Elliott Sadler won the pole for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 170.147mph. It is Sadler's first ever Bud Pole in 146 starts. Sadler is the the 6th ever driver to win a pole for Robert Yates Racing and the 6th ever driver to win win their first ever pole at Darlington. Starting on the outside of the pole is #12-Ryan Newman with a speed of 169.374mph. #16-Greg Biffle has the best starting spot of a Rookie of the Year Candidate at 17th. In 99 Cup races at Darlington, only 12 drivers who have started outside of the top 10 have won a race there.
    Re-Air: qualifying will be re-aired tonight Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et and Sat, March 15th at 1:00am/et.
    For Starting Lineup, qualifying results and provisionals, as well as other lineup links, pole progession, rookie rundown, see my Darlington Qualifying/Lineup page.(3-14-2003)

  • Trackside at Darlington: Trackside @ Darlington will be on the roof of the suites in turn 3, live from 7:00 to 8:00pm/et. The guest line up includes the winner of Friday's Craftsman 200 from Darlington plus veteran and 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Jeff Gordon. Finally, Winston Cup rookie and winner of last October's UAW-GM Quality 500 from Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jamie McMurray, will be joining us as well. NOTE: This show will not be one that includes an audience.(Speed Channel)(3-14-2003)

  • Friday Cup Practice is over at Darlington Raceway. #38-Elliott Sadler was the quickest at 168.845mph (only ran 5 laps), followed by #18-Bobby Labonte at 168.330 (38 laps) and #12-Ryan Newman at 168.112 (28 laps). Slowest were #45-Kyle Petty at 161.928 (34 laps) and #74-Tony Raines at 162.501 (in 28 laps).
    For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(3-14-2003)

  • #750 for Labonte; #700 for Elliott; #650 for Kyle; #500 for Jarrett; #300 for Burton: a few milestones for the 100th Cup race at Darlington this weekend, the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400:
    Start #750 for #5-Terry Labonte (first start was at Darlington in Sept 1978), 5th on the all time starts list
    Start #700 for #9-Bill Elliott (first start was at Rockingham in Feb 1976), 7th all time
    Start #650 for #45-Kyle Petty (first start was at Talladega in Aug 1979), 11th all time
    Start #500 for #88-Dale Jarrett (first start was at Martinsville in April 1984)
    Start #300 for #99-Jeff Burton (first start was at New Hampshire in July 1993)(Winston Cup Updates Book)(3-11-2003)

  • #09 To Attempt Darlington UPDATE Incorrect: The Mike Wallace Official Discussion Forum is reporting that the #09 Phoenix Racing team and driver Mike Wallace will attempt to make the Darlington Cup race this weekend.
    UPDATE: Mike Wallace will NOT be behind the wheel of a Winston Cup car at Darlington this weekend. "I guess there are some rumors on the internet that I will be in a Cup car this weekend, but I know nothing about it," said Wallace in a telephone interview this afternoon. Wallace will however pilot the #4 Busch Series entry of GEICO Racing in Saturday's running of the darlingtonraceway.com 200 from Darlington Raceway.(Biagi Bros. Racing)(3-11-2003)

  • See the 2003 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


PAINT SCHEME NEWS


SOME NOTES and NEWS

  • Ramblings -- Darlington: Elliott Sadler had 'em covered today....from the time the #38 M&M's Ford rolled off the truck. He grabbed his first ever Bud Pole for Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealer 400 by almost a light year. His time of 28.902 seconds (170.147 mph) was 13/100th's of a second quicker than his nearest competitor. If that doesn't sound like much, the spread from 2nd to 12th was just a hair over 12/100th's of a second! It wasn't even close..... We've had a different pole winner for every event this season (that means we're working on a 36 car field for next year's Budweiser Shootout), and six different pole winners in a row (dating back to last season). Sadler's previous best starting spot was on the outside pole at Texas Motor Speedway for last April's 500 miler. Ryan Newman edged out the rest of the crowd and he'll start outside the front row on Sunday.
    Jerry Nadeau (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Dover last June.
    Ward Burton (7th) has his best starting spot since he started 4th at Martinsville last October.
    Matt Kenseth (12th) had his best qualifying run since he started 9th at Atlanta last October.
    Terry Labonte (29th) has his best grid location since he started 23rd at Atlanta last October.
    STREAKIN....Michael Waltrip has 4 Top-5 starts in the last 5 races.
    43 cars this week (by the skin of our teeth), so everybody makes the race and all provisionals are non-charged. The freebies go to: Jeff Burton, Joe Nemechek, Ricky Rudd, Kyle Petty, Tony Raines, Larry Foyt, and Brett Bodine. Bodine is in the #57 this week, and (according to Mike Joy...and he knows his stuff) is a post entry. That means no points (either driver or owner) will be awarded to that team this week. Larry Foyt has gotta be thankful for short fields. He's only qualified on time for one event this year (31st at Las Vegas). He was a DNQ at Daytona, and has used provisionals at the three other races this season...but he's only got one charged provisional so he's in good shape in that category.(StockCarFans.com (Winston Cup) Newsletter)(3-15-2003)

  • Well, this is goofy: What will Fox announcers call Sunday's race? Darlington Raceway has a sponsorship deal with Dodge for this race to be called the Dodge Dealers 400 [Carolina Dodge Dealers 400]. But yesterday Fox said it would be calling the race "Winston Cup Racing on FOX Presented by Michelin." That is curious from two angles - Did Michelin outbid Dodge for the TV plugs? And what does Goodyear think about this? Goodyear has exclusive rights to provide tires to NASCAR.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)


RACE ODDs


STATS and STUFF




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