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THE RACE: The Dodge Charger 500

Nextel Cup Race #11 of 36 for the 2006 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

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Radio | Practice/Qual Times
Event Sched | Goodyear Notes | Local Newspapers
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Track/Race Records | Track/Race Info
Driver/Team News | Paint Schemes | Odds

  • Race: Saturday, May 13, 2006 in Darlington, SC

  • Title Sponsor/Link: Dodge Charger

  • Track: Darlington Raceway

  • TV: FOX 6:30pm/et

  • FOX Pre-Race Show: FOX - 6:30pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Speed's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 5:00pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

  • Green Flag Scheduled: 6:55pm/et

  • Race Re-Air: Thursday, May 18 [Replay] at 2:30pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

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

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

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

  • Radio Coverage: This Week - MRN and XM

    Motor Racing Network (MRN)

    MRN Radio Booth Announcers: Barney Hall, Joe Moore

    MRN Radio Turn Reporter: Mike Bagley, Dan Hubbard, Dave Moody, Jeff Striegle

    MRN Radio Pit Reporters: Adam Alexander, Danielle Frye, Winston Kelley, Steve Post

  • Purse/Race Awards: $5,410,760 (was $5,338,043 in 2005)

    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Friday Practice: Friday, May 12,. 12:05 - 1:35pm/et, TV-none

  • Happy Hour Practice: Friday, May 12, 6:30 - 7:30pm/et on TV-Speed Channel

    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, May 12, 11:05am/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-43, Friday, May 12 at 3:30pm/et, TV-Speed Channel, re-air at 12:30am/et on Speed AND live via radio at MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.


    (the above times in Eastern Time / ET - schedule below is by track location)

    Friday, May 12, 2006
    7:00 AM NNCS Garage opens
    10:30 AM NBS Final Practice
    12:05 PM NNCS Practice
    3:40 PM NNCS Qualifying
    5:05 PM NBS Qualifying
    6:30 PM NNCS Final Practice
    8:05 PM NBS Driver Introductions
    8:30 PM NBS Race – Diamond Hill Plywood 200

    Saturday, May 13, 2006
    6:25 PM NNCS Driver Introductions
    6:55 PM NNCS Race – Dodge Charger 500

    NNCS = NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
    NBS = NASCAR Busch Series
    NCTS = NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
    (Information Provided by NASCAR Statistical Services, 1-888-782-8725)


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires:
    Nextel Cup: Left-side -- 1,500, Right-side -- 1,500;
    Busch Series: Left-side -- 575, Right-side -- 575

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4024; Right-side -- D-4026

    Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.3 in. Right-side -- 88.6 in.

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

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front -- 19 psi; Left Rear -- 17 psi;

    Right Front -- 37 psi; Right Rear -- 34 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 55-60 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: This is the first time Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to Darlington . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will run the same tire set-up this weekend . . . this is the only track at which Nextel Cup teams will run this tire set-up in 2006 . . . Busch teams have run this tire once before -- at Nashville last month . . . as on all ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

    Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Racing: "The only change with the tires compared to last year at Darlington is a different left-side construction. The right-side construction and the compounds are virtually unchanged. Obviously, the biggest factor with the tires at Darlington is high wear, brought on by the extremely rough track surface. We expect to see more than two seconds of give-up per lap over the course of a full fuel run."


  • The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $20,000 at Darlington 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.
    2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus Winners:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Las Vegas, 3/12/2006, $30,000
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Talladega, 5/1/2006, $60,000

  • Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award: The Bank of America Card Service 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 Bank of America Card Service 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 Bank of America Card Service 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 Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award Championship.
    Winners for 2006 so far:
    Daytona: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    California: Greg Biffle, $10,000
    Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Atlanta: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Bristol: Tony Stewart, $10,000
    Martinsville: Tony Stewart, $40,000*
    Texas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Phoenix: Mark Martin, $10,000
    Talladega: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
    Richmond: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $30,000*
    (* won race and bonus)
    Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at Darlington: $5,000

    NOTE: the award goes to the eligible driver leading on the 5th consecutive green lap following a mid-race caution if one occurs.
    2 points for leading the most laps, 1 points for winning also
    #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.
    Bank of America Card Service Mid-Race Leader Award Standings:
    #20-Tony Stewart, 7
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 4
    #16-Greg Biffle, 2
    #6-Mark Martin, 2
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 2


news and links

  • Biffle wins at Darlington: #16-Greg Biffle won the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway, leading 170 of 367 laps, for his first win of 2006 and 10th of his career. Biffle also moved from 20th in drivers points to 14th and is 500 points out of the lead [100 ouf of the chase]. #24-Jeff Gordon came on late and almost caught Biffle, but settled for 2nd, followed by #17-Matt Kesneth, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Johnson increased his points lead over #20-Tony Stewart to 93 points. There were 25 lead changed among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 24 laps.
    Race Results on my Darlington Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington page.(5-13-2006)

  • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Darlington [11 of 36 races], 10 drivers under 400 for the chase:
    #48-Johnson 1686
    #20-Stewart 1593 -93
    #17-Kenseth 1592 -94
    #6-Martin 1487 -199
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. 1460 -226
    #24-Gordon 1391 -295
    #5-Busch 1388 -298
    #9-Kahne 1379 -307
    #29-Harvick 1365 -321
    #31-Burton 1295 -391
    For drivers/owners points, see my
  • Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington Page.(5-13-2006)

  • Darlington Race Notes/Facts:
    • Greg Biffle won the 2006 Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway, scoring his 10th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 125th career start. Biffle’s last victory came at Homestead in November 2005, 11 races ago.
    • All 10 of Biffle’s victories have come on a superspeedway, including two at Darlington.
    • Biffle’s first superspeedway victory came at Daytona in July 2003.
    • Biffle became the eighth different race winner in 2006.
    • Two races ago Biffle was 232 points behind 10th. With his victory, Biffle climbed from 20th to 14th in points gaining six positions and is just 106 behind 10th-place Jeff Burton. After 11 races in 2005, he ranked second in the point standings.
    • Biffle won this race one year ago. This was the 17th time by 13 different drivers that back-to-back victories have been scored at Darlington.
    • Biffle scored his fourth top-10 finish in 11 races this season.
    • Biffle moved to 50th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list tied with Donnie Allison and Sterling Marlin.
    • Biffle led seven times for 170 laps including the final 49 laps.
    • This is the fourth time in 2006 and the 10th time in his career that Biffle led the most laps in a race. He won the first five races in which he led the most laps. Biffle led the most laps at California, Atlanta and Phoenix this year and finished 15th or worse in all three races.
    • Biffle has won a race each season 2003-2006, four consecutive years.
    • This was team owner Jack Roush’s 91st NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. Roush has scored five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories at Darlington Raceway.
    • Jack Roush Racing has won at least one race each season 1997-2006, 10 consecutive years.
    Notebook Items
    • Jeff Gordon (second) scored his fifth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 17th top-10 finish in 26 races at Darlington Raceway. Gordon climbed from ninth to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
    • Matt Kenseth (third) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2006. It was his best finish and fourth top-10 finish in 12 races at Darlington. Kenseth remained third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, just one point behind second-place Tony Stewart.
    • Jimmie Johnson (fourth) scored his eighth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his in seventh top-10 finish in eight races at Darlington Raceway. He remained first in the point standings. One year ago he ranked first after 11 races.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fifth) scored his fifth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fifth top-10 in 12 races at Darlington Raceway. He climbed from sixth to fifth in the point standings. One year ago he ranked 11th after 11 races.
    • Three 2006 Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders finished in the top-10 (Hamlin-10th, Sorensen-11th and Truex-14th). This marked the third time this season that three rookies have finished in the top 10.
    • At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 11 races this season.
    • Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender Denny Hamlin (10th) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 2006.
    • Dave Blaney (27th) extended a 29-race streak of running at the finish that began at Pocono last June, which is the longest current streak.
    • Tony Stewart (12th) ended a streak of top-10 finishes in the last five races.
    • Carl Edwards (39th) ended a streak of three straight top-10 finishes.
    • Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have each scored top-15 finishes in 10 of the 11 races in 2006.
    • Kevin Harvick (37th) dropped from fifth to ninth in the point standings.
    • Jeff Burton has climbed from 21st to 10th in the point standings since Martinsville.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-13-2006)

  • Rumblings [Notes] - Darlington: Greg Biffle finally broke through tonight at Darlington Raceway as he held off a charging Jeff Gordon to take the Dodge Charger 500. Biffle led the most laps (7 times for 170 circuits) and takes his second straight victory at this hallowed oval.....his first win of the season and the 10th of his NEXTEL Cup career. He's now tied for 50th on the all-time win list with Donnie Allison and Sterling Marlin. This was win #91 for Roush Racing, and was worth $290,175 from the over $5.4M in posted awards.
    Ryan Newman (6th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Daytona in February.
    Ken Schrader (15th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Daytona in February.
    STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
    Jeff Burton has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Matt Kenseth (+28 ), followed by Martin Truex Jr (+25), Kyle Busch (+22), Kyle Petty (+22), Tony Raines (+22), Jimmie Johnson (+21), and Joe Nemechek (+20). The Big Dropper was Brian Vickers (-33), followed by Carl Edwards (-32), Jamie McMurray (-27), Elliott Sadler (-23), Kevin Harvick (-23), David Stremme (-21), Kasey Kahne (-20), and Clint Bowyer (-20). That's two in a row for Vickers in one of the most active "Shafts" we've seen in awhile (almost 35% of the field in play).
    Jimmie Johnson stretches his points lead out to 93 tonight. We've now got our "Stayin' Alive" line up to the Top-10 only.....last year at this time we had 15 drivers still eligible for the "Chase". We've got something we don't see often.....a 3-way tie for 23rd. Greg Biffle's victory moved him up six spots in the standings (20th to 14th), while Kevin Harvick (5th to 9th) and Carl Edwards (13th to 17th) fell the most spots.(more at Stock Car

    Darlingtn Race Rundown

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

    car#, driver, starting spot, laps led
    #16-Biffle-f (9)(170 laps led) +0.2 second lead
    #24-Gordon-c (12)(5 laps led)
    #17-Kenseth-f (31)(64 laps led)
    #48-Johnson-c (25)(81 laps led)
    #8-Earnhardt Jr.-c (22)
    #12-Newman-d (2)(2 laps led)
    #5-Busch-c (29)(1 laps led)
    #6-Martin-f (17)
    #31-Burton-c (20)
    #11-Hamlin-c (5-r)

    c=chevy; d=dodge; f=ford; r=rookie

    Pit Selections Chart page at

  • Cars on the lead lap: 14 (of 43 starters)

  • Drivers down only a lap [and still running]: #'s 21,01,42,45,2,96,9,43

  • Drivers down more then one lap [and still running]: #'s 07,88,40,18,22,14,38,32,10,66,4,44,55,49,29,19,25

  • Cars on the track: 39 (of 43 starters)

  • Off track/out of race (4) and reason:
    #74-Cope (oil pump-out)
    #26-McMurray (engine-out)
    #95-Barrett (engine-out)
    #99-Edwards (engine-out)

  • Laps Leaders Unofficial (10 leaders with 25 lead changes):
    #16-Biffle (170, most led);
    #17-Kenseth (64, halfway);
    #9-Kahne (41, pole);
    #48-Johnson (81);
    #24-Gordon (5);
    #12-Newman (2);
    #88-Jarrett (1);
    #22-Blaney (1);
    #5-Busch (1);
    #7-Gordon (1);

  • Lap leaders: #9-Kahne - pole; #9-Kahne 1-29; #22-Blaney 30; #9-Kahne 31-35; #16-Biffle 36-96; #9-Kahne 97-103; #16-Biffle 104-113; #17-Kenseth 114-115; #16-Biffle 116-126; #17-Kenseth 127-150; #12-Newman 151; #88-Jarrett 152; #17-Kenseth 153-190; #48-Johnson 191-212; #16-Biffle 213; #48-Johnson 214-248; #16-Biffle 249; #48-Johnson 250-264; #16-Biffle 265-301; #48-Johnson 302-307; #24-Gordon 308; #38-Johnson 309-311; #24-Gordon 312-315; #12-Newman 316; #5-Busch 317; #7-Gordon 318; #16-Biffle 319-367;

    Cautions: 6 for 24 laps

    Caution 6 - Laps 249 - 252: #38-Sadler broke loose in turn 1 and slid backwards thru turn 2, didn't hit anything.
    Caution 5 - Laps 213 - 216: #32-Kvapil lost a left rear tire and left debris on the track.
    Caution 4 - Laps 151 - 154: #20-Stewart broke loose in turn 4 and spun around.
    Caution 3 - Laps 96 - 99: #38-Sadler got into #66-Green, Green spun around off turn 2, but didn't hit anything.
    Caution 2 - Laps 70 - 73: Debris on the backstretch, a large piece of metal in the middle of the track.
    Caution 1 - Laps 28 - 31: #25-Vickers got loose off turn 2 came up the track on the backstretch and hit the outside wall and nosed into the inside wall.

  • Who got a lap back on each caution at Darlington in the Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
    Caution 6: #45-Petty(2), 18th
    Caution 5: #18-Yeley, 26th
    Caution 4: #45-Petty, 18th
    Caution 3: #42-Mears, 17th
    Caution 2: #22-Blaney, 27th
    Caution 1: none, no one a lap down, that is on the track
    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)
    ---- with 20 cars on the lead lap, green flag pit stops started on lap 315, with #2-Busch being the first lead lap car in, the rest followed within a few laps.
    ---- on lap 300, #19-Mayfield had to make an uscheduled pit stop for a suspension problem.
    ---- on lap 283, #99-Edwards had an engine problem, lost control a bit, recovered and took the car to the pits. Ended up being the oil pump belt broke causing an engine problem.
    ---- on lap 224, #26-McMurray coasted into the pits after slowing down, then headed to the garage thru the old rear pit road.
    ---- on lap 182, #55-Waltrip is running slow on the track and may have an engine problem. Switched ignition boaxes and was able to continue.
    ---- on lap 165, #8-Dale Jr. told crew chief Eury Jr. that if someone his size falls out of the race, to keep the driver around as Dale Jr. is not feeling well and has 'a bug'.
    ---- #25-Vickers is back on the track as of lap 138 after the crew made repairs to the car from the early wreck.
    ---- during the 3rd caution, #07-Bowyer's tire roamed across pit road, Bowyer will have to restart at the end on the longest line
    ---- #29-Harvick came back on the track after the team changed the radiator on lap 46 and is 12 laps down, a piece of asphalt was embedded in the radiator.
    ---- after the 1st caution #29-Harvick is overheating and left water on pitroad after his stop and came in to make another pitstop. Harivck made contact with #99-Edwards and pushed in his grill, so the team is changing the radiator on the #29 car.
    ---- #99-Edwards started 7th and has a car that is hard to handle and as of lap 25 is running 37th.
    ---- #38-Sadler came up to 4th, on the first laps of the race, then fell back to 12th on lap 12 with a loose car and is using patience.
    ---- green flag at 7:10pm/et
    ---- command to start engines by NASCAR driver Mother's at 6:59pm/et
    ---- To The Back [2]: #14-Marlin [engine change], #44-Labonte [engine change]

  • Race Coverage of the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway, Saturday, May 13, 2006.
    TV: FOX at 6:30pm/et [green flag around 7:05pm/et].
    Pre-Race: NASCAR Raceday, Speed Channel, 5:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Internet: [Pit Command/Trackside - paid]
    Jayski: on my Jayski's Semi-Live Race Coverage/Narrative Page.
    Race Re-Air: Speed Channel, Thursday, May 18th at 2:30pm/et

  • Happy Hour Practice for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the fastest:
    #99-Edwards 165.331
    #19-Mayfield 164.876
    #9-Kahne 164.380
    #31-Burton 164.325
    #2-Busch 164.035
    slowest: #74-Cope 155.739 and #95-Barrett 157.037
    no speed listed: #14-Marlin
    incidents: #99-Edwards pancaked the right side of the car, the crew made repairs and Edwards was back out practicing.
    no practice for #14-Marlin as the team was busy changing the engine
    most laps run: #6-Martin 67; #26-McMurray, #19-Mayfield 60
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from's leaderboard service)
    #48-Johnson 157.694 [19th fastest lap], 48 laps run
    #01-Nemechek 157.077 [31st], 53 laps
    #17-Kenseth 156.169 [15th], 57laps
    See the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds page.(5-12-2006)

  • Kahne wins pole at Darlington: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Budweiser Pole for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 169.013mph for his 3rd pole of 2006 and 9th of his career, Kahne won the races he won the poles for this year [Atlanta, Texas]. #12-Ryan Newman will start 2nd, followed by #07-Clint Bowyer [career best], #40-David Stremme [best career] and #11-Denny Hamlin. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were #40-Stremme, #32-Kvapil, #74-Cope, #95-Barrett, #55-Waltrip, #4-Wimmer and #49-Lepage. #44-Labonte used a past champions provisional to make the race. Missing the race were: #78-Wallace, #61-Chaffin, #34-Blount and #37-Long. See the qualifying results, starting lineup, pole progession, qualifying order on my Darlington Starting Grid/Qualifying Page.(5-12-2006)

  • Darlington Qualifying Notes:
    • Kasey Kahne won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Dodge Charger 500, lapping Darlington Raceway in 29.096 seconds at 169.013 mph. Ward Burton holds the track-qualifying record of 28.295 seconds, 173.797 mph - set March 22, 1996.
    • Kahne is now three-for-three in qualifying at Darlington, winning the Bud Pole in all three of his qualifying session here. He started 13th in 2004 when qualifying was canceled.
    • This is Kahne’s ninth career Bud Pole in 83 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
    • This is his third Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in 2006.
    • Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.238 seconds, 168.192 mph – and will join Kahne on the front row for the Dodge Charger 500. This is Newman’s fourth top-10 start in 2006 and ties Atlanta for his season-best. This is his seventh top-10 start in eight Darlington races. It is his third second-place start here. He also has one Bud Pole and one third-place start in those eight races.
    • This is the fourth Bud Pole for Dodge in 2006. Chevrolet and Ford each have three. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
    • The last all-Dodge front-row was Atlanta this past March, was also Kahne (first) and Newman (second).
    • Clint Bowyer (third) posted his career-best start and is competing in his career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Darlington. This is his second top-10 start this season – both in the past four races.
    • David Stremme (fourth) also posted his career-first top-10 start. It is his first start better than 17th in his 15 career races.
    • Denny Hamlin (fifth) became the third rookie candidate to post a top-10 start. It is his sixth top-10 start this season and comes in his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Darlington.
    • This is the second time this season that three rookies qualified in the top-10. Texas had J.J. Yeley (second), Hamlin (eighth) and Martin Truex Jr. (ninth).
    • Terry Labonte (43rd) used a past champion’s provisional to make the race for the third time this season.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-12-2006)

  • Ramblings - Darlington: Kasey Kahne took the Bud Pole today at Darlington Raceway and by doing so stamped himself as the instant favorite for Saturday Night's Dodge Charger 500. Seeing as how all three of Kasey's career wins have come after starting from the's a natural. Kasey's 3rd pole of the season (and 9th of his career) came with a speed of 29.096 (169.013 mph) around this venerable egg-shaped oval. Ryan Newman will start alongside tomorrow night.
    Clint Bowyer (3rd) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 8th at Phoenix last month.
    David Stremme (4th) has his career-best starting spot this weekend as well. His previous best was 17th at Talladega last month.
    Travis Kvapil (18th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 12th at Martinsville last October.
    Derrike Cope (33rd) has his best starting spot since he qualified 31st at Texas in April of 2004 (only 15 races).
    STREAKIN....Greg Biffle has 10 Top-10 starts in a row.
    Kurt Busch has 9 Top-10 starts in the last 10 races.
    Carl Edwards has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.(Stock Car Fans)(5-13-2006)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Friday, May 12, 2006 at 3:40pm/et.
    TV: Speed Channel - 3:30pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Internet: [Pit Command/Trackside - paid] Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page.
    Qualifying Re-Air: Speed at 12:00am/et

  • Qualifying Order List for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, #48-Jimmie Johnson is due out first on Friday, May 12th at 3:30pm/et on Speed/MRN/XM, last driver due out is #16-Greg Biffle. For the Qualifying order, see my Darlington Qualifying Page.(5-12-2006)

  • Friday's First Practice: for the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the fastest:
    #9-Kahne 166.529
    #2-Busch 166.405
    #99-Edwards 166.045
    #1-Hamlin 165.855
    #41-Sorenson 165.386
    slowest: #96-Raines 157.590 and #34-Blount 159.476
    most laps run: #17-Kenseth 47; #43-Labonte 40
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from's leaderboard service)
    #4-Wimmer 161.840 [28th fastest lap], 10 laps run
    #61-Chaffin 161.077 [31st], 10 laps
    #49-Lepage 161.056 [32nd], 9 laps
    See the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds page.(5-12-2006)

  • How did the non Top-35 teams do in practice at Darlington?
    Eight in and four out [47 entered for 43 spots]:
    if things stayed the same, these 8 drivers would make the race;
    #40-David Stremme 7th fastest
    #32-Travis Kvapil 12th
    #4-Scott Wimmer 28th,
    #61-Chad Chaffin 31st
    #49-Kevin Lepage 32nd
    #95-Stanton Barrett 35th
    #74-Derrike Cope 36th
    #44-Terry Labonte [CH] 45th but has past champ prov to use
    if things stayed the same, these 4 drivers would miss the race;
    #78-Kenny Wallace 38th
    #55-Michael Waltrip 39th
    #37-Carl Long 44th
    #34-Chad Blount 46th.(5-12-2006)

  • Driver Changes: Chad Chaffin goes from #34 to #61 [both Front Row Motorsports cars]; Kevin Lepage moved from #61 [Front Row Motorsports/Peak Perfoemance] to #49 BAM Racing Dodge; Chad Blount replaces Chaffin in #34 Front Row Motorsports car, Blount had been on the team's #92 entry, which ceased operations. See the updated entry list at Jayski's Darlington Entry List Page.(5-9-2006)

  • Entry List 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 2006 Top-35 Owners Points Position:
    #4-Scott Wimmer
    #32-Travis Kvapil
    #34-Chad Blount
    #37-Carl Long
    #40-David Stremme
    #44-Terry Labonte [CH]
    #49-Kevin Lepage
    #55-Michael Waltrip
    #61-Chad Caffin
    #74-Derrike Cope
    #78-Kenny Wallace
    #95-Stanton Barrett
    [CH] has champ prov to use if needed
    dropped off list:
    #00-Hermie Sadler
    If qualifying is rained out, the making the race would be: #'s 44,55,4,40,32,61,49,78
    missing the race would be #'s: 95,34,74,37.
    see entry list on Jayski's Talladega Entry List Page.

  • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 seaspn, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series [NNCS]. NASCAR revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NNCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NNCS OWNER [not Driver] championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline [usually 13 days before the day of the race] one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify].
    The remaining seven positions [36-42] will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position [43rd] – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who participated as a driver during the current of previous season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline.
    If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 43rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.
    Through the first five races of the season for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the top 35 in the NNCS of the previous owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)

  • see my Final 2005 Owners Points with the 2006 teams listed page

  • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?

    If it is the first 5 races of the season, the previous season OWNERS points are used:

    #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35]
    #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
    #3) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 or 2
    #4) - Current season Owner Points [Top 35][not in by rules 1-3]
    #5) - Current season race attempts ties broken by current owners points standings [not in by rules 1-4]
    After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
    #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points
    #2) - Last Years Cup Champ or the Event Champion if not already in the field
    #3) - Car Owners whose team has won in the previous and current season not already in the field
    #4) - Drivers who have won in the previous and current season not already in the field
    #5) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4
    #6) - Qualifying Attempts with Owners points as the tie breaker
    #7) - Qualifying Order Position
    (all above apply as long as the team was entered by the entry deadline - usually 7-13 days before the race)

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

  • for race results and current drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's - 2006 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).


  • Who's Hot - Darlington Raceway:
    • Jimmie Johnson has won three races in 2006, more than any other driver.
    • Tony Stewart is the only driver to score six top-five finishes in 10 races this season.
    • Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are the only drivers to score seven top-10 finishes in the first 10 races in 2006.
    • Tony Stewart is the only driver to score top-10 finishes in the last five races. All of his finishes in those races were sixth or better.
    • Kevin Harvick has scored all five of his 2006 top-10 finishes in the last six races.
    • Carl Edwards has scored three straight top-10 finishes.
    • Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have each scored top-15 finishes in nine of the 10 races in 2006.
    • Tony Stewart is the only driver to lead at least one lap in nine of the 10 races this season.
    • Matt Kenseth ranks third in the point standings at Richmond. After 10 races one year ago, he ranked 24th.
    • Tony Stewart has moved from 22nd to second in the point standings since Race No. 2 at California.
    • Kevin Harvick has moved from 23rd to fifth in the point standings in the last six races.
    • Jeff Burton has climbed from 21st to 12th in the point standings since Martinsville and is just 11 points behind 10th-place Casey Mears..(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-7-2006)

  • Heading to Darlington Raceway
    • Three of the nine qualifying sessions at Darlington since 2001 have been canceled by rain.
    • There have been nine different race winners in the last 10 races at Darlington (since September 2000). Only Jimmie Johnson has been able to repeat, winning both races there in 2004.
    • Darlington held just one race in 2005 for the first time since 1959, the end of a 45-year tradition of twice-a-year racing there. From 1950 thru 1959 only one race per season was held there except in 1952, which had two.
    • Two of the last 10 races at Darlington were won from the 37th-place starting position, the lowest race winner has started there since the inaugural race in 1950 which featured a 75-car field with the winner starting 43rd.
    • No driver has won a race from the Bud Pole at Darlington since Dale Jarrett in the 1997 Transouth Financial 500, 17 races ago.
    • Kasey Kahne has won two Bud poles in his three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts at Darlington.
    • Elliott Sadler and Ryan Newman each have five straight top-10 starts at Darlington, the longest current streak.
    • Jimmie Johnson has scored four straight top-10 finishes at Darlington, the longest current streak. Two of those finishes were victories in 2004. Johnson has scored six top-10 finishes in his seven races at Darlington.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-7-2006)

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

  • 2005 Pole Sitter: Kasey Kahne, 170.024, finished 3rd

  • 2005 Race Winner: Greg Biffle, 123.031mph, started 3rd

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

  • 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 and Junior Johnson, 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 Leaders: 20, 9/4/1994

  • Fewest Leaders: 2, 9/4/1950

  • Most Lead Changes: 41, 9/6/1982

  • Fewest Lead Changes: 4, 9/4/1950

  • 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 42 drivers have won NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Darlington

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 19 [of 102]

  • Races won from starting pos 2: 16

  • Races won from starting pos 3: 13

  • 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 102 [18.6%]

  • Races won from the top 5: 67 of 102 - 65.7%

  • Races won from the Top 10: 89 of 102 [87.3%]

  • Races won from the Top 15: 97 of 102 [95.1%]

  • Races won from outside the Top 10: 13 of 102 [12.7%]

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

  • Darlington Raceway Nuggets:
    Starting Up Front is not Important at Darlington Raceway
    Five of the last 10 races at Darlington Raceway have been won from a top-10 starting position. The other five were won from outside the top 10 including two of the last 10 races that were won from the 37th-place starting position, the lowest a driver has started and won at Darlington since the inaugural race in 1950 which featured a 75-car field with the winner starting 43rd. No driver has won a race from the Bud Pole at Darlington since Dale Jarrett won the 1997 Transouth Financial 500, 17 races ago.
    Darlington Streaks
    • There have been nine different race winners in the 10 races at Darlington since September 2000. Only Jimmie Johnson has been able to repeat, winning both races there in 2004.
    • Elliott Sadler and Ryan Newman each have five straight top-10 starts at Darlington, the longest current streak.
    • Jimmie Johnson has scored four straight top-10 finishes at Darlington, the longest current streak. Two of those finishes were victories in 2004. Johnson has scored six top-10 finishes in his seven races at Darlington.
    Owner Wins at Darlington Raceway
    Junior Johnson and Rick Hendrick have each scored 11 wins at Darlington Raceway, the most of any car owner. Johnson’s victories were scored by six different drivers: Cale Yarborough (three), Bill Elliott (two), Darrell Waltrip (two), Leroy Yarbrough (two), Bobby Allison (one) and one by Junior as an owner/driver (1965). Hendrick’s 11 victories were scored by five different drivers: Jeff Gordon (six), Jimmie Johnson (two), Terry Labonte (one), Ricky Rudd (one) and Tim Richmond (one).
    Recent Domination at Darlington Raceway
    • Kasey Kahne has won two Bud Poles in his three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts at Darlington.
    • Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin have all scored top-five finishes in each of the last two races at Darlington, the longest current streak.
    • Jimmie Johnson has scored four straight top-10 finishes at Darlington. Mark Martin has scored top-10 finishes in his last three races at Darlington.
    Leading The Way at Darlington Raceway
    Dale Earnhardt led 2,648 laps in 44 races at Darlington, more than any other driver. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 1,553 laps led in 25 races there.
    Would you Believe?
    Qualifying was rained out only once in the first 77 races at Darlington. Qualifying has been rained out in three of the last nine races there.
    Darlington Standouts
    • Richard Petty had 65 career starts at Darlington, more than any other driver.
    • Kyle Petty leads all full-time drivers with 48 Darlington starts.
    • David Pearson scored 12 Bud Poles at Darlington, leading all drivers.
    • Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Ken Schrader leads all active drivers, each with three Bud Poles at Darlington.
    • David Pearson leads all drivers with 10 victories in 47 races at Darlington Raceway.
    • Richard Petty leads all drivers with 25 top-five finishes while Bill Elliott leads all drivers with 35 top-10 finishes.
    • Mark Martin leads all full time, active drivers with 16 top-five finishes at Darlington Raceway.
    • Mark Martin has scored 24 top-10 finishes at Darlington Raceway, the most among full time, active drivers.
    • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers with a 4.714 starting average in seven races at Darlington Raceway
    • Kasey Kahne has a 7.0 finishing average in his three races at Darlington Raceway, the best of all active drivers.
    • Jamie McMurray is expected to make his 125th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at Darlington Raceway.
    • Matt Kenseth will make his 225th consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start if he competes at Darlington Raceway. Ricky Rudd set the standard with 788 consecutive starts that ended with his retirement last November.
    Season Nuggets
    • The point standings after 10 races one year ago had Jimmie Johnson leading Jeff Gordon by 127 points. Johnson is the leader after 10 races in 2006, leading the reigning champion Tony Stewart by 55 points.
    • After 10 races in 2006 just 12 drivers are within the 400-point window with 12th to 10th separated by just 11 points. One year ago there were 15 drivers within the 400-point window.
    • After winning only three races in all of 2005, Dodge has won three of the first nine races in 2006. Chevrolet has six victories in 2006 while Ford has just one. One year ago Ford had five victories at this point of the season.
    • Kasey Kahne posted his third career race with his win at Texas. All three of his victories came from the Bud Pole.
    • Kurt Busch has started all 10 races in 2006 from a top-15 starting position, the only driver to do so.
    • There were only four drivers that failed to qualify at Richmond. This was the smallest field of entries since Texas last November.
    • Tony Stewart is the only driver who has led at least one lap in nine of the 10 races in 2006, earning 60 lap leader bonus points, 40 more than point leader Jimmie Johnson who has 20.
    • Ken Schrader, Reed Sorenson and David Stremme are the only drivers that have competed in all 10 races that have failed to lead in 2006.
    • At least one rookie has scored a top-15 finish in every race this season.
    • Dale Jarrett I and Sterling Marlin are a few of the drivers that have not scored a top-five finish in 2006.
    • Martin Truex Jr., Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte and Ken Schrader lead all drivers
    that have competed in every race in 2006, all with three DNFs each.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-7-2006)


  • Track Specs:
    Track/Race Length: 1.366 egg-shaped oval, 367 laps, 501.322 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: 68,000

    Race Festivities:
    Grand Marshal: Drivers Mothers
    Command to start engines: Drivers Mothers
    Wave the green flag/honorary starter: actor Luke Perry
    National Anthem: Billy Dean
    Military Flyover: 4 F-15S from Eglin AFB, FL

  • Track Homepage:

  • 2005 Darlington Race Info Page

    UMI Publications NASCAR Darlington Raceway 50th Anniversary Book
    UMI Publications NASCAR Darlington Raceway 50th Anniversary Book

  • Darlington race safe for 2007: Darlington Raceway's place on next year's Nextel Cup schedule was all but secured last week, when track officials received a preliminary sanctioning agreement from NASCAR. Track president Chris Browning said he has received a "redline summary," which is a preliminary sanctioning agreement for next year with any changes outlined in red for quick reference. It's a precursor to a final sanctioning agreement, which Darlington should receive sometime this summer, and once signed will lock the Pee Dee track into a place on the 2007 schedule. "It's just part of the normal process," Browning said Thursday. "It's the same thing we go through every year."(Charleston Post and Courier)(5-13-2006)

  • Luke Perry named honorary starter for the Dodge Charger 500: Actor Luke Perry will wave the green flag to officially begin the Dodge Charger 500 on Saturday evening, May 13 at Darlington Raceway. In June 2006, Perry's latest project will make its debut. The one-hour drama "Windfall" follows 20 lottery winners after their unexpected good fortune, focusing on a close-knit foursome who have known each other since college. Perry stars as devoted husband and father of two Peter Schaefer. The series also stars Lana Parrilla and Jason Gedrick ("Boomtown"), and Sarah Wynter ("24").
    Although grandstand tickets for the Dodge Charger 500 are sold out, infield admission tickets are available. To be placed on the Dodge Charger 500 waiting list, or to purchase tickets for events on Friday or infield admission tickets for Saturday, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or purchase online at Raceway PR)(5-10-2006)

  • Billy Dean to perform national anthem at Darlington: Curb Records recording artist Billy Dean will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the Dodge Charger 500 on May 13 at Darlington Raceway. He will also perform an acoustic pre-race concert on the main stage at approximately 5:30pm/et.(Darlington Raceway)(5-9-2006)

  • Darlington Cup Race Sells Out: Darlington Raceway has sold its last grandstand ticket for the Dodge Charger 500, a full two weeks before the Nextel Cup series visits the legendary Pee Dee track. Raceway officials announced Saturday night that the recently expanded 63,000-seat facility is sold out for the May 13 race. It's the earliest sellout in the 56-year history of the track, which once so struggled to sell tickets that its future as a NASCAR venue was constantly in question. "We had a lot of folks who weren't able to get tickets last year, and I think they called earlier this year," track president Chris Browning said.Even with 3,000 more seats to sell, Darlington sold out a full week earlier than it did last year, which had been the track's first sellout since the final Southern 500 in 2003. Prior to that, it hadn't sold out since expanding to 60,000 seats in 1997, and parent company International Speedway Corp. shipped one of its two dates out to Phoenix. Yet the move from a pair of afternoon races to one night event on the Saturday before Mother's Day proved the boost the track needed. Sales the last two years have Darlington and ISC thinking about more expansion on top of the new Turn 1 grandstand added this year.(Charleston Post and Courier)(4-30-2006)

  • Less than 8,000 seats left for Darlington race...expansion in the works?: Fewer than 8,000 seats remain for the Dodge Charger 500 and the strong sales have Darlington Raceway leaders thinking of expanding faster than they had imagined. Track president Chris Browning expects remaining tickets for the Nextel Cup event to be gone in two weeks. The steady run on tickets - Darlington remains around 8,000 tickets sold ahead of last year - got Browning and officials considering adding even more seats in time for a 2007 race. Browning says construction on a new, 6,300-seat grandstand in turn one should be complete by next week, more than a month ahead of the Dodge Charger 500 on Saturday night, May 13. Browning had figured the track would working on selling its increased tickets for a week or two. But demand for this year’s race has him itching to spring forward. “We’ve been running so far ahead for so long,” Browning said. “It’s got us considering and looking at our options.” Any additional construction would take place in the available area between the new grandstand and an access road behind turns one and two, Browning said. The additional seats bring the capacity at NASCAR’s oldest superspeeday to about 63,000. Browning hopes to revive discussions to return the Craftsman Truck series to Darlington and, with the Nextel and Busch races, create a triple-header weekend for fans.(Florence Morning News/AP)(3-30-2006)

  • Two classic cars added to museum collection: The Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum recently welcomed two additions to its classic car collection. The cars, both sporting the number 11, are on loan from legendary driver and car owner Junior Johnson. Cale Yarborough drove the #11 Busch Chevrolet to Victory Lane at Bristol in 1978, while Terry Labonte won two races in the 1985 #11 Budweiser Chevy. Johnson and Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning took time out from their unloading duties for a photo before the cars were moved into the museum, where they are currently displayed. The museum, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is also home to the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame.(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-28-2006)

  • Bruton willing to buy Darlington - to move race back to Labor Day weekend: [Speedway Motorsports CEO Bruton] Smith said he would be willing to buy a track with an existing Nextel Cup date, for "$200 million to $250 million, something like that," to bring that date to Las Vegas [Motor Speedway]. And he said he was "trying every week" to make just such a purchase. "What we need to do is buy a speedway ... and I'm hoping one day somebody will give me a phone call or knock on the door, and within 15 minutes the deal will be done," Smith said. "They know I'm here and willing and can write a check." Smith also said he would be interested in buying Darlington Raceway, and picked a $100 million price tag - but not to move the date here, rather he said to return the Southern 500 to its historic Labor Day weekend, to "get it back where it belongs." Smith said his Speedway Motorsports operation is "six to seven years behind this sport. And we are going to work like hell to catch up.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-11-2006)

  • Darlington to get repaved: Darlington Raceway is slated to receive a new coat of asphalt sometime within the next two to four years. A centerpiece of Darlington's renaissance will be a repaving job, sorely needed for a grainy, worn surface marked by unsightly patches. But for track president Chris Browning, the challenge is to reinvigorate the old racetrack without changing its character; after all, the slick, slippery, tire-eating surface is a large part of Darlington's wicked reputation, and a large reason why so many drivers see it as the ultimate challenge on the NASCAR tour. "One of the things I've talked about with our asphalt and paving gurus down in Daytona, and one of the things I've challenged them with is, 'Look, guys, we've got a real racy place here. How can we repave this place and still keep it racy like it is now?' " said Browning, whose facility is owned by International Speedway Co., a company based in Daytona Beach, Fla., that operates 12 Nextel Cup venues. The repaving job, Browning said, will happen sometime in the next two to four years. There are no plans to alter the track's banking, which varies from 23 degrees in the narrow end to 25 degrees in the wider end. Repaving is but one part of an ongoing $6 million renovation project, which includes a new grandstand in Turn 1 that will increase Darlington's seating capacity by about 3,000 for the May 13 Dodge Charger 500. The infield tunnels have been refurbished, and plans are on the table to widen them when the track gets ripped up for repaving. Money has been set aside to improve the track's rest rooms, a project that may be completed before the 2007 race.(Charleston Post and Courier)(3-5-2006)

  • New hospitality area added to Darlington infield: In the early days of racing, women were prohibited from entering the pit road area. To allow women some proximity to their loved ones during events, Darlington Raceway constructed a special seating area during the 1960s in the track's infield. Located inside Turn 2, this structure came to be known as the "Wives' Grandstand." As Darlington Raceway continues expansion and renovation projects, there is no longer any need for the Wives' Grandstand. The structure was recently removed to make way for the addition of Carolina Place, a new infield corporate hospitality area, which will be completed in time for the Raceway's Mother's Day weekend activities. The 2006 Dodge Charger 500 weekend will include practice and qualifying for the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series on Friday, May 12, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Busch Series race under the lights that evening. On Saturday, May 13, Darlington will host Cup Series racing for the 57th consecutive year. The 2006 Dodge Charger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety. Greg Biffle is the defending champion. Tickets for all event are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE (7223).(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-3-2006)

  • Darlington tickets part of Smithsonian collection: The Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum was the recipient of a valuable addition to its memorabilia collection on Wednesday, January 11. Fayetteville Christian School presented Raceway president Chris Browning with a complete set of original tickets from all three races run in Darlington during the track's 1950 inaugural season, including an AMA motorcycle race, a "Big Car" (later Indy car) race, and the legendary Southern 500 stock car event. More than 100 FCS middle-schoolers attended the press conference, prompting Browning to remark that the day represented a textbook blending of racing's past and its future. "It is so gratifying to look around the museum today and see what a valuable role Darlington Raceway has played, and will continue to play, in the evolution of NASCAR," he said. A matching set of Darlington Raceway tickets was presented to the Smithsonian Institution in the fall of 2005, where they reside as part of the museum's American History collection. Curator Ellen Hughes said the Smithsonian was thrilled to receive what she described as "valuable memorabilia from a sport that has grown from southern heritage to widespread national prominence." The Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Tickets for all events, icluding the Dodge Charger 500 on May 13th, are on sale now. For tickets or more information, contact the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or visit Raceway PR)(1-15-2006)

  • Darlinton hires another Taylor: Darlington Raceway officials announced that Jeff Taylor has joined the full-time staff in the position of marketing director. Taylor, a Texas native, attended the University of Texas at Arlington, and served as a US Army intelligence analyst from 1992-98. In May of 1998, he joined the staff of Pikes Peak International Raceway/Pro Sports Management, where he worked as a senior sales executive until October 2005. "Jeff brings years of valuable experience in motorsports marketing to Darlington," said Raceway president Chris Browning. "We look forward to the opportunity of working with him and drawing on that experience as the track continues to expand and make improvements for the future." Taylor has four children - Megan, 13; Gabreal, 7, Caleb, 4; and Noah, 3.He lives in Hartsville, SC.(Darlington Raceway PR)(1-6-2006)

  • Darlington Raceway gets new Track Superintendent: H. Lee Taylor has joined the staff of Darlington Raceway in the position of Track Superintendent. Taylor replaces Sammie Yarborough, who retired in December after 15 years of service at the track. Taylor, who holds a degree from the Carolina College of Commerce, worked with Edens Enterprises, a trucking company in Columbia, SC, for 25 years before accepting a position as general manager for the Darlington County Water Department. After nine years with Darlington County, Taylor was named general manager of the Richland County (S.C.) Public Service District. "Lee has been a valuable worker at all of our race events for a number of years," said Raceway president Chris Browning. "He brings a strong knowledge of the track to this position, and we are thrilled to have him join the staff in a full-time capacity." Taylor and his wife Jean live in Darlington. They have three daughters; Reagan, Kristen and Keri.(Darlington Raceway PR)(1-5-2006)

  • New audio CD features great Darlington finishes: Holiday advertisements spotlighting the 2006 Dodge Charger 500, coming up May 13 at Darlington Raceway, describe race tickets as "the ultimate gift * 500 miles of excitement at NASCAR's most historic speedway." Now, fans who invest in future excitement at the track "Too Tough To Tame" can also experience eight unique pieces of its past. The new "Great Darlington Finishes" CD, a collection of eight audio segments featuring the Motor Racing Network's broadcasts of Darlington races dating back to 1985, will be given to fans free of charge with any Dodge Charger 500 ticket order placed November 24 through December 23. Produced by MRN, "Great Darlington Finishes" is narrated by award-winning broadcaster Eli Gold and showcases the contemporary era of Cup Series racing at NASCAR's original superspeedway. Running time is approximately 30 minutes. For tickets or more information, contact the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or visit Raceway PR)(11-30-2005)

  • Darlington Grandstand removed: Darlington Raceway's ongoing renovation projects continued recently with the removal of the Brasington Grandstand from Turn 2. Brasington, constructed in 1965, was one of the last remaining covered grandstands in racing until the roof was removed in 2004 to accommodate the addition of lights at the track. The 3,300-seat grandstand bore the name of Harold Brasington, the Darlington developer whose vision of a race track designed specifically for stock cars ultimately became NASCAR's most historic venue. Additional seating for 6,300 fans will be erected in Turn 1, and will be completed in time for the Dodge Charger 500 in May 2006.(Darlington Raceway PR)(11-29-2005)

  • Darlington add seats and plans $6 million in improvements: On September 22, Darlington Raceway announced plans to commence work on an ambitious, $6 million capital improvement plan, which includes the addition of a 6,300-seat grandstand in Turn 1 and the removal of the Brasington Grandstand from Turn 2, for a net gain of approximately 3,000 seats at the historic facility. Construction will begin before the end of the year. The Turn 1 grandstand will be completed in time for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend, May 11-13, 2006. In addition to the Turn 1 grandstand project, the corporate tower suites located outside Turn 3, as well as the infield suites in Turn 2, will be renovated and upgraded. Electrical service for 48 motorhomes will be installed in the competitors' parking area, giving every infield competitors' motorcoach parking spot at Darlington access to power. Other capital improvement projects at Darlington include rehabilitation of the east and west infield tunnels and relocation of all remaining overhead power lines to underground locations. For information up upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or log onto Raceway PR)(9-23-2005)

  • Darlington set for 2006...and 5 more years? UPDATE: Darlington Raceway, the oldest superspeedway on the NASCAR schedule and a track rumored to be losing its Nextel Cup date, apparently still has a future as well as a past. The venerable South Carolina speedway has gotten its NASCAR sanctioning agreement for 2006, officials close to the situation confirmed Thursday. It is “99 percent certain” that Darlington will keep its current date, on the night before Mother’s Day, for 2006, the sources said. Better yet, perhaps, Darlington’s parent company, International Speedway Corp., has committed to a five-year, multi-million-dollar plan to refurbish the track, which opened in 1950, sources said.(Speed Channel)(5-27-2005)
    UPDATE: Darlington Raceway officials have received a preliminary 2006 sanctioning agreement from NASCAR, a step that virtually ensures the South Carolina track will have a place on the Nextel Cup schedule next year. Sources told The Post and Courier on Friday that Darlington has received what is referred to as a "redline summary," a sanctioning agreement with the changes for next season outlined in red for quick reference. The next step is signing a final sanctioning agreement that would lock Darlington into a place on the 2006 schedule. NASCAR is in the process of negotiating prize winnings and other issues with its tracks for next year. Once those stipulations are agreed to, a sanctioning agreement is signed and the track has a race. Receiving a redline summary, according to one source, is a formality within that process. Darlington, which lost its fall race to Phoenix last season in a realignment of the Nextel Cup schedule, is coming off one of the best weekends in its 56-year history. The Pee Dee track sold out its 60,000 grandstand seats nearly a week before its first night race, which was held May 7. Since then, track officials have received only positive signs about their status for 2006. NASCAR officials have said nothing to shake the belief that Darlington will be on next year's schedule when it is finalized in a few weeks. "I think Darlington will be on the schedule next year," NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's 5:30 p.m. Coca-Cola 600. Earlier this year, parent company International Speedway Corp. granted Darlington officials permission to explore capital improvements such as tunnel widening and restroom renovation. Track president Chris Browning was also given the go-ahead to formulate a five-year plan for larger undertakings such as grandstand expansion.(Charleston Post and Courier)(5-28-2005)

  • Darlington's start time to change? NASCAR Chairman Brian France hinted that there could be changes to the Darlington race next year because of its late finish last week. France made the comments to XM Satellite and a transcript was posted on Asked if something might be done because the Darlington raced finished after 11:30pm/et last week, France said: "I think they had 11 or 12 cautions and it was longer than anticipated and that may have us re-think, should it start half an hour earlier or something, I'm not sure. Of course, remember it finished later than we'd like, but that's a benefit to the West Coast people who were coming home from dinner or whatever the case is. But it doesn't matter, we have to finish it at a reasonable time and we'll adjust that if we have to."(Roanoke Times)(5-16-2005)

  • Darlington race worth $25-$30 million to economy: The S.C. Department of Commerce estimates that each race directly contributes between $25 million and $30 million to the local economy. With only one race, and that race being held on Mother’s Day weekend, many feared that businesses would suffer. That’s why there was an all-out effort to sell out the Dodge Charger 500 on Saturday. Mother’s Day is considered to be a hindrance to ticket sales, but raceway officials turned it into a positive. “They marketed it as a weekend away for mothers,” said Dave Bailey, economic development director for Darlington County. “And since the race is on Saturday, and not actually on Mother’s Day, I think it helped them a lot.”(Morning News)(5-6-2005)

  • Some interesting tidbits about Darlington Raceway: Harold King's title at Darlington Raceway is senior adviser to the track president. But the 81-year-old King, a volunteer at the track's first Southern 500 in 1950, is better known as ''Mr. Darlington.'' He estimates he has been to 95% of Darlington's NASCAR races since 1950, including years when he was an ambulance assistant. King's favorite trivia about NASCAR's oldest superspeedway:
    * At the first race, crews underestimated the toll the gritty surface would take on tires and went through the infield crowd buying spare tires from fans parked there.
    * The infield used to be home to ''The Blockhouse,''a cinderblock jail for drunks.
    * Infield admission to the first race was $1 a person, $5 for the vehicle. For years, fans would sneak in lumber in the back of pickups and then construct scaffolding so they could get a better view. People who slept overnight in the infield burned tires to stay warm.
    * For the first race, 5,000 were expected; at least 15,000 came. Track creator Harold Brasington put gate receipts in 5-gallon buckets.
    * With only one hotel in Darlington during the race's early years, fans came the night before and slept on the hoods of cars around the town square. Some Darlington homes took in fans, setting up cots in front rooms.
    * To put down rubber to help traction on the track, townspeople were urged to drive their cars on it in the days before the race.
    * Seats on today's backstretch used to be covered with a pavilion-like roof, but it had to be removed as cars became faster because it contained the noise.
    * In 1965, when the track was surrounded by a metal guardrail instead of today's concrete wall, NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough (from nearby Timmonsville) crashed and sailed over the railing and off the track, out of view. The crowd was silent until Yarborough, after scrambling uphill on hands and feet, came back into view and waved. For years, the car's flight was a staple of the introduction to ABC's Wide World of Sports. See full article and more tidbits at the USA Today.(5-6-2005)

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


  • See the 2006 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
#5-Kyle Busch Carquest #5 Schemes Page
#10-Scott Riggs Stanley Tools #10 Schemes Page
#12-Ryan Newman MyCircle Purple Alltel #12 Schemes Page
#14-Sterling Marlin Ginn Clubs & Resorts #14 Schemes Page
#18-J.J. Yeley Boniva none..yet
#21-Ken Scrader Air Force #21 Schemes Page
#26-Jamie McMurray Crown Royal - Night scheme #26 Schemes Page
#45-Kyle Petty Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers #45 Schemes Page

  • Yeley to Drive Boniva Scheme at Darlington: Mother's Day is a time for everyone to salute their mom with gifts and good wishes. But perhaps the best gift a mother can receive is to ensure she has helpful information on how to achieve and maintain good health, including bone health. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Roche are presenting this message to moms all across America this weekend with a special delivery from NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley and the Joe Gibbs Racing team. A unique paint scheme will be displayed on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy, which will be driven by Yeley during the Dodge Charger 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 13th. The sponsorship aims to help raise awareness about postmenopausal osteoporosis and once-monthly Boniva (ibandronate sodium) tablets. It encourages women to take steps to protect themselves against fractures. Information about postmenopausal osteoporosis and Boniva can be found at & Associates/Joe Gibbs Racing)(5-9-2006)

  • #12 to run blue and purple scheme? UPDATE 4: got images from Penske Racing in Mooresville, NC from a reader in which the nose and smaller parts of the #12 Alltel Dodge of Ryan Newman is painted purple. See my #12 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2006)
    UPDATE: hearing this scheme could run at Phoenix on April 22.(4-7-2006)
    UPDATE 2: #12-Ryan Newman will make his eighth Phoenix International Raceway start and his 160th in NASCAR's Cup Series this Saturday. The new paint scheme on the Alltel Dodge this weekend will be hard to miss. The paint [purple] scheme highlights a new feature that Alltel will launch soon. The team plans on showcasing the paint scheme in several upcoming NEXTEL Cup Series races.(Penske Racing PR).
    UPDATE 3: have another image of the car, looks like the program will be MyCircle as is noted on the purple hood, see images of the scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2006)
    UPDATE 4: Alltel announced that Ryan Newman's #12 Alltel Dodge, traditionally royal blue and black, will display a special paint scheme at various races throughout the 2006 season. Set to debut on April 22 at the Subway Fresh 500 in Phoenix, a new purple and black color design will hit the track in support of Alltel's exclusive wireless feature "My Circle." The new paint scheme will be featured during a total of five races, which include Talladega, Richmond, Darlington and the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge.(Alltel Racing PR)(4-21-2006)

  • Special Scheme for #24 at All-Star race and other races: Jeff Gordon’s #24 DuPont car will once again carry the DuPont Performance Alliance colors at the Nextel Cup All-Star Challenge on May 20, 2006. Like last year, the car's color scheme was designed by renowned NASCAR graphic artist Sam Bass. This special version of the #24 Chevy celebrates DuPont’s all-star collision repair centers and auto body shops throughout the United States. The paint scheme reverses the primary colors of the Fire and Flames design, and the Performance Alliance logo and name will be featured on the hood, side panels and TV panel. Gordon will also be wearing a matching Performance Alliance-themed uniform for the special event. The Performance Alliance logo will appear on the cars decklid or tv panel at Richmond [May]. Dover [June], Loudon [July], Pocono [July], Watkins Glen, LMS [Oct], Martinsville and Texas. See images of the three schemes on my #24 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2006)

  • #5 Paint Scheme plans UPDATE: hearing that Kyle Busch will run a few paint schemes in 2006 besides the normal Kellogg's scheme. At Las Vegas, Busch will run the Ice Age 2 [movie] scheme. Will run a movie scheme from "Car" at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Cheez-It at Daytona in July.
    Carquest Auto Parts schemes at Darlington, both Pocono races, Chicago and Texas in November.
    Delphi at Texas in April, Indy, Michigan in August and Lowe's Motor Speedway in October.(1-17-2006)
    Ice Age II on the #5 at Vegas: Kyle Busch's #5 Chevy will sport an "Ice Age: The Meltdown" paint scheme in this weekend's NEXTEL Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The film will premiere March 31 in theaters across the country.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on my #5 Team Schemes page.(3-9-2006)

  • Two Crown Royal 2006 schemes: added two Crown Royal images, a scheme to be used for day race, scheduled at: Daytona 500, California(1), Las Vegas, Texas (both), Pocono (1), Michigan (1), Infineon Raceway, Indy, Watkins Glen, Loudon (2), Dover (2), Talladega (2), Atlanta (2) and Homestead; and a night scheme scheduled for Phoenix (1), Darlington, Lowe's (2) and Richmond, to the #26 Team Schemes page.(12-2-2005)

  • Stanley to sponsor Riggs for 10 races in 2006, IMAGES: as previously announced, Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Evernham Motorsports Dodge in 2006, announced at Lowe' Motor Speedway today, Valvoline will be the primary sponsor for 26 of the 26 races and Stanley Tools will be the sponsor for the other 10 races with a black and yellow scheme similar to what has run on Evernham's #91 Dodge with Bill Elliott driving.(RacingOne), see images of the cars on my 2006 #10 Team Schemes page.
    The Press part: The Stanley Works, one of the world’s best known brands of tools, hardware and security products, is adding a powerful new tool to its toolbox -- the co-primary sponsorship of the #10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger and driver Scott Riggs. Stanley will sponsor the #10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger for 10 races in 2006, including Las Vegas, Texas (A), Talladega (A), Darlington, Michigan (A), Daytona (B), Indianapolis, New Hampshire (B), Charlotte (B) and Phoenix (B).[with 'B' being the 2nd race of the season at that track] The #10 Stanley Tools/ Valvoline Dodge Charger will carry the signature yellow and black colors of the Stanley brand. Stanley Tools also will be the featured co-primary sponsor on the #10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger in 21 races throughout the season. In addition to the primary sponsorship, Stanley will continue its involvement as an associate sponsor on the race cars of Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield, as well as on the uniform of Erin Crocker. The Stanley Works, Evernham Motorsports and Dodge marketing partnership will include new product launches for many of its businesses, key customer outreach efforts, retail marketing and promotions. All Stanley brands will be involved in the program, including Bostitch, Proto, Vidmar, Best, and Blackhawk by Proto.(Evernham Racing/Clear!Blue PR)(10-15-205)

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

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