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THE RACE: Dodge Charger 500

Nextel Cup Race #10 of 36 for the 2005 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Saturday, May 7, 2005 in Darlington, SC

  • TV: FOX 7:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: Fox - 7:00pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
    Wednesday, May 11 [Fast Forward, 2-hour recap] at 5:00pm/et;
    Thursday, May 12 [Replay] at 3:00pm/et;
    Saturday, May 14 [Fast Forward, 2-hour recap] at 3:00am/et;

  • Pay Per View/NASCAR In Demand:

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

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

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • TV Listings and Info:
    Jayski's TV Listings Page
    NASCAR on TV

  • Purse/Race Awards: $5,338,043 (was $4,551,592 [March], $5,219,075 [Nov] in 2004)

    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practices: Thursday, May 5, 5:10 - 6:10pm/et;

  • Happy Hour Practice: Thursday, May 5, 7:15 - 8:30pm/et on TV-SPEED - no re-air

    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Thursday, May 5, 4:10pm/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42 and 43 [past champ or fastest left] if open, Friday, May 6 at 5:10pm/et, TV-Speed Channel, re-air at 12:00am/et AND live via radio at Motor Racing Network (MRN) and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.

  • Impound? cars will be impounded for this race after qualifying, see rules below.

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


    Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
    Codes: Left-side -- D-6822; Right-side -- D-6824
    Circumference: Left-side -- 87.3 in. Right-side -- 88.6 in.
    Estimated Pit Window: Every 65-70 laps, based on fuel mileage.
    Number of Tires:
    Nextel Cup: Left-side -- 1,600 Right-side -- 1,600
    Busch Series: Left-side -- 550, Right-side -- 550

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front -- 26 psi
    Right Front -- 40 psi
    Left Rear -- 26 psi
    Right Rear -- 38 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front -- 20 psi
    Right Front -- 36 psi
    Left Rear -- 20 psi
    Right Rear -- 33 psi

    Notes: Both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . this is the third straight NASCAR Nextel Cup race to which Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to Darlington . . . this is the only track at which Nextel Cup teams will run this specific tire set-up this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in their tires at Darlington . . . air pressure in those liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

    Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Racing: "We decided to bring the exact same tire codes to Darlington this year, which is one of only a handful of tracks that is true of. Despite NASCAR's new aero rules package, the rough track surface at Darlington, which is well known to all teams and drivers, is the overwhelming characteristic that influenced our decision. As always, we will have high tire wear at Darlington due to the abrasive surface. Give-up will be up around two seconds per lap over the course of a full fuel run, though the tires will perform well overall."


  • The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $70,000 at Phoenix International Raceway for leading the points and winning the race. 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.
    2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus Winners:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Las Vegas, 3/13/2005, $30,000

  • MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award: The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to any eligible NASCAR Nextel Cup driver who leads a race at the halfway mark and displays the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award decal on their race car. An additional $5,000 is earned if that driver also wins the race. If the race-win bonus is not earned, the $5,000 rolls into the next week’s award. Eligible drivers earn two points for winning the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award and another point if they also go on to win the race. The driver who earns the most points during the season will win the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award Championship.
    Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at Darlington: $5,000
    Winners for 2005 so far:
    Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart, $10,000
    California: #01-Joe Nemechek, $10,000
    Las Vegas: #97-Kurt Busch, $10,000
    Atlanta: #16-Greg Biffle, $10,000
    Bristol: #2-Rusty Wallace, $10,000
    Martinsville: #20-Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Texas: #16-Greg Biffle, $45,000*
    Phoenix: #97-Kurt Busch, $15,000*
    Talladega: #24-Jeff Gordon, $15,000*
    (* won race and bonus)
    NOTE: the award goes to the eligible driver leading on the 5th consecutive green lap following a mid-race caution if one occurs.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson and #29-Kevin Harvick are not on the program.
    Capital One does Lowe's Credit card and doesn't wish to have MBNA on the #48
    The #29 has the GM Card (Household Bank) as an associate sponsor on the B-post.
    MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award Standings:
    Greg Biffle, 5
    Kurt Busch, 5
    Tony Stewart, 4
    Jeff Gordon, 3
    Joe Nemechek, 2
    Rusty Wallace, 2



Fans Can Online(NASCAR Online)
looks like this is all that there is out there now....

news and links

  • Biffle wins wild one at Darlington: #16-Greg Biffle, who led the most laps, blew by #12-Ryan Newman, who had old tires, and won the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 6th career win and 3rd of the season. With 3 laps to go, #6-Mark Martin spun while trying to make a pass and brought out the final caution and setting up a green-white-checker finish. With 19 cars on the lead lap, all but the leader at the point, #12-Newman and #49-Ken Schrader made pit stops, 16 of the 17 got four new Goodyear tires, while #99-Edwards got two and came 4th with two laps to go. Biffle blew by Schrader and Newman on the 1st green flag lap and it was over. #24-Gordon got into #99-Edwards. who made a great save, and finished 2nd, followed by #9-Kahne, #6-Martin and #12-Newman. #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 7th and held on to the points lead.
    For race results/results links, see Jayski's Darlington Race Results/Awards page.(5-7-2005)

  • NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers Points after Darlington - 10 of 36 races
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1519
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 1392, -127
    #16-Greg Biffle, 1371, -148
    #97-Kurt Busch, 1290, -229
    #38-Elliott Sadler, 1267, -252
    #6-Mark Martin, 1226, -293
    #20-Tony Stewart, 1222, -297
    #42-Jamie McMurray, 1217, -302
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1212, 307
    #12-Ryan Newman, 1205, -314
    The top 15 in drivers points are still under 400 points back and in the Chase.

    See full standings on my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington page.(5-7-2005)

  • Darlington Race Notes:
    * Greg Biffle won the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway, scoring his sixth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 88th career start. His last victory came at Texas, three races ago.
    * Biffle scored his third victory this season, winning at California, Texas and Darlington.
    * Only Biffle and Jeff Gordon have scored multiple victories this season, each with three.
    * Biffle climbed from fourth to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP Series point standings.
    * All of Biffle's victories have come on superspeedways.
    * This is Biffle's first victory and second top-10 finish in five races at Darlington.
    * Biffle has scored six top-10 finishes in 10 races this season.
    * Biffle scored the fourth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Darlington Raceway, joining Jeff Burton (two) and Mark Martin (one) This was Roush's 79th victory as a car owner and fifth this season.
    Notebook Items

    * Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 25 races at Darlington Raceway. Gordon has scored five top-10 finishes in 10 races this season, all were top fives. He climbed from third to second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
    * Kasey Kahne (third) posted his second top-five finish in three races at Darlington Raceway. He scored his third top-10 finish in 2005, all top fives. This was his career-best Darlington finish.
    * Mark Martin (fourth) scored his 24th top-10 finish in 39 races at Darlington Raceway. This marked Martin's fifth top-10 finish in 2005. Martin returned to the top 10, climbing from 11th to sixth in the point standings.
    * Martin has been running at the finish in 32 consecutive races, the longest current streak
    * Ryan Newman (fifth) scored his fourth top-10 finish in seven races at Darlington Raceway, all were top fives. Newman has scored four top-10 finishes in 2005. He climbed from 15th to 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
    * Jimmie Johnson (seventh) remained first in the point standings with a 127-point lead over second-place Jeff Gordon. Johnson has scored eight top-10 finishes in 10 races this season, more than any other driver. Johnson has scored six top-10 finishes in seven races at Darlington.
    * Dale Earnhardt Jr. (eighth) remained ninth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings. He has scored six top-15 finishes in his last six races.
    * Kyle Busch (23rd) was the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender for the sixth time in 10 races in 2005.
    * Seven of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Darlington Raceway.
    * Biffle led 176 of the 370 laps, the second time that he has led the most laps in a race this season. Biffle led the most at Texas where he was also the race winner.
    * Looking ahead to the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup - only 15 drivers remain within 400 points of current point leader Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-7-2005)

  • Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Darlington:
    The operative word of the evening was "grip"....but since this was Darlington what else would you expect?
    Greg Biffle passed Ryan Newman on lap 369 (tho this was supposed to be a 367 lap event) and held off Jeff Gordon by a little less than a second tonight to capture the Dodge Charger 505 at Darlington Raceway. The fans were treated to a green/white/checker finish, but I'm sure Ryan didn't like it one bit.
    When the caution flew on lap 365 Newman & Company had to know they were a sitting duck, and that came to fruition when 16 of the 17 cars behind him pitted for fresh rubber with only two laps to race. Musta had something to do with that word du jour, huh?
    This was the third win of the season for Greg Biffle, the 6th of his career (he's now in sole possession of 60th place on the all-time win list), and the 79th for Roush Racing. It was worth $305,975 from the over $5.3M in posted awards. And, when you figure he led 10 times for 176 laps this was certainly a well-deserved victory.
    Why do I have the feeling we haven't seen the end of the 15/43 fued?
    Mike Bliss (19th) had his best finish since he was 18th at Atlanta in March.
    Scott Wimmer (25th) had his best finish since he was 20th at Atlanta in March.
    Bobby Hamilton Jr (30th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Las Vegas in March.
    STREAKIN.....Jamie McMurray has 3 Top-10's in the last 4 races.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr has 3 Top-10's in the last 4 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Dale Earnhardt Jr (+31), followed by Ricky Rudd (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Sterling Marlin (-34), followed by Kurt Busch (-26), Jeremy Mayfield (-25), Casey Mears (-23), and Carl Long (-21).
    Kevin Lepage led a lap tonight for the first time since he led one lap at Chicagoland Speedway last July. He's the 37th driver to lead a lap this season.....last year we had 50 of 'em.
    Jimmie Johnson's lead is about the same as last week, we've just got a new runner-up.....his boss. Jeff Gordon takes over second in the standings 127 points in arrears of Johnson. Our "Stayin Alive" line moves up three spots to 15th, and when you see 20th spot already over 500 markers behind you start to get the idea that the 400 point barrier won't be in play by the time we get to race #26.
    Mark Martin (11th to 6th) and Ryan Newman (15th to 10th) both advanced five positions tonight, while Dale Jarrett (7th to 12th) and Casey Mears (20th to 25th) both fell five spots. Only five spots in the Top-35 didn't change hands.
    Speaking of the Top-35, Scott Wimmer gets back into the exempt column for next week. Jason Leffler will now have to qualify on time at Richmond.(more at Stock Car Fans)(5-8-2005)

  • The Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway:
    The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes
    after 368 of 367 laps:


    car#, driver, starting spot, laps led
    #16-Biffle (3)(176 laps led, led halfway) - took 4 tires on the last stop
    #24-Gordon (19)(20 laps led)
    #9-Kahne (1)(57 laps led)
    #6-Martin (20)
    #12-Newman (2)(47 laps led) - didn't pit
    #42-McMurray (13)
    #48-Johnson (9)(55 laps led)
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. (39)
    #99-Edwards (10)(4 laps led) - only 2 tires
    #20-Stewart (15)

  • Cars on the lead lap: 19 (of 43 starters)

  • Off track/out of race (5):
    #34-Fuller (transmission-out)
    #80-Long (rear end-out)
    #40-Marlin (engine-out)
    #66-Sadler (power steering-out)
    #19-Mayfield (accident-off)

  • Laps Leaders Unofficial (13 with 30 lead changes):
    #9-Kahne (60);
    #16-Biffle (176 led halfway and the most);
    #19-Mayfield (1);
    #4-Wallace (1);
    #48-Johnson (55);
    #17-Kenseth (1);
    #37-Lapege (1);
    #24-Gordon (20);
    #99-Edwards (4);
    #40-Marlin (1);
    #01-Nemechek (2);
    #25-Vickers (1);
    #12-Newman (47);

  • Lap leaders: #9-Kahne pole; #9-Kahne 1-11; #16-Biffle 12-40; #19-Mayfield 41; #4-Wallace 42; #16-Biffle 43-76; #48-Johnson 77-81; #17-Kenseth 82; #48-Johnson 83-96; #37-Lepage 97; #16-Biffle 98-100; #24-Gordon 101-102; #16-Biffle 103-108; #24-Gordon 109-126; #48-Johnson 127-154; #99-Edwards 155-158; #48-Johnson 159-161; #16-Biffle 162-195; #9-Kahne 196; #40-Marlin 197; #16-Biffle 198-206; #48-Johnson 207; #01-Nemechek 208-209; #16-Biffle 210-231; #48-Johnson 232-235; #9-Kahne 236-283; #25-Vickers 284; #16-Biffle 285-317; #12-Newman 318; #16-Biffle 319-322; #12-Newman 323-368; #16-Biffle 369-370

    Cautions: 12 for 48 laps

    Caution 12 - Laps 365 - 368: #6-Martin spun coming off turn 4.
    Caution 11 - Laps 318 - 321: Debris on the front stretch, a piece of metal.
    Caution 10 - Laps 283 - 286: #5-Busch cut a tire down and slapped the turn 3 wall.
    Caution 9 - Laps 243 - 246: wreck in turn 1 when #77-Kvapil came down on #10-Riggs, #88-Jarrett and #38-Salder got together trying to slow down, with Jarrett going into a slide.
    Caution 8 - Laps 234 - 238: #19-Mayfield and #07-Blaney got together, Mayfield smacked the wall but drove on to the pits, Blaney slid and missed pit road and stopped on the track.
    Caution 7 - Laps 207 - 211: #15-Waltrip punted #43-Green [a little revenge], Green slapped the wall and came back down the track. #97-Busch clipped the #43 as it was coming down the track. Waltrip was put in the 'penalty box' for a lap.
    Caution 6 - Laps 195 - 199: Debris in turns 3 and 4.
    Caution 5 - Laps 96 - 99: #00-Wallace got loose and slide and spun in turn 1, no damage.
    Caution 4 - Laps 81 - 84: #43-Green got loose and smacked the frontstretch wall.
    Caution 3 - Laps 41 - 44: Debris in turn 3, possibly from the #66-Sadler car.
    Caution 2 - Laps 8 - 10: #15-Waltrip got punted by #43-Green and smacked the wall in turn 4.
    Caution 1 - Laps 3 - 5: #97-Busch made contact with #2-Wallace and #24-Gordon after Busch's car got loose, Busch nosed into the inside wall on the front stretch doing damage to the nose.

  • Who got a lap back on each caution at Darlington: The Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
    (FOX calls it 'the Free Pass Car', NBC calls it the Lucky Dog - which I prefer)
    Caution 12: no lucky dog when 10 laps or less are left
    Caution 11: #49-Schrader, 18th
    Caution 10: #48-Johnson, 7th
    Caution 9: #25-Vickers, 16th
    Caution 8: #18-Labonte, 17th
    Caution 7: #88-Jarrett, 15th
    Caution 6: #38-Sadler, 20th
    Caution 5: #15-Waltrip, still 32 laps down, 34th
    Caution 4: #92-Barrett(2), 31st
    Caution 3: #92-Barrett, 31st
    Caution 2: none, no one a lap down
    Caution 1: none, no one a lap down
    See past races, rules, news and who has used the most Lucky Dog passes on my
    Lucky Dog page.

  • RACE/PIT NOTES: (as noted heard on TV or Radio)
    ---- on the final lap, #24-Gordon got into #99-Edwards, who slid but recovered and finished 9th, then just before the finish line, two car got together, #29-Harvick moved down into #2-Wallace, the #20-Stewart got into Harvick who spun and hit the wall.
    ---- on the last caution, all the lead laps cars BUT #12-Newman and #49-Schrader made pit stops, #99-Edwards only took 2 tires, with two green flag laps to go
    ---- #31-Burton is reporting a bad vibration on lap 340 and made an unscheduled pitstop.
    ---- all the lead lap cars came in to make a pit stop during the 11th caution.
    ---- #97-Busch, #15-Waltrip and #43-Green have all be told to report to the NASCAR Trailer after the race, for rough driving.
    ---- while running 2nd, on lap 259, #48-Johnson made an unscheduled pit stop, there was a vibration.
    ---- #41-Mears is back on the track on lap 236 after hitting the wall back on lap 144
    ---- on lap 212, #45-Petty slowed down, #11-Leffler slammed on the brakes and got loose and slapped the wall.
    ---- on lap 192, #17-Kenseth came in for an unscheduled pit stop as the car is handling very poorly.
    ---- during the 6th caution, #40-Marlin came in with an engine problem, found a plug wire off.
    ---- green flag pit stops occurred in the lap 150-165 range. #77-Kvpail missed the pit road entrance and slide a bit and stopped and drove on, no caution [that would had made a mess of the rundown].
    ---- #41-Mears smacked the turn 2 wall on turn 144, but nursed it to the pits without a caution.
    ---- around lap 137, #19-Mayfield is falling back with a possible tire going down.
    ---- on the 4th caution pitstops, #5-Busch lost some spots as a lug nut fell off the stud during the stop.
    ---- all the drivers came in to make pit stops during the 4th caution.
    ---- only two drivers have won at Darlington three races in row; Dale Earnhart and Jeff Gordon.
    ---- #97-Busch is back on the trach on lap 59, 58 laps down after the team made repairs from the lap 1 wreck.
    ---- #66-Salder is back on the track as of lap 49, 5 laps down.
    ---- #15-Waltrip back on the track as of lap 40 after the team made repairs from the lap 7 crash.
    ---- many drivers at the back of the pack made pit stops during the 2nd caution.
    ---- To the BACK: [2]: #11-Leffler [unapproved changes]; #66-Sadler [missed drivers meeting]

  • Kahne wins the pole at Darlington: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Budweiser pole for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 170.024mph, for his 5th career pole and 2nd straight at Darlington. #12-Ryan Newman is on the outside pole at 169.555. The rest of the top-five are #16-Greg Biffle, #38-Elliott Sadler and #25-Brian Vickers. Missing the race were #7-Robby Gordon, #89-Morgan Shepherd, #09-Johnny Sauter and #61-Tony Raines. #80-Carl Long made a nice effort and will start 21st.. See qualifying results, starting lineup, lineup links, pole progression on my Jayski's Darlington Qualifying/Grid/Practice Page.(5-6-2005)

  • Darlington Qualifying Notes:
    • Kasey Kahne won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Dodge Charger 500, lapping Darlington Raceway in 28.923 seconds at 170.024 mph. Ward Burton holds the track-qualifying record of 28.295 seconds, 173.797 mph, set March 22, 1996.
    • This is Kahne’s fifth career Bud Pole in 46 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, his first since Pocono last June.
    • This is Kahne’s second Bud Pole at Darlington Raceway. He also won the Bud Pole here last March.
    • Kahne became the eighth Bud Pole winner in 2005. Ryan Newman (three) is the only repeat Bud Pole winner this season.
    • Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.003 seconds, 169.555 mph – and will join Kahne on the front row for the Dodge Charger 500. Newman has started from a top-10 starting position in six of his seven races at Darlington. He is the only driver to post top-10 starts in every race this season
    • This is the fourth Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005. Chevrolet also has four Bud Poles and Ford has two.
    • Greg Biffle (third) posted his third top-10 start in five races at Darlington. It is his eighth top-10 start in 2005.
    • Elliott Sadler (fourth) scored his eighth top-10 start in 13 races at Darlington and his sixth in the past seven races here. It is his fifth top-10 start this season.
    • Brian Vickers (fifth) posted his first start better than 27th in his three races at Darlington and his fourth top-10 start in 2005.
    • Four drivers failed to qualify for the Dodge Charger 500: Johnny Sauter, Robby Gordon, Tony Raines and Morgan Shepherd.
    • There have been eight different Bud Pole winners in the 12 races at Darlington since September 1999. Kahne is the only repeat Bud Pole winner since 1999. Qualifying was rained out three times in the 12-race period (spring 2001, fall 2002, fall 2004).
    • The furthermost back that a race winner has started at Darlington was 43rd in the inaugural Southern 500 in 1950 by Johnny Mantz. That race had a 75-car field. Only four other drivers have won at Darlington from a starting position further back than 15th: Herb Thomas (23rd - fall 1954), Bobby Labonte (37th - fall 2000), Ward Burton (37th - fall 2001) and Ricky Craven (31st - spring 2003) (NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-7-2005)

  • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Darlington:
    It's an all-Dodge front row for tomorrow night's Nextel Cup event! Think the Sponsor's happy?
    Kasey Kahne edged out Ryan Newman this afternoon and grabbed his first Bud Pole of the season for Saturday Night's aptly named Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway. His time of 28.923 (170.024 mph) was good enough for his 5th career top-spot and first since he led 'em to the green at Pocono last June.
    He becomes our 8th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona as well.
    We had the three "S"'s today.....Slippin', Slidin', and Slappin'. When you consider that was with only one car on the track we could have another memorable event with 43 of 'em out there.
    Sterling Marlin (7th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Bristol last August.
    Michael Waltrip (19th) has his best starting spot since he started 3rd at Daytona in February.
    Carl Long (21st) has his career-best starting spot this week. His previous best was 26th at Atlanta in November of 2001!
    Jeff Fuller (40th) makes his first Cup start of the season.
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 17 Top-10 starts in a row.
    Greg Biffle has 8 Top-10 starts in the last 9 races.
    Jeremy Mayfield has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
    The Trouble Train had four cars in tow today. Johnny Sauter (his 4th dnq of the season), Robby Gordon (also his 4th), Tony Raines (the 2nd dnq for the #61 car), and Morgan Shepherd (the #89 car's 4th dnq as well).(Stock Car Fans)(5-7-2005)

  • Bliss wrecks during practice: #0-Mike Bliss crashed while running third during practice and will go to a backup car - "We were in qualifying trim and we wrecked in Turn 2. I'm okay. We feel like our primary car was good and we should be able to apply all that to the back up car. Our back-up car is a brand new one. We tested it at Kentucky, but that's all."(GM PR), if the team takes the engine out of the car that crashed, and uses it to qualify, Bliss will not have to start at the rear of the field before Saturday nights race.(5-6-2005)

  • The one and only practice session for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the fastest were:
    #5-Busch 168.798
    #12-Newman 168.654
    #19-Mayfield 167.152
    #9-Kahne 166.811
    #77-Kvapil 166.794
    slowest: #89-Shepherd 157.889 and #09-Sauter 161.317
    most laps run: #20-Stewart, 62; #6-Martin 59
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from's leaderboard service)
    #40-Marlin, 162.471 [14th fastest lap], 34 laps run
    #97-Busch, 162.251 [8th fastest], 21 laps
    #9-Kahne, 161.702 [4th fastest lap], 41 laps run
    For all the speeds see my Jayski's Darlington Qualifying/Grid/Practice Page.(5-6-2005)

  • Bliss wrecks during practice: #0-Mike Bliss crashed while running third during practice and will go to a backup car - "We were in qualifying trim and we wrecked in Turn 2. I'm okay. We feel like our primary car was good and we should be able to apply all that to the back up car. Our back-up car is a brand new one. We tested it at Kentucky, but that's all."(GM PR), if the team takes the engine out of the car that crashed, and uses it to qualify, Bliss will not have to start at the rear of the field before Saturday nights race.(5-6-2005)

  • How did the non Top-35 teams do in the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway practice? If the speeds are the same, the slowest 4 would be out:
    #7-Robby Gordon, 13th overall, 165.114mph
    #37-Kevin Lepage, 17th, 164.898
    #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 21st, 164.821
    #22-Scott Wimmer, 26th, 164.259
    #00-Kenny Wallace, 29th, 163.969
    #80-Carl Long, 35th, 162.942
    #66-Hermie Sadler, 36th, 162.732
    #34-Jeff Fuller, 40th, 162.404
    these 4 would miss the race if speeds stayed the same
    #61-Tony Raines, 43rd, 161.912
    #92-Stanton Barrett, 44th, 161.540
    #09-Johnny Sauter, 46th, 161.317
    #89-Morgan Shepherd, 47th/last, 157.889

  • Qualifying Order for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, #18-Bobby Labonte is due out first, the last driver scheduled out is #6-Mark Martin. For the Qualifying order, see my Jayski's Darlington Qualifying/Grid/Practice Page.(5-6-2005)

  • Rookie News and Notes

  • Rain washes out Thursday practice: Rain caused practice for the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series at Darlington Raceway to be delayed until Friday morning. Busch Series practice is scheduled to run from 9:30 to 11:00am/et and Cup practice from 11:10am to 12:30pm/et. Busch Pole Qualifying remains scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET with Nextel Cup Bud Pole Qualifying to follow and the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 set to go green at 8:05pm/et.(Darlington Raceway site/, however, rain is in the forcast all day until around 6:00pm/et on Friday. For weather info at Darlington, see or The

  • Entry List [changes] for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including these drivers who need to get in on speed and are NOT in a 2005 Top-35 Owners Points Position:
    Not in top 35 of owners points - 9 race team attempts:
    #7-Robby Gordon (full-time 2005 planned)
    #22-Scott Wimmer (full-time team)
    #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. (full-time team)
    #37-Kevin Lepage (full-time 2005 planned)
    #66-Hermie Sadler (full-time 2005 planned)
    #92-Stanton Barrett (full-time 2005 planned)
    Not in top 35 of owners points - less then 10 attempts
    #00-Kenny Wallace (part-time sched)(2 attempts)(was #100 using #00)
    #09-Johnny Sauter (part-time sched)(4 attempts)
    #34-Jeff Fuller (didn't attempt Talladega)(8 attempts)
    #61-Tony Raines (plans to attempt a few races)(1 attempt)
    #80-Carl Long (part-time sched)(5 attempts)(was #200 using #80)
    #89-Morgan Shepherd (4 attempts)
    withdrew, down to 47 on list
    #08-Shane Hmiel (part-time sched)(2 attempts)
    #13-Greg Sacks (attempted Daytona)
    IF qualifying was rained out the eight who would make it: #'s 22,32,37,7,66,92,34,09
    missing the race would be: #'s 00, 80, 89, 61
    For the full list see my Jayski's Talladega Entry List, 47 cars entered. (4-25/5-5-2005)

  • Entry List Page:
    Jayski's Darlington Entry List, 49 cars entered

  • Race Penalties Now Less Severe: Beginning with the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville, eight infractions that used to bring a stop-and-go penalty will now be addressed with a pass through the pits. They include a crew member jumping over the wall too soon, too many crewmen in the pit service area, using more than two air wrenches during a stop, and tossing the fuel or catch cans. Other violations now covered by a pass-through penalty are: crew members returning from the equipment side of the wall, illegal use of extension poles, failing to carry the front air wrench to the pit wall side, and noncompliant refueling. A stop-and-go requires a car to return to its pit box for 15 seconds, while the lesser penalty is merely going back through pit road at the required speed limit.(FoxSports/AP)(3-20-2005)

  • Impound Rules: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Impound Procedures In 2005
    The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will impound cars after qualifying in 21 of 36 championship events plus the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. The following are tracks in which NASCAR will implement this procedure: Feb. 27-California; Mar. 20-Atlanta; Apr. 3-Bristol; Apr. 23-Phoenix; May 7-Darlington; May 14; Richmond; May 21-Lowe’s (All-Star Challenge); June 12-Pocono; June 19-Michigan; July 2-Daytona; July 17-New Hampshire; July 24-Pocono; Aug. 14-Watkins Glen; Aug. 21-Michigan; Aug. 27-Bristol; Sept. 10-Richmond; Sept. 18-New Hampshire; Oct. 9-Kansas; Oct. 30-Atlanta; Nov. 20-Homestead.
    Following qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event, the cars will be escorted to their respective garage stalls by a NASCAR Official (with the exception of the top five cars, which will be placed in a designated area for post-qualifying inspection).
    Once the car is pushed to the garage stall, only two crew members will be allowed to remain in the garage.
    The following work list will be allowed:
    1. Shut off electrical switches and master power switch;
    2. Remove radio;
    3. Check air pressure in tires;
    4. Cover the car; and,
    5. Crewmembers exit garage and garage doors close.
    Pit road selection will be immediately after the last car has qualified.
    Procedure for race day for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams:
    Garage Stall A maximum of two (2) crew members per car, accompanied by a NASCAR Official, will be allowed in the garage stall. Below are the procedures that will be completed in the garage stall:
    Teams May:
    1. Plug in oil heater (if teams use a generator, it must remain outside the garage);
    2. Open hood;
    3. Prime oil system;
    4. Back car out of garage to start;
    5. Turn master switch on;
    6. Open oil cooler bypass valve (optional)’
    7. Start engine;
    8. Close hood;
    9. Set tire pressure;
    10. Torque wheels;
    11. Install radio and water bottle;
    12. Remove or repair tape on front of car (i.e. grille, valance, brake ducts.); and
    13. If applicable, BST or Pi Research may replace equipment batteries under NASCAR supervision.
    Teams May NOT:
    1. Enter the garage without a NASCAR Official present;
    2. Jack up any part of the car;
    3. Add water or pressurize the cooling system;
    4. Climb inside the car;
    5. Adjust wedge bolts, shocks or sway bars;
    6. Add fuel, oil or brake fluid;
    7. Remove air box; or
    8. Adjust fenders, spoiler or any body components.
    Fuel Pumps: A maximum of three (3) crewmembers per car at anytime, escorted by NASCAR Officials, may go to the fuel pumps. For Tracks 1 mile and under, a maximum of two gallons of fuel will be added. For Tracks 1 ˝ miles, a maximum of three gallons of fuel will be added. For Tracks above 1 ˝ miles, a maximum of four gallons of fuel will be added.
    Height Platform A maximum of three (3) crewmembers per car at anytime, accompanied by NASCAR Officials, may escort the respective car to the height platform.
    Teams May:
    1. Adjust front and rear wedge bolts: A maximum of one (1) turn for front bolts. A maximum of 1 ˝ turn for rear bolts.
    2. Adjust track bar at frame end adjuster. No maximum on track bar adjustment.
    3. Adjust external shock bleeds.
    Teams May NOT:
    1. Change any components.
    2. Add spring inserts.
    Scales A maximum of three (3) crewmembers per car at anytime, accompanied by NASCAR Officials, may escort the respective car to the scales. Any car that does not meet required weight specifications may be subject to penalty. After completion, the generator will be reconnected to the car and pushed to pit road. Generators will be permitted out on pit road with the car.(NASCAR)(3-18-2005)

  • some 2005 Changes in the Cup Series:

  • New Dodge Model: Charger takes over for the Intrepid
  • Spoilers reduced 1" to 4 1/2" at all tracks BUT Talladega and Daytona
  • Gear Ratio rule, teams will have 2 choices of what gear ratio to use at all tracks BUT Talladega and Daytona, supposedly the gear ratio's will be between 3.80 and 4.00
  • Hard Liquor sponsors now allowed
  • NASCAR is using a computer timing system to check for speeding on pit road
  • The top 35 teams in Owners Points will be guaranteed to make the race, the final teams by speed, then field set by speed, for the first FIVE races, 2004 owners points standings will be used for the top 35.
  • The Impound Rules will be used at over half the races.
  • Each car must have a full tank of fuel in the gas tank when the driver makes a qualifying lap, for ALL races.
  • Restrictor plate size changed from 29/32 [58/64] to 57/64"

  • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog

  • Jayski's - 2005 Nextel Cup Race Results Page

  • 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

  • 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).

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites:


  • WHO'S HOT heading to Darlington:
    • Jeff Gordon has won three races in 2005, more than any other driver.
    • Kurt Busch and Michael Waltrip are the only drivers to score top-10 finishes in the last three races.
    • Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to score five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in nine races in 2005.
    • Kurt Busch has scored six top-10 finishes in 2005, second only to Jimmie Johnson.
    • Jeff Gordon has climbed from 12th to third in the point standings in the last four races.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. has climbed from 27th to ninth in the points in the last six races.
    • Roush Racing drivers have won four of the nine races in 2005. Hendrick Mororsports drivers have also scored four victories and Richard Childress Racing has scored one.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-2-2005)

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

  • 2004 March Pole Sitter: Kasey Kahne, 171.716, finished 13th

  • 2004 Race Winner: JImmie Johnson, 114.001mph, started 11th

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

  • Event Race Record: Jeff Gordon, Sept 1998, 139.031mph

  • Slowest Race Record: Fonty Flock, Sept 1952, 74.512mph

  • Most Wins - Active Driver: Jeff Gordon, 6

  • Most Wins - All Time: David Pearson, 10

  • Most Poles - Active Driver: Bill Elliott, 5

  • Most Poles - All Time: David Pearson, 12

  • Most Wins - Owner: Rick Hendrick, 11

  • Most Top 5s: 25 - Richard Petty

  • Most Top 10s: 35 - Bill Elliott

  • Oldest Winner: Harry Gant, 51 years, 7 months, 22 days, Sept 1991

  • Youngest Winner: Terry Labonte, 23 years, 9 months, 16 days, Sept 1980

  • Most Laps Led [500 miles]: Johnny Mantz, Sept 1950, 351 laps [of 367]

  • Most Laps Led [400 miles]: Richard Petty, April 1966, 281 laps [of 293]

  • Most Cautions: 15, March 1995

  • Most Caution Laps: 101, Sept 1974

  • Fewest Cautions: 0, Sept 1963

  • Fewest Caution Laps: 0, Sept 1963

  • Most Finishers on the Lead Lap: 23, Sept 2002

  • Fewest Finishers on the Lead Lap: 1 - 24 times, most recently 9/3/1979

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Johnny Mantz, Sept 1950, started 43rd [75 started, 3 abreast]

  • Most Wins by a Manufacturer: 36, Chevrolet

  • Forty-three drivers have posted Bud Poles at Darlington

  • A total of 41 drivers have won NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Darlington

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 19 [of 101] 18.8%

  • Races won from starting pos 2: 16

  • Races won from starting pos 3: 12

  • Races won from starting pos 4: 8

  • Races won from starting pos 5: 11

  • Races won from starting pos 6: 3

  • Races won from starting pos 7: 3

  • Races won from starting pos 8: 4

  • Races won from starting pos 9: 7

  • Races won from starting pos 10: 5

  • Races won from starting pos 11: 3

  • Races won from starting pos 13: 1

  • Races won from starting pos 14: 2

  • Races won from starting pos 15: 2

  • Races won from starting pos 23: 1

  • Races won from starting pos 31: 1 [2003]

  • Races won from starting pos 37: 2 [2001, 2000]

  • Races won from starting pos 43: 1 [1950]

  • Races won from the Pole: 19 of 101 [18.8%]

  • Races won from the top 5: 66 of 101 - 65.3%

  • Races won from the Top 10: 88 of 101 [87.1%]

  • Races won from the Top 15: 96 of 101 [95.1%]

  • Races won from outside the Top 10: 13 of 101 [12.9%]

  • Other Winning Starting Spots [5]: 23rd - 1; 31st -1; 37th - 2; 43rd - 1


  • Track Specs:
    Track/Race Length: 1.366 egg-shaped oval, 367 laps, 501.3 miles
    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
    Speed Limits: Pace Car - 50 mph, Pit Road - 45 mph
    Track Repaved in late 1995
    Grandstand Seating: 65,000

  • Track Homepage: Darlington Raceway

  • 2004 Darlington Spring Race Info Page

  • 2004 Darlington Fall Race Info Page

  • Dodge Charger 500 a sellout: Reserved grandstand seats for the Dodge Charger 500, the 104th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway, are sold out, track officials have announced. The sellout is the earliest at Darlington since the 1997 Mountain Dew Southern 500, when the track had approximately 10,000 fewer seats than its current seating capacity. Infield admission tickets and reserved infield RV parking spots are still available for purchase. Fans can also be placed on the waiting list by calling the ticket office toll-free at 866.459.RACE. Good seats do remain for the events on Friday, May 6. This very full day of race action begins with qualifying for both the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series. The NASCAR Busch Series will follow up their qualifying efforts on Friday evening in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200.(Darlington Raceway)(5-4-2005)

  • Drivers Moms to give the command at Darlington: To celebrate the beginning of a new racing tradition at Darlington Raceway, Mother's Day weekend under the lights, the track plans to officially include the drivers' mothers in the Dodge Charger 500 pre-race ceremonies. The participating mothers will walk across the stage and be introduced along with their sons. Then, as a group, they will utter the most famous words in motorsports, with a bit of a twist - "Sons, and gentlemen, start your engines!" The list of mothers who have agreed to participate so far includes Jeff Gordon's mother, Carol Bickford; Pam Boas, Tony Stewart's mom; Diane Newman, mother of Ryan Newman; Dale Jarrett's mom, Martha Jarrett; Kyle Petty's mom, Lynda Petty; Ramona Vickers, mother of Brian Vickers; and Susie Nolff, mother of Scott Riggs. "Mother's Day weekend is a time to celebrate families," said Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning. "NASCAR itself is often referred to as a family sport, so it just seems natural to include everyone and to create one very special weekend at Darlington Raceway. We know the fans will be thrilled to meet the drivers' mothers. We're excited about all the possibilities of our new race date and look forward to making Mother's Day weekend at Darlington one of the most popular stops on the circuit."(Darlington Raceway)(5-4-2005)

  • Craig Woolard to perform national anthem at Darlington: Two of the most familiar sounds of the Southeast - stock car engines and Carolina beach music - will come together at Darlington Raceway on May 7 as Craig Woolard performs the national anthem prior to the Dodge Charger 500. Woolard, lead singer for legendary beach music band The Embers for 27 years, was named both Male Vocalist of the Year and Producer of the Year at the 2002 Carolina Beach Music Awards. He was also honored for Song of the Year in 2002 for "Love Don't Come No Stronger," the longest-charting beach music song of all time. "Love Don't Come No Stronger" is featured on "Totally Beach: For the Kids," a beach music compilation CD recorded earlier this year to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Woolard, backed by the Craig Woolard Band, will perform "Love Don't Come No Stronger" and other beach music classics during a pre-race concert on the start-finish line stage. The show is scheduled to begin at 5:45. For more information on the Victory Junction Gang Camp or the "Totally Beach: For the Kids" CD, visit Raceway)(5-3-2005)

  • Darlington Cup race sold out: Darlington Raceway was assured that NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway would have its first sellout before race day and only the second since the track expanded to 60,000 seats in 1997. 428 tickets remained for the May 7 Nextel Cup race around noon Saturday. Also the ISC board gave the track permission to develop with a five-year plan that includes expansion and facility improvements.(The State), sounds like we will have at least one Cup a year at Darlington for the near future.(5-2-2005)

  • 1800 Tix left for Darlington: NASCAR's return to Mother's Day weekend, thanks to brisk ticket sales for Darlington Raceway's upcoming Dodge Charger 500. Track Predident, Chris Browning said the track had only about 1,800 tickets remaining for the event as of Tuesday morning, raising the possibility that the 60,000-seat facility could have a sellout in the bank nearly a week before the green flag drops. Sellouts at Darlington have been rare, advance sellouts almost unheard of. The track's last sellout was in 2003, when the Southern 500 was run for the final time on its traditional Labor Day weekend spot. The final few tickets for that event weren't sold until the morning of the race. Prior to that, the track hadn't sold out since expanding to its current seating capacity in 1997. Darlington fell less than 200 tickets short of selling out the final Southern 500 last November. That race date was moved to another International Speedway Corp. facility in Phoenix, leaving Darlington with only one annual event, that on a weekend with a bad track record. Browning credits the track's new lighting system -- next week's race will be Darlington's first full night Nextel Cup event -- and a different marketing strategy with helping to accelerate ticket sales. He said officials like state Sen. Hugh Leatherman and Florence Mayor Frank Willis helped track executives meet with regional business and industry leaders, who were urged to use race tickets as incentives for employees or tokens of appreciation for customers.
    An advance sellout certainly won't hurt Darlington's chances of remaining on the Nextel Cup schedule for another year. Slow ticket sales and relatively small crowds, especially for the track's old March race, were what put Darlington on the realignment bubble in the first place. Now, the 56-year-old facility hopes for more infrastructure improvements that will ensure a long-term future in NASCAR.(Charleston Post and Courier)(4-28-2005)

  • Darlington hopes to announce sellout: Darlington Raceway officials hope to announce within the next two weeks their first sellout prior to race day since the track expanded to 60,000 seats in 1997. Only about 3,000 tickets remain for the first-ever night Nextel Cup race at Darlington on May 7. A sellout would enhance the track’s position to keep its remaining Cup date and make a case for expansion. The only other sellout since expansion came two years ago at the final running of the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. Track president Chris Browning is preparing a five-year plan that includes expansion for a presentation at the fall meeting of International Speedway Corporation board. Among the attractions for the upcoming race will be an appearance by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Dale Jr. Experience Tent in the Wachovia Hospitality Village outside Turn 3. Earnhardt will be in the tent from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on race day. A limited number of tickets will be sold for the event at $80 each. Those wishing to attend the Saturday night Cup race or the Friday night Busch Series Race can order tickets by calling the Raceway ticket hotline at (866) 459-7223.(The State)(4-23-2005)

  • Darlington Day: Darlington Day looked back on the legacy of racing in South Carolina and supports its future. Drivers like Jeremy Mayfield and Tony Stewart spent the afternoon at the Governors Mansion Tuesday. It's an effort to rev up ticket sales for the upcoming race and to look back on the tradition of racing in South Sarolina. The Southern 500 left South Carolina and it was devastating for many race fans in the Palmetto State. Stock car racing's original superspeedway will once more serve as a groundbreaker for NASCAR, inaugurating an entirely new race weekend in May. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' 104th visit to Darlington Raceway will take place on Mother's Day weekend, and will be Darlington's first-ever full weekend of night racing. Racing represents much more than entertaining fans of the sport. Each of the races generates about $30 million for the state. Chad Prosser is with the state's parks and tourism, ""Absolutely. The NASCAR fans are wonderful fans, and they are a big economic base, not only for NASCAR, but for the state as a destination. We use these races not only to sell the Pee Dee area, but to sell the state as a whole." State leaders say it is important for fans to pack the stands to show NASCAR racing at Darlington won't be left in the dust. Get more information on the Dodge Charger 500 Weekend by calling (843) 395-8499.( Columbia, SC)(4-13-2005)

  • Darlington Expects to keep race: Darlington Raceway's Chris Browning said he's confident the France family's International Speedway Corp. will keep the legendary Sandhills speedway up and running after this May's Mother's Day weekend race. Many people in the sport fear that ISC is poised to close Darlington at the end of the season, just as it closed the Rockingham track last year (by selling it to promoter Bruton Smith), and possibly sell the Nextel Cup tour date to Smith for a second Cup event at Las Vegas. Browning points to last Wednesday's board meeting that tentatively approved a major capital improvements program: "Additional rest rooms, rebuilding the tunnels, repaving the track - a lot of things are on the drawing board, and they've given me the go-ahead to lay out a five-year plan from a capital standpoint," Browning said. However, Browning concedes a lot is riding on how well this spring's race weekend comes off. The Mother's Day weekend is seen in some quarters as the kiss of death, and the ISC has been accused of picking that weekend with the idea that a failure would provide the ammunition for the sale of the track as a non-productive facility. "I believe the ISC is firmly behind Darlington, when you look at the $3.5 million investment in the lights, and the SAFER barriers (soft walls), and the fact we just got funds approved for future construction projects. We're 7,000 tickets ahead right now from last November's race, which we were within just a couple hundred tickets of selling out. So I'm very, very happy with Mother's Day. We don't have to worry about the hurricanes we did on Labor Day. We're the first race in the Carolinas, and the weather is perfect." Browning says the track officials are talking with neighboring property owners about purchasing land. The track is severely land-locked. "They know when we build more seats we'll need more property, and they're willing to help us," Browning says. The 2006 negotiations will start in June, "And I don't anticipate knowing anything until mid-June," Browning said.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-11-2005)

  • 2006 Schedule, bidding for finale? Darlington race date to be sold? UPDATE Denied: NASCAR executives are working on the 2006 Nextel Cup tour schedule, and one suggestion from teams in the garage is for NASCAR to move the season finale to different tracks, as the Super Bowl is moved, with that date up for bids to the track owner willing to post the largest purse. But there are indications that the International Speedway Corp.[ISC] may be willing to sell Darlington Raceway and its lone remaining Cup tour date to track owner Bruton Smith, to move that tour date to Las Vegas, for a Cup event during the last 10 weeks of the 2006 season. And Smith would be willing to bid on being the host for the season finale at Las Vegas Speedway.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-4-2005)
    UPDATE: Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning got a call Tuesday that sent him scrambling: Was International Speedway Corp. contemplating a sale of the old country track to its rival? So Browning, who was displaced when North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham was sold last year, called down to the company's Daytona Beach, Fla., headquarters to find out. "They told me, 'Hey, nothing to it, buddy,' " Browning told The Associated Press. "That was good enough for me. There's absolutely no truth to the rumors whatsoever," he said. "I don't know where they got started." Smith was unavailable Tuesday and the company doesn't comment "on speculative opinions expressed by other sources outside the company," spokesman Jerry Gappens said. Smith has said previously he would "welcome the opportunity to explore additional NASCAR-sanctioned events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway," Gappens said. International Speedway Corp. spokesman David Talley said there's been no talk of selling Darlington, which has hosted NASCAR events since 1950. His company's focus, he said, is developing tracks in the New York City area and the Pacific northwest. Also, recent improvements at Darlington like its multimillion-dollar lighting system mean "you can surmise that we are very behind the track," Talley said. Browning expects to announce more capital improvements in the coming weeks that will add to the track's viability.(CNNSI/AP) AND Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president for corporate communications, said that’s not the case. “Bruton said something to the affect if Darlington was for sale, he would be interested in buying it,” Hunter said. “In the liberal translation of that it has become ‘planning to buy it. But it’s not for sale. There are no plans for it to be for sale. There’s absolutely no merit to that rumor.”(The State)(4-6-2005)

  • Bruton looking to buy Darlington? UPDATE: Bruton Smith, whose Speedway Motorsports owns Atlanta Motor Speedway, is making noise over getting another Cup date for one of his tracks [Las Vegas]. Speculation has it that Smith is looking at buying Daytona Beach-based International Speedway Corporation's Darlington Speedway -- now pared to one Cup date -- closing it down and plugging its Cup date into one of his tracks, elsewhere.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-20-2005)
    UPDATE: The future of Darlington Raceway is again the subject of speculation - that the France family's International Speedway Corp. may sell the South Carolina track to promoter Bruton Smith so he can move Darlington's remaining Nextel Cup date to Las Vegas Speedway next season [and squash the Atlanta to Vegas runor]. The Frances were on the verge of selling Darlington to Smith last year, for just such a Cup swap, only to back off at the last moment. One reason for adding a second date in Las Vegas would be to increase the value of NASCAR's pending new TV contracts, currently under negotiation.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-21-2005)

  • Southern 500 coming back in 2006? UPDATE 3 No Plans: ESPN Magazine is reporting [Dec. 6th page 140] that Labor Day racing may return to Darlington [Raceway] as early as 2006. NASCAR were concerned at the negative reaction to the mothballing of the 54-year-old Southern 500, and that was before LA [Los Angeles] TV stations bailed on the race at Fontana, CA [California Speedway, Sept 5th on NBC], Darlington's replacement, in favor of baseball.(ESPN Magazine)(12-1-2004), been told that the NBC affilaite in LA doesn't carry baseball, so not sure of that reference.
    UPDATE: from an ESPN Insider chat with NASCAR President Mike Helton when asked about the 'return' of the Southern 500: "The 2005 schedule that has been released shows the only Darlington race being on the Saturday before Mother's Day. Since we only plan one year at a time, that is the most current answer."( Insider)(12-8-2004)
    UPDATE 2 - California could lose a 2nd date? Among the rumors at the Nextel Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., is that one of California Speedway's two NASCAR dates could be in trouble. Mind you, it's strictly something said and repeated but never finding its way into print. After all, it's rather silly to even think about. Absurd is perhaps a better adjective. NASCAR, track owner International Speedway Corp. and the controlling France family went to great lengths to realign the schedule in 2004 to give Fontana its Labor Day Sunday night event. To even propose such a thought after one race is unthinkable. However, it indicates someone somewhere is concerned about whether NASCAR will ever catch on in Southern California. Apparently, selling 93,000 seats or so, not to mention another 15,000 in the infield, isn't enough for some. There have been published reports in various Southern newspapers that California Speedway is encountering problems selling tickets for the Feb. 27 Auto Club 500.(more at the Daily Bulletin)(1-28-2005)
    UPDATE 3 - No plans to return Darlington's race to Labor Day: Darlington won’t get its date back. NASCAR president Brian France said there are no plans to give Darlington Raceway back its traditional Labor Day weekend date despite published reports that the track with that date might lose a race. He also didn’t totally close the door. “That’s always possible,” he said. “But I think they want to build their equity on the Saturday night race Mother’s Day weekend, and they’re very focused on doing that.” Speculation that California Speedway might lose the Labor Day date it inherited from Darlington last year surfaced during NASCAR’s media tour in Charlotte two weeks ago.(The State)(2-11-2005)

  • the race at Darlington now the "Dodge Charger 500": The all-new Dodge Charger is expected to be in showrooms in June. To build awareness for the Charger, the Carolina Dodge Dealers and Darlington Raceway have agreed to name the May 7th Nextel Cup Series race the "Dodge Charger 500". A new race logo, designed with the Charger Hemi orange color, fuels the passion of the earlier era and bridges it to today. On Saturday, May 7, Darlington will host springtime Cup Series racing for the 49th consecutive year. The 2005 Dodge Charger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety, opening a new chapter in Darlington's long and storied history. Jimmie Johnson won both NEXTEL Cup Series events at Darlington Raceway in 2004. Tickets for all events are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or log onto to Raceway PR)(2-2-2005)

  • Free Shuttle Servcice at Darlington: Activities at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, November 14 will begin well before the green flag waves to begin the final running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500. You won't want to miss anything, so why worry about fighting the traffic? Darlington Raceway and the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA) are offering free shuttle service to and from the track for the Mountain Dew Southern 500. Fans wishing to take advantage of this service have two options - be picked up, or park and ride. Pickups will be available at various hotels in the area beginning at 8:30 a.m. on November 14. Participating hotels include Sleep Inn; Red Roof Inn; Guesthouse Inn; Fairfield Inn; Holiday Inn and Suites; Comfort Inn; Days Inn; Suburban Extended Stay; EconoLodge; Thunderbird Inn; and Best Western.
    The park-and-ride shuttle service will also begin at 8:30 a.m. Departure point in Florence is the Florence Civic Center, located at the intersection of I-95 and I-20. Both the park-and-ride and hotel pickup shuttles are free. Return service from the track will begin immediately following the conclusion of the Mountain Dew Southern 500. For more information contact PDRTA at 843.665.2227. For tickets or more information on upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 1.866.459.RACE (7223), or log onto Raceway PR)(11-11-2004)

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


  • See the 2005 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #6-Mark Martin 'Reverse' Viagra ....none yet
    #9-Kasey Kahne Retro #9 Schemes Page
    #11-Jason Leffler Birdies for St. Jude ....none yet
    #16-Greg Biffle Travelodge none...yet
    #17-Matt Kenseth Carhartt #17 Schemes Page
    #19-Jeremy Mayfield Retro - Yellow - Top Banana #19 Schemes Page
    #45-Kyle Petty Brawny - Mother's Day #45 Schemes Page
    #88-Dale Jarrett UPS - Mother's Day #88 Schemes Page
    #99-Carl Edwards Office Depot #99 Schemes Page

  • Special Mother's Day Scheme for Jarrett UPDATE: #88-Dale Jarrett is scheduled to drive a car with a childhood image of Dale driving Ned Jarrett's race car at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 7th in honor of his mother for Mother's Day which is May 8th.(12-20-2004)
    UPDATE: #15-Michael Waltrip and #45-Kyle Petty have been added to the Mother's Day special paint scheme program at Darlington.(RacingOne)(1-7-2005)
    UPDATE 2 - This weekend, drivers take a moment to remember Mom in Darlington Last year, several NASCAR drivers teamed up with Action Performance Companies Inc., to wish their "NASCAR Dads" a Happy Father's Day via a race day program at Michigan International Speedway. Now, some "NASCAR Moms" are getting their due. Veteran drivers #88-Dale Jarrett and #45-Kyle Petty will pilot Happy Mother's Day-edition race cars during the 500-mile NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series at Darlington Raceway. Jarrett's #88 UPS Ford Taurus will include a nod to his mother, Martha, while Petty will roll out the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger with a Happy Mother's Day dedication to his mom, Lynda. In keeping with NASCAR's long-standing tradition of no stock car races held on the actual Mother's Day holiday, the cars will run on Saturday night, May 7, 2005. Martha Jarrett, Lynda Petty and several other NASCAR Moms will be on hand to announce racing's most famous tagline with an appropriate twist: Sons and Gentlemen, start your engines. This year's participants in the Happy Mother's Day program also are eligible for a $10,000 cash bonus. The prize will be awarded to the highest finishing driver, who then will present it to his mother or her favorite charitable organization. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales of the Happy Mother's Day die-cast have been earmarked to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The collectibles will be available through Action's usual distribution channels, including the Action Racing Collectables distributor network and Racing Collectables Club of America. To locate an ARC distributor, please call 1-800-411-8404. To join RCCA, call 1-800-952-0708 or visit Performance) or see my Collectible Links page for places to buy them. And looks lime Waltrip was droped from the program or never part of it.(5-7-2005)

  • Travelodge back to the #16, primary at Darlington UPDATE: Travelodge Hotels announced the renewal of its associate sponsorship of the #16 National Guard Ford Taurus, driven by Greg Biffle, in the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The agreement continues the Travelodge brand's two-year relationship with Roush Racing of Concord, N.C. As part of the agreement, Travelodge Hotels will appear as the team's primary sponsor at Darlington Raceway's Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 on May 7.(PRN Newswire)(3-24-2005)
    UPDATE: This weekend the #16 National Guard Ford will feature a special Sleepy Bear logo on the hood. Sleepy Bear is the official mascot for Travelodge, now in their second year of associate sponsorship with the #16 National Guard Ford.(Roush Racing)(5-6-2005)

  • Kenseth changes scheme for Darlington: #17-Matt Kenseth will be running a special paint scheme this weekend in the Darlington Cup race. The #17 will be sporting the copper and black colors of Carhartt. This is the first of three races in which the #17 will be sporting the Carhartt paint scheme. The other two are Michigan in June and Lowe's Motor Speedway in October.(Roush Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(5-3-3005)

  • Top Banana and Go ManGo! Chargers Unveiled AND: As part of its introduction of the new limited production 2006 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T, Dodge unveiled two new Bud Shootout paint schemes on the #9 and #19 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Chargers, celebrating the modern rear-wheel-drive muscle car. Jeremy Mayfield will pilot the #19 Top Banana Dodge Charger, and Kasey Kahne will drive the #9 Go ManGo! Dodge Charger in Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway. The paint schemes are replica versions of the two classic 1960s color schemes available on the Dodge Charger Daytona R/T production vehicles available starting this summer.(Clear!Blue PR), see images on my #19 Team Schemes page and #9 Team Schemes page.(2-12-2005)
    AND these schemes are also running in the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway this weekend.(5-7-2005)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery


(this is not to promote gambling but to offer readers odds and ideas on what the
'experts' think about the upcoming race and the Cup series season)

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