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THE RACE: The Dodge Avenger 500

Nextel Cup Race #11 of 36 for the 2007 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

Jumps to sections on this page:
Purse/Race Awards | Radio
Practice/Qual Times | Event Sched | Goodyear Notes
Local Newspapers | Weather
Track/Race Records | Track/Race Info
Driver/Team News | Paint Schemes

  • Race: Saturday, May 12, 2007 in Darlington, SC

  • Title Sponsor/Link: Dodge

  • 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: 7:30pm/et

  • Race Re-Air: Thursday, May 17 at 3:00pm/et on Speed

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

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

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

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

  • Radio Coverage: This Week - MRN and Sirius

    Motor Racing Network (MRN)

    Sirius Satellite - NASCAR Radio

  • Purse/Race Awards: $5,507,009 (was $5,410,760 in 2006)

    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practice: Friday, May 11, 10:30am - 12:00pm/et on TV-SPEED

  • Happy Hour Practice: Friday, May 11, 6:50 - 7:50pm/et on TV-SPEED

    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, May 11, 9:30am/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-43, Friday, May 11 at 3:10pm/et, TV-SPEED, re-air at 12:30am/et; live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio.


    FRIDAY, May 11th
    8:00 am Gates open
    8:30 am NBS practice
    9:45 am Rookie practice
    10:30 am NBS final practice
    12:05 am NNCS practice
    3:40 pm NNCS qualifying (two laps, all positions)
    5:05 pm NBS qualifying (two laps, all positions)
    6:30 pm NNCS final practice
    8:05 pm NBS Driver Introductions
    8:35 pm Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Busch Series race

    Saturday, May 12
    2:00 pm Gates open
    6:25 pm NNCS Driver Introductions
    6:55 pm Dodge Avenger 500
    Nextel Cup Series race (367 laps, 501.3 miles)

    NNCS = Nextel Cup Series
    NBS = NASCAR Busch Series
    NCTS = NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials Number of Tires:
    Nextel Cup: Left-side -- 1,700, Right-side -- 1,700;
    Busch Series: Left-side -- 675, Right-side -- 675

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4114; Right-side -- D-4116

    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 45-50 laps, based on fuel mileage (Nextel Cup).

    Notes: Both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Darlington this weekend . . . this is the first time that Goodyear has brought out this tire setup, and Darlington is the only track at which these tire codes are scheduled to be run in 2007 . . . this setup was tested at Darlington by Greg Biffle, Dave Blaney, Jeff Gordon and Reed Sorenson in mid-March . . . as on all NASCAR 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.


Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Darlington, SC area:
Anderson Idependent Mail

Charleston Post-Courier
GoUpstate - Spartanburg Herald Journal
Greenville News
Morning News Online
The Myrtle Beach Sun News
The State

The Weather Channel
National Weather Service
Race Day Weather
Weather Underground

Track/Travel/Camping/Reviews/Info for Fans:
ARS Racing Outlet - Darlington Review
ARS Racing Outlet - Darlington review with pictures
Laid Back Racing (lots of info)
Go RVing

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

Scanner Frequencies - sponsored by Racing Electronics:
see my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's Links:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations

news and links

  • Jeff Gordon wins at Darlington: #24-Jeff Gordon won the rain delayed Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2007, 7th wins at Darlington and 78th of his career. The race was scheduled to run Saturday night, but was rained out and run Sunday, May 13th, the 2nd race in a row that was delay a day by rain [last week it was Richmond]. Gordon's engine was steaming and overheating for many laps. #11-Hamlin finished 2nd and was coming fast, but a poor pitstop late in the race cost Hamlin a shot to win, Hamlin led the most laps with 179 of 367. #48-Johnson finished 3rd, the rest of the top-10 were: #12-Newman, #99-Edwards, #20-Stewart, #17-Kenseth, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #07-Bowyer and #31-Burton. #22-Blaney was the highest finishing Toyota at 32nd. Jeff Gordon's points lead increases to 231 over Johnson. Hendrick Motorsports now has 8 wins in the 11 races this season and has won all five COT races. There were 10 cautions for 44 laps and 10 drivers lead the race with 21 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Darlington Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington page.(5-13-2007)

  • Unofficial Driver Points Top-12 Standing after Darlington [11 of 36 races]:
    #24-Jeff Gordon 1881
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 1650 -231
    #17-Matt Kenseth 1582 -299
    #11-Denny Hamlin 1539 -342
    #31-Jeff Burton 1486 -395
    #20-Tony Stewart 1375 -506
    #2-Kurt Busch 1325 -556
    #29-Kevin Harvick 1315 -566
    #07-Clint Bowyer 1302 -579
    #99-Carl Edwards 1291 -590
    #5-Kyle Busch 1281 -600
    #26-Jamie McMurray 1214 -667
    some noteables:
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 14th [after penalty] -721
    #01-Mark Martin is 15th, only ran 8 races
    #42-Juan Montoya is 21st
    #9-Kasey Kahne is 30th
    For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(5-13-2007)

  • Rumblings - Race Notes: #24-Jeff Gordon (steamin' all the way) had enough water to make it to Victory Lane today at Darlington Raceway and took the Dodge Avenger 500 for his third win of the season. Career victory #78 (and 7th at Darlington) was #157 for Hendrick Motorsports (their 8th of the season) and keeps them a perfect 5 for 5 in C-O-T races. NASCAR's certainly got a problem if Hendrick continues to take all these COT races.
    Denny Hamlin (2nd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Martinsville last October.
    Ryan Newman (4th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Infineon last June.
    Carl Edwards (5th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Phoenix last November.
    Sterling Marlin (13th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Lowe's last October.
    STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 7 Top-5's in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-5's in the last 6 races. Denny Hamlin has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races. Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
    This Week's Elevator.....UP: Operator of the Week is Ryan Newman (+25), followed by Matt Kenseth (+24), Jeff Burton (+24), Mark Martin (+23), and Tony Stewart (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ken Schrader (-33), followed by Brian Vickers (-28 ), Casey Mears (-24), and Reed Sorenson (-24).
    No move-ups into the Top-35 in Owner Points this week, but the #22 of Dave Blaney moves up to 36th....he's 75 markers behind the new 35th place team of Casey Mears. Jeff Gordon tacks another 20 points onto his lead....it's now 231. The top five remain unchanged this week. Ryan Newman (19th to 14th) made the best move forward today while David Stremme (17th to 22nd) fell the same number of spots.(Stock Car Fans)(5-13-2007)

  • Darlington Raceway Fast Facts
    .. Jeff Gordon won the Dodge Avenger 500, his 78th victory in 484 Nextel Cup Series races.
    .. This is his third victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2007.
    .. This is his seventh victory and 18th top-10 finish in 27 races at Darlington Raceway.
    .. Denny Hamlin finished second, .978 second behind the DuPont Chevrolet. It is his sixth top-10 of 2007 and his second in as many races at Darlington.
    .. Jimmie Johnson finished third, posting his eight 2007 top-10 and his seventh in eight races at Darlington.
    .. Hendrick Motorsports has won four consecutive races (Phoenix-Darlington). Gordon accounted for three of those victories with Johnson posting the other. This is the second time this season and the fourth time since 1998 that HMS has posted four straight wins.
    .. Gordon retained the point lead for the seventh race and is now 231 points ahead of Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-13-2007)


    (as I cover the race on my racepage every race, then correct after race)

  • The Dodge Avenger 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:

    Darlington Race Postponed until Sunday, May 13th at 1pm/et

    car#, driver-manu, (starting spot)(laps led)
    #24-JGordon-C (10)(22 laps led) +0.978 seconds lead
    #11-Hamlin-C (7)(178 laps led)
    #48-Johnson-C (12)(45 laps led)
    #12-Newman-D (29)(39 laps led)
    #99-Edwards-F (4)(33 laps led)
    #20-Stewart-C (26)
    #17-Kenseth-F (31)(29 laps led)
    #8-Earnhardt Jr.-C (21)
    #07-Bowyer-C (1)(16 laps led)
    #31-JBurton-C (34)
    C=Chevy; D=Dodge; F=Ford; T=Toyota; *=rookie

  • Pit Selection Chart page at:
    FoxSports - Darlington Pit Stall Selection

  • Cars on the lead lap: 21 (of 43 starters)

  • Drivers down only a lap [and still running]: #'s

  • Drivers down more then one lap [and still running]: #'s 66,42,78,45,88,6,13,70,38,15,22,00,40,25,84,5,7,41

  • Cars on the track: 34 (of 43 starters)

  • Off track/out of race (9) and reason:
    #83-Vickers (accident-out)
    #37-Lepage (transmission-out)
    #21-Schrader (accident-out)
    #96-Raines (engine-out)
    #40-Stremme (engine-out)
    #22-Blaney (engine-out)
    #00-Reutimann (engine-out)
    #38-Gilliland (engine-out)
    #25-Mears (engine-out)

  • Laps Leaders Unofficial (10 leaders with 21 lead changes):
    #11-Hamlin (179);
    #48-Johnson (44);
    #12-Newman (39);
    #99-Edwards (33);
    #17-Kenseth (29);
    #24-Gordon (22)
    #07-Bowyer (16, pole)
    #21-Schrader (2);
    #22-Blaney (2);
    #19-Sadler (1);

  • Lap leaders: #07-Bowyer - pole; #07-Bowyer 1-16; #99-Edwards 17-34; #11-Hamlin 35-101; #99-Edwards 102-116; #11-Hamlin 117-177; #12-Newman 178-179; #17-Kenseth 180-181; #11-Hamlin 182--221; #12-Newman 222-238; #11-Hamlin 239; #21-Schrader 240-241; #17-Kenseth 242-255; #48-Johnson 256; #17-Kenseth 257-269; #12-Newman 270-289; #11-Hamlin 290-299; #48-Johnson 300-305; #19-Sadler 306; #48-Johnson 307-335; #22-Blaney 336-337; #48-Johnson 338-345; #24-Gordon 346-367;

    Cautions: 10 for 44 laps

    Caution 10 - Laps 352 - 354: #40-Stremme blew an engine leaving oil on the track
    Caution 9 - Laps 345 - 348: debris on the track, exhaust pipes
    Caution 8 - Laps 334 - 338: Debris on the track in turn 4, shown on TV
    Caution 7 - Laps 305 - 309: #5-Busch slammed the backstetch wall after slowing for #84-Allmendinger who had scraped the wall
    Caution 6 - Laps 255 - 259: #21-Schrader lost a right front tire and slammed the turn 1 wall.
    Caution 5 - Laps 239 - 242: #21-Schrader and #6-Ragan made contact in the 3rd turn, sending Ragan spinning around in turn 4
    Caution 4 - Laps 184 - 189: Debris on the track from #13-Nemechek's blown tire
    Caution 3 - Laps 124 - 127: #83-Vickers got into #18-Yeley and slowed, #26-McMurray got into the rear of Vickers, causing Vickers to spin off turn 2 and slammed into the backstretch inside wall hard, Vickers walked away
    Caution 2 - Laps 117 - 120: #41-Sorenson smacked the wall in turn 1 and cut down a tire.

    Caution 1 - Laps 41 - 44: competition caution so teams can check tires/setups

  • Who got a lap back on each caution? the Lucky Dog: (and their finish)
    Caution 10: #29-Harvick, 17th
    Caution 9: #9-Kahne, 20th
    Caution 8: #9-Kahne (still a lap down), 20th
    Caution 7: none as #84-Allmendinger was the cause of the caution
    Caution 6: #1-Truex Jr., 11th
    Caution 5: #19-Sadler(2), 21st
    Caution 4: #21-Schrader, 41st
    Caution 3: #43-Labonte, 19th
    Caution 2: #19-Sadler, 21st
    Caution 1: #45-Petty, 25th
    See past races, rules, news and who has used the most Lucky Dog passes on my
    Lucky Dog page.

  • Darlington Penalty Report:
    None posted this week, no idea why

  • RACE/PIT NOTES: (as noted heard on TV or Radio)
    ---- with a lap to go, #38-Gilliland blew and engine, but no caution was thrown
    ---- on the restart after the 10th caution, #22-Blaney lost an engine and headed to the garage
    ---- during the 9th caution, half the top-10 came in to pit, include the leader, #48-Johnson, 2nd place, #24-Gordon stayed out, he is overheating and takes the lead. #12-Newman, #8-Earnhardt Jr. stayed out.
    ---- on lap 312, #96-Raines lost an engine and took the car to the garage.
    ---- during the 7th caution, #11-Hamlin, who came in 3rd to pit, dropped the lugnut a couple times and came out 16th
    ---- on lap 276, #24-Gordon is reporting the water temp has fallen to a normal level and is OK
    ---- MRN is reporting that as of lap 255, #26-McMurray's left arm has fallen asleep and he can't use it.
    ---- on lap 246, #24-JGordon is reporting a water temp of 260, they are concerned about overheating the engine
    ---- on lap 229, scheduled green flag pit stops are starting, with lap down cars coming in, #15-Menard came in, slid thru his pit, the crew serviced the car outside the pit box and was held a lap. First lead lap car to come in was #29-Harvick around lap 232
    ---- on lap 213, #20-Stewart cut down a left rear tire and had to make an unscheduled pit stop
    ---- during 4th caution, #99-Edwards came in to pit and entered late above the commitment line and had to restart at the end of the longer line. He had came out of the pits 3rd.
    ---- on lap 178, #31-Burton reported a possible engine problem coming in to pit, then #31-Nemechek cut a left front tire down, but made it to pit road with no caution
    ---- around lap 175, scheduled green flag pit stops started
    ---- on lap 173, #7-Gordon, smacked the wall again, this time in turn 2, after the crew made repairs, Gordon limped to pit road, left no debris either
    ---- on lap 172, #9-Kahne scraped the wall and had a right front tire start to go down and had to make an unscheduled pit stop.
    ---- during the 3rd caution, all but the top-14 drivers came in to pit, none of the top-10 came in.
    ---- during the 2nd caution, all the lead lap cars came in to pit, #99-Edwards came in the leader, #11-Hamlin came out as the leader
    ---- leader #11-Hamlin was the last driver to pit, on lap 101, after all cycled out, Edwards took over as the leader
    ---- green flag pit stops started a few laps later, around lap 95, #8-Earnhardt Jr. came in lap 97.
    ---- on lap 93, #17-Kenseth made an unscheduled pitstop for a tire going down
    ---- all cars came in to pit during the first caution #11-Hamilin in and out 1st
    ---- #88-Rudd made an unscheduled pitstop around lap 20 as the motor was over heating, lost 2 laps
    ---- NASCAR will throw a caution around lap 40, unless one occurs beforehand, for teams to check tires and setups on the green track
    ---- green flag at 1:19pm/et
    ---- command to start engines at 1:09pm/et by the Mom's of the drivers
    ---- Military Flyover: none
    ---- National Anthem by Lisa Hudson
    ---- To The Back [0]: none reported
    ---- weather = cloudy, 68°, track temp 84° wind NE 5-10mph

  • RAIN: caused the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway to be postponed until Sunday, May 13th at 1:00pm/et and will be aired on FOX Live. The weather forecast for Sunday in Darlington, SC, is looking good, high 81F and windy. Grandstand gates will open at 10 a.m. All tickets purchased for the sold-out race will be honored at that time. Also SPEED's NASCAR RaceDay will have a one-hour live show from 12:00 - 1:00pm/et

  • Race Coverage of the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is Re-scheduled for Sunday, May 13, 2007.
    TV: FOX at 1:00pm/et [green flag around 1:15pm/et].
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Jayski: on my Semi-Live Race Coverage/Narrative Page.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 3:00pm/et

  • Friday's Happy Hour Practice: for the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over. The fastest:
    #48-Johnson 160.706
    #17-Kenseth 160.685
    #99-Edwards 160.496
    #2-Busch 160.318
    #31-Burton 160.078
    slowest: #37-Lepage 155.404 & #96-Raines 155.921
    incidents: #00-Reutimann got his first Darlington stripe of the day about 10 minutes into the session, just cosmetic damage. The session was red flagged early in for a garbage bag that had blown onto the track. Mike Joy mentioned during TV coverage that 21 drivers have gotten a Darlington stripe today. #42-Montoya popped the wall midway through as well. #84-Allmendiner got into the wall for at least the second time midway through the session. #48-Johnson spun out with aobut 8 minutes remaining in the session. He stayed off the wall and did not hit anything.
    most laps run: #38-Gilliland 57, #11-Hamlin 55.
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service
    #16-Biffle 158.028, 26 laps run (8th fastest)
    #48-Johnson 156.967, 35 laps
    #24-Gordon 156.835, 23 laps (16th fastest)
    See speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-11-2007)

  • Clint Bowyer wins pole at Darlington: #07-Clint Bowyer won the Budweiser Pole for the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 164.987mph. It is his first career Bud pole. The rest of the top-10 are #16-Biffle, #26-McMurray, #99-McMurray, #9-Kahne, #78-K. Wallace [best of the non top-35s], #11-Hamlin, #21-Schrader, #29-Harvick, and #24-Gordon. The non-top 35 drivers that made the race were #78-Wallace, #21-Schrader, #00-Reutimann, #83-Vickers, #84-Allmendiner, #15-Menard, #22-Blaney, and #37-Lepage.
    For qualifying results/starting lineup see my Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order Page.(5-11-2007)

  • Six who did not qualify for the Dodge Avenger 500: at Darlington Raceway: #36-Mayfield, #4-W. Burton, #37-Bliss, #55-Waltrip, #44-Jarrett, and #10-Riggs.(5-11-2007)

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
    Chevy: #07-Bowyer, 164.987, starts 1st
    Ford: #16-Biffle, 164.876, starts 2nd
    Dodge: #9-Kahne, 164.073, starts 5th
    Toyota: #00-Reutimann, 163.175, starts 14th

  • Ramblings - Darlington Qualifying Notes: Clint Bowyer captured his first-ever Bud Pole today at Darlington Raceway for tomorrow night's Dodge Avenger 500 with a time of 29.806 sec (184.987 mph), and he becomes the 6th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout. Clint's previous best starting spot was the outside pole at The Brickyard last August. He'll be joined on the front row by Greg Biffle (2nd)....his best starting spot since he had the pole at Richmond last May. David Reutimann (14th) is in a rut.....this is the third race in a row where he's starting in that spot. Welcome Back Kevin Lepage (43rd). He makes his first race of the season and first since Atlanta last October when he started 42nd and finished 43rd.
    STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 8 Top-10 starts in a row. Denny Hamlin has 7 Top-10 starts in a row.(Stock Car Fans)(5-11-2007)

  • Darlington Qualifying Notes: Clint Bowyer won the Bud Pole for the Dodge Avenger 500, his first career Bud Pole 48 NASCAR Nextel Cup races.
    .. Bowyer posted a lap of 29.806 seconds at 164.987 mph.
    .. This is his third top-10 start in 2007.
    .. This is Bowyer’s second top-10 start in two races at Darlington. He started third here last season.
    .. Greg Biffle (second) posted a lap of 29.826 seconds at 164.876 mph. This is his fifth top-10 start in six races at Darlington. He has started third twice and ninth twice in his previous top-10 starts. Biffle has won the past two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Darlington.
    .. Jamie McMurray (third) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2007. All of his top-10 have also been topfives and have come in Car-of-Tomorrow races.
    .. David Reutimann (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    .. Ken Schrader (eighth) was the fastest of the cars that had to make the field on time. This is his second top-10 start in 2007.(NASCAR)(5-11-2007)

  • Friday's First Practice: for the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over. The fastest:
    #00-Reutimann 163.904
    #25-Mears 163.435
    #16-Biffle 163.354
    #2-Kurt Busch 163.072
    #07-Bowyer 162.905
    slowest: #7-R.Gordon 157.742 & #19-Sadler 157.899
    incidents: #41-Sorenson picked up the morning's first Darlington stripe in turn 2 about 5 minutes into the session. #84-Allmendiner got into the wall twice early in the session and suffered some sheet metal damage. #5-Kyle Busch, #18-Yeley, #26-McMurray, and #13-Nemecheck were penalized for being late through inspection on race morning at Richmond last week and were not allowed on the track during the first 15 minutes of the session. There was a short red flag about 40 minutes in because of a rachet on the track. #07-Bowyer and #6-Ragan picked up Darlington stripes an hour into the session. #15-Menard scraped the wall with about 15 minutes remaining. Other drivers making contact with the wall included #40-Stremme, #36-Mayfield and #18-Yeley. The session was extended by about 10 minutes since they started late.
    most laps run: #43-Labonte 42, #99-Edwards 33.
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service
    #00-Reutimann 162.520, 8 laps run
    #21-Schrader 161.117, 7 laps (26th fastest)
    #55-Waltrip 160.400, 11 laps (14th)
    See speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-11-2007)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice? at Darlington
    if things stayed the same, these drivers make the race:
    #00-David Reutimann, 1st
    #55-Michael Waltrip, 14th
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 15th
    #10-Scott Riggs, 20th
    #49-Mike Bliss, 21th
    #78-Kenny Wallace, 23rd
    #83-Brian Vickers, 25th
    #21-Ken Schrader, 26th
    if things stayed the same, these drivers miss the race:
    #22-Dave Blaney, 27th
    #36-Jeremy Mayfield, 35th
    #44-Dale Jarrett, 36th [no champ prov left in 2007]
    #15-Paul Menard, 37th
    #4-Ward Burton, 41st
    #37-Kevin Lepage, 45th

  • Entry List for the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is up, 49 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    these drivers who need to get in on speed and are NOT in a 2007 Top-35 Owners Points Position:
    Not in top 35 of 2007 owners points (2007 race attempts/owners pts standings in parens):
    #00-David Reutimann (10 attempts/43rd in 2007 owners pts)
    #4-Ward Burton (9/42)
    #10-Scott Riggs (10/36)
    #15-Paul Menard (10/38)
    #21-Ken Schrader (10/45)
    #22-Dave Blaney (10/37)
    #36-Jeremy Mayfield (10/46)
    #37-John Andretti (10/48)
    #44-Dale Jarrett [OUT of Champ Provs](10/40)
    #49-Mike Bliss (10/45)
    #55-Michael Waltrip (10/50)
    #78-Kenny Wallace (10/44)
    #83-Brian Vickers (won in 2006)(10/41)
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger (10/47)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 83,44,10,22 15,21,00,78
    missing the race would be [6]: #'s 49,36,37,84,55,4[only 9 race attempts]
    See the full list at my Jayski's Darlington Entry List.(5-7-2007)

  • COT: Car of Tomorrow: the is the 5th of 16 COT races in 2007, for more info on the COT see my:
    COT News, Testings and Rumors Page
    COT Images [before Bristol, during testing of the COT

  • Top-35 in Owners Points and a guaranteed starting spot at Darlington are set:
    no team dropped out of the 35 or got into it, but the gap from 35th to 36th is closer
    the following drivers/teams are in the top-35 in owners points:
    31) #45-Petty/Petty Enterprises 812, +83
    32) #9-Kahne/Evernham 801, +72
    33) #70-Sauter/Haas CNC Racing 798, +69
    34) #25-Mears/Hendrick 772, +43
    35) #88-Rudd/Yates 763, +34pts ahead of 36th
    these teams and drivers must qualify by speed:
    36) #10-Riggs/Evernham 729, -34 pts behind 35th
    37) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing 683, -80
    38) #15-Menard/DEI 664, -99
    39) #21-Schrader-Wood/Wood Brothers 622, -150
    40) #44-Jarrett/Michael Waltrip Racing 610, -153 [out of champ provs]
    See Owners/Drivers Points standings page for full rundown.(5-6-2007)

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

  • Jayski's - 2007 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).

  • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 season, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the 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 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 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 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)
    Simple: so the field is set by speed to where the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the top 35 of OWNERS [not drivers points] are placed to the 42nd spot. The 43rd spot is used for the most recent past Cup champion NOT already in the field from being in the top-35 in owners points or one of the seven no top-35. If their is not past champ for the 43rd spot, it goes to the next fastest [8th fastest driver]

  • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?

    After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
    #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points [position 1-35][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
    #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) - ALL Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4 [is NOT charged against the 6 past champ provisionals]
    #6) - Qualifying Attempts [not starts] 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)

  • 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][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
    #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
    #3) - ALL 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]

  • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Cup: NASCAR announced an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Nextel Cup Series for 2007. Beginning this season, a past champion’s provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion’s provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport.”(NASCAR PR)
    This is only for a team/driver OUTSIDE the top-35 in owners points, drivers whose team is in the top-35 in owners points, would already be guaranteed in the field and not need the Past Champions Provisional.(1-31-2007)
    See my 2007 Past Champions Provisional Page for more.(2-8-2007)


  • COT Statistics: As the Nextel Cup Series prepares for its fifth Car of Tomorrow event – this week at Darlington Raceway – numbers truly tell the tale of its impact. All four events to date have featured margins of victory less than one second; the first two, at Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, literally went down to the wire. But other statistics, specifically those pertaining to qualifying for series events, also illustrate the car’s positive effects. In examining the first four events at Bristol, Martinsville, Phoenix International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway, respectively, the average speed difference from the Bud Pole winner to the 40th overall qualifier has decreased by an average of almost two-10ths of a second. Comparative first-to-40th qualifying differences from 2006 to 2007 are listed below:
    • Bristol – 2006 (0.566 of a second); 2007 (0.358). Note: the August 2006 qualifying results were used in this comparison, as qualifying for the 2006 spring event was rained out.
    • Martinsville – 2006 (0.551); 2007 (0.410)
    • Phoenix – 2006 (1.024); 2007 (0.768)
    • Richmond – 2006 (0/534); 2007 (0.437)
    (NASCAR PR)(5-9-2007)

  • Four Race Tracks Tony Stewart has never won a Cup race at: There are four current race tracks the Nextel Cup Series runs on that #20-Tony Stewart has not won at [a Nextel Cup race]:
    Las Vegas 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
    California 0 for 12 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
    Darlington 0 for 14 with a best finish of 4th in 2001 & 2002
    Talladega 0 for 17 with a best finish of 2nd [6 times] in 2001,2002,2005,2006
    Stewart has won at 18 of 23 tracks he has raced on, didn't win at Rockingham which is no longer active for Cup racing.(4-29-2007)

  • COT Pts: the top 10 in drivers pts in the four [of 16] COT races:
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 705 (1 win)
    #5-Kyle Busch, 676 (1)
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 655 (2)
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 636
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 563
    #20-Tony Stewart, 546
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 541
    #07-Clint Bowyer, 507
    #99-Carl Edwards, 496
    #29-Kevin Harvick, 495

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

  • 2006 Pole Sitter: #9-Kasey Kahne, 169.013, finished 21st

  • 2006 Race Winner: #16-Greg Biffle, 135.127mph, started 9th

  • 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 Nextel Cup races at Darlington

  • Active Drivers – Most Laps Led at Darlington
    Jeff Gordon – 1,558
    Jeff Burton – 786
    Mark Martin – 755
    Dale Jarrett – 488
    Greg Biffle – 427
    Sterling Marlin – 405
    Jimmie Johnson – 363
    Jeremy Mayfield – 321
    Ward Burton – 313
    Ricky Rudd – 240

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 19 [of 103]

  • 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: 8

  • 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 103 [18.5%]

  • Races won from the top 5: 67 of 103 - 65.1%

  • Races won from the Top 10: 90 of 103 [87.4%]

  • Races won from the Top 15: 98 of 103 [95.2%]

  • Races won from outside the Top 10: 13 of 103 [12.6%]

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

  • Darlington Tidbits:
    • There have been 103 Nextel Cup races at Darlington Raceway since the first race there in 1950 – two in 1952 and two a year from 1960-2004.
    • Curtis Turner won the first Nextel Cup pole at Darlington in 1950.
    • Johnny Mantz won the first Nextel Cup race at Darlington in 1950.
    • Ken Schrader (1987), Kurt Busch (2001) and Elliott Sadler (2003) won their first career pole at Darlington.
    • There have been 43 different Bud Pole winners at Richmond; 23 have won more than one.
    • There have been 42 different drivers who have won races at Richmond; 24 have more than one victory there.
    • The track opened in 1950 as the first paved superspeedway on the Nextel Cup circuit.
    • The track was re-configured from 1.25-mile to 1.375 in 1953.
    • The current 1.366-mile configuration was established in 1970.
    • The race was moved to Saturday night of Mother’s Day weekend in 2005.
    • Junior Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports each have won 11 races at Darlington.
    • Jimmie Johnson has finished on the lead lap in 87.5% of his Darlington races, the best percentage of any active driver with more than one race there.
    • Kasey Kahne has won the last three Bud Poles at Darlington. Qualifying was canceled for the fall race in 2004.
    • Eighteen of the 103 races at Darlington have been won by the pole winner; Dale Jarrett was the last to win from the pole there in the spring of 1997.
    • Seven of the past 12 races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position. Three of the remaining seven races were won from outside the top-30 starting positions.
    • The furthermost back in the field that a Darlington race winner started was 43rd in the inaugural race won by Johnny Mantz.
    • Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge have all posted at least two victories at Darlington since Dodge returned to the series in 2001.
    • Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin have won both a Nextel Cup and a Busch Series race at Darlington. Martin (eight), Burton (four) and Jarrett (two) have multiple NASCAR Busch Series wins there.(NASCAR Statistics)

  • Darlington Active Streaks:
    • Greg Biffle has two consecutive wins at Darlington.
    • Jeff Gordon has three consecutive top-five finishes at Darlington.
    • Jimmie Johnson has finished in the top 10 in five consecutive Darlington races and the top five in four out of the last five Darlington races.
    • Kasey Kahne has two consecutive poles at Darlington and has won the pole in three of the last four Darlington races.
    • Mark Martin has four consecutive top-10 finishes at Darlington.
    • Ryan Newman has started in the top 10 in six consecutive Darlington races.(NASCAR Statistics)


  • 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: Driver's Mother's
    Command to start engines: Driver's Mother's
    Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: ?
    National Anthem: Lisa Hudwon
    Military Flyover: none

  • Track Homepage: darlingtonraceway.com

  • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Darlington Raceway

  • May 2006: Race Info / Rundown Page

  • FanGuide: download the pdf at Darlingtonraceway.com.

  • National Anthem at Darlington: Multi-platinum MCA recording artist and South Carolina native Josh Turner will perform the national anthem for the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway. Turner is best known for his big, deep baritone singing voice. Turner's recent accomplishments and accolades include back-to back multi-week number one hits on country radio with the singles "Would You Go With Me" and "Your Man." His current single "Me & God", a duet with music legend Dr. Ralph Stanley and members of Diamond Rio, was recently a #1 song in the Christian format and received an Academy of Country Music nomination for Vocal Event of the Tear.(Darlington Raceway PR)(5-9-2007)

  • Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington sold out: Reserved grandstand seats for the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500, the 106th Nextel Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway, are sold out, track officials announced today. It is the third consecutive sellout since the race moved to Mother's Day weekend in May 2005. A very geographically diverse group of fans will watch the action at the track "Too Tough To Tame" on Saturday evening, May 12. Race tickets have been sold in 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. International guests are traveling from Australia, Bermuda, England, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom. "We are thrilled at the continuing excitement surrounding Darlington's Mother's Day weekend race date," said Raceway president Chris Browning. "The fans' enthusiasm and support has been truly overwhelming. The Car of Tomorrow will face its toughest test so far, the USAC Series is returning after more than 50 years, and our guests will see the final race run at Darlington before we begin our repaving project this summer. It's shaping up to be quite an eventful and historic weekend." Scheduled start time for the Dodge Avenger 500 is 7:30pm/et on Saturday evening, May 12. Infield admission tickets are still available for purchase. Tickets for the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday evening, May 11, are also available. Tickets for all events on Thursday and Friday, as well as infield admission tickets for Saturday, are still available. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(5-7-2007)

  • Race weekend at Darlington has expanded its borders to become nearly a full week of activity, offering fans plenty of entertainment options when there is no action on the track. The week's highlights include the following:
    What: The Budweiser Clydesdales
    When: Tuesday through Saturday, May 8-12
    Where: Darlington Raceway, at the intersection of Hwy 151 and Racetrack Road (behind Turn 2)
    Info: Two legendary brands of horsepower will join forces on Mother's Day weekend as the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, temporarily make their home in Darlington as part of Dodge Avenger 500 race week activities. The "Gentle Giants," as they are often called, will participate in the race festivities on Saturday, May 13 by making a pre-race parade lap around the track "Too Tough To Tame." The Clydesdales will be stabled at the track beginning Tuesday, May 8, and the public is welcome to stop by for a visit.
    Admission: Free

    What: A Taste of Darlington
    When: Tuesday, May 8, 7-9 p.m.
    Where: The Wachovia Hospitality Village, located at Darlington Raceway
    Info: This open-house style event, sponsored by the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association, showcases the best of local cuisine. Highlights include grilling stations, dessert tables and over 100 varieties of hors d'oeurves.
    Admission: $30 per person, which includes all you can eat and an open bar. Tickets are available at the gate. Guests must be 21 or older.

    What: Darlington Car Hauler Parade
    When: Wednesday, May 9. Gates open at 4 p.m.
    Where: Florence Civic Center, located at the intersection of I-20 and I-95.
    Info: You've seen the cars travel around the track; now you can see how they travel around the country. In addition to the opportunity to see the haulers and meet the hauler drivers, Paradefest events include a kids' zone; food vendors; live entertainment; a silent charity auction; and the Budweiser Clydesdales. At 8:30 p.m., the haulers will leave the Civic Center and travel through downtown Florence on their way to Darlington. NASCAR VP of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter is the grand marshal for this year's parade.
    Admission: Free

    What: Racefest on the Square
    When: Wednesday, May 9. Activities begin at 6:30 p.m.
    Where: The Public Square in downtown Darlington.
    Info: After leaving the Florence Civic Center, the Car Hauler Parade will conclude in downtown Darlington with a street party-style race festival. Activities include live entertainment from the award-winning Coastline band, featuring Jim Quick; a car show; food, beverage and merchandise vendors; and a fireworks display sponsored by the Nucor Steel Corporation.
    Admission: Free
    Of special note: The post-race fireworks display at Darlington Raceway immediately following the Dodge Avenger 500 is also sponsored by Nucor. Nucor's bar mill opened in Darlington in 1969. The first of several regional bar mills, it became the prototype for today's vast mini-mill industry and launched Nuclear Corp. into a wide range of steel businesses.(5-4-2007)

  • Track Repaving, New Tunnel Top List of Projects at Darlington: Track officials announced that the Board of Directors of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) has approved more than $10 million in funding for capital projects at Darlington Raceway. Total estimated spending for the projects represents the largest one-time capital investment in the 58-year history of the storied facility. Scheduled projects include repaving of the racing surface and aprons, and the addition of concrete pit stalls. A new infield access tunnel, large enough to accommodate race car haulers as well as motorcoaches, will be constructed at the west end of the track. Projects also include suite renovations and the creation of additional fan parking areas. The track solicited input on the upcoming repaving project from several current drivers, along with team owners and engineers and representatives from NASCAR and the Goodyear Tire Company. Work will begin in the summer of 2007, following the Dodge Avenger 500 weekend May 10-12. On Saturday, May 12, Darlington will host Cup Series racing for the 58th consecutive season. The Dodge Avenger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety. Tickets for all events are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(4-5-2007)

  • Latest on Darlington repaving: Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning hopes to begin resurfacing NASCAR's oldest superspeedway shortly after the Mother's Day event in May. Although many drivers say resurfacing the track is a mistake, Browning said he has no choice. "It is beyond repair," he said.(ESPN.com)(3-31-2007)

  • Darlington could be repaved for 2008: Subject to approval of its board of directors, Darlington Raceway could join the growing list of speedways with new surfaces this year. Darlington President Chris Browning said officials at the raceway consulted with drivers and representatives of Goodyear during tire tests with the Car of Tomorrow at Darlington earlier this week. They wanted to get a feel for differences between the handling of the COT and the current car and how that might affect resurfacing of the track. Board approval could come as early as a month from now, Browning said. The year between the May 12 Nextel Cup race at Darlington and the 2008 event would provide ample time to complete the resurfacing.(source: Akron Beacon Journal)(3-17-2007)

  • Darlington Raceway receives SC Governor's Cup Award: Darlington Raceway has been awarded the state of South Carolina's prestigious 2007 Governor's Cup Award. The announcement was made on February 6th during the 42nd annual Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel, the state's largest annual gathering of tourism industry leaders. The 2007 conference was held in Spartanburg, SC. The Governor's Cup Award is presented annually by SCPRT to an outstanding organization that has demonstrated a significant tourism-related impact on the state and local community, and which has markedly improved the quality of life for South After being nominated by the Darlington County Tourism office, the track was required to complete and submit a comprehensive project summary which included the following categories: Overview; Impact/Results; Community Service; Innovation; Creativity; and Unique Character. For more information on the Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel, visit www.scgovcon.com. For more information on upcoming events at Darlington Raceway, including the Dodge Avenger 500 weekend, May 11-12, call toll-free at 866.459.RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-17-2007)

  • Rock n' Roll and Racing at Darlington: Since 1950, race fans have annually flocked to South Carolina to experience the legendary 500-mile thrill ride known as Darlington Raceway. Soon, visitors will be able to get a similar adrenaline rush year-round thanks to the construction of the world's first rock and roll theme park in nearby Myrtle Beach. The Hard Rock Park is scheduled to open in the spring of 2008. Darlington Raceway and Hard Rock Park will work together to promote the Park during the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 weekend, May 11-12, and to promote the Raceway at the HRP visitor's preview center, which will welcome guests at its grand opening on April 18th. For more information on the Hard Rock Park, visit www.hrpsua.com. The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 weekend will include practice and qualifying for the Nextel Cup and Busch Series on Friday, May 11, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 NASCAR Busch Series race under the lights that evening. Denny Hamlin is the defending champion. On Saturday, May 12, Darlington will host Cup Series racing for the 58th consecutive season as Greg Biffle attempts to join the short list of drivers to win three events in a row at NASCAR's most historic venue. The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety. Tickets for all events are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-11-2007)

  • Open Wheelers at Darlington? Officials with the U.S. Auto Club [USAC] and Darlington Speedway's parent company, International Speedway Corp., are in discussions that could bring a USAC Silver Crown event to the 1.366-mile oval next year. "We've just had discussions, and that's as far as it's gone. We haven't talked about scheduling or anything yet," USAC president Rollie Helmling said from his Indian-apolis office. "But if the opportunity were to present itself and the fans at Darlington Raceway would like to see some open-wheel racing, we'd be honored to be there." The first step is a test, likely sometime this fall, to ensure the circuit's upright cars and Hoosier tires are compatible with Darlington's notoriously abrasive track surface. Then it's a matter of finding a place on Darlington's schedule, likely on the same Mother's Day weekend the Nextel Cup cars are scheduled to compete. "I think that's what they're talking about trying to do, tie it in to the Cup weekend," said Darlington president Chris Browning. "I wasn't really involved in the initial meetings, but I think that's what their wishes would be, and I think that would be the best way to tie it in given the fact that we've already got a large number of people here." One hitch: Darlington's Friday schedule is already packed, with qualifying and practice sessions for both Busch and Nextel Cup, and a Busch race that night. That could force the track to look at holding an event on Thursday night, Browning said. The Nextel Cup cars race on Saturday night.(Charleston Post and Courier)(10-3-2006)

  • No major changes at Darlington: After wrangling around $10 million out of parent company International Speedway Corp. for a lighting system and a new grandstand, Darlington Raceway was allotted money only for moderate improvements at an ISC board meeting last week. According to track president Chris Browning, Daytona Beach-based ISC approved a little less than $1 million for the Pee Dee facility to add a second television broadcast booth, expand the television compound, and buy some safety equipment. "It's still a substantial investment. But it's not the things we were hoping to get this time around," Browning said Monday. "But we did pretty well last year, so we'll just keep moving forward." Last year, Darlington was awarded $6 million by ISC to build the Brasington Tower, the track's new 6,225-seat grandstand in Turn 1. That came two years after ISC spent $4 million to install a lighting system at NASCAR's oldest major speedway. This year, Browning's wish list included new restrooms for two grandstands and the camping area, a place for motorcycle parking, and other cosmetic improvements. "It was disappointing, I'm not going to lie to you. But at the same time, and everybody here knows this, there are 11 racetracks competing for a certain piece of the pie. And last year, $6 million was a pretty big piece," Browning said. Browning said ticket sales for the track's 2007 event are 1,000 ahead of this time last year, and that renewal rates are also up. Darlington's last Nextel Cup event, held on the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, sold out two weeks early and helped ISC turn a $30.7 million second-quarter profit.
    Darlington didn't submit a request to revamp its aging garage stalls, partly because Browning was advised to get a firmer estimate of such a high-dollar project. And looming within the next two to three years is a repaving of Darlington's 1.366-mile racing surface, an estimated $5 million undertaking that Browning believes might have led ISC to put other things on hold. Darlington's next chance at securing improvement funds could come at an ISC meeting in April, if the parent company hears capital improvement requests at that time. If not, Browning will have to wait until next September.(Charleston Post and Courier)(9-27-2006)

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


  • Career Start #450 for Jeff Burton this weekend: #31-Jeff Burton is set to reach another career milestone when he takes the green flag at Saturday’s Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 450th start in NASCAR’s premier series. “It’s fitting that my 450th career start will take place at Darlington. It’s one of my favorite race tracks on the circuit,” said Burton. “What makes Darlington so special is the history that surrounds the track and how entrenched it is in our sport. It’s always an honor to race at Darlington and I’m looking forward to my 450th start at the track.” (RCR PR)(5-8-2007)

  • See the 2007 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #00-David Reutimann Domino's Pizza #00 Schemes Page
    #7-Robby Gordon Mapei #7 Schemes Page
    #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Express #11 Schemes Page
    #13-Joe Nemechek Haier America #13 Schemes Page
    #21-Ken Schrader Motorcraft #21 Schemes Page
    #45-Kyle Petty American Spirit Oil #45 Schemes Page

  • New sponsor for Nemechek at Darlington IMAGE: Three weeks after chairman Brian France led a NASCAR delegation to China to explore business and racing initiatives in the country, the Nextel Cup Series will have a Chinese-owned sponsor in Saturday's race. Haier America, a division of home-appliance maker Haier Group, will be on the hood of Ginn Racing's #13 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek.(USA Today)
    AND Haier America (pronounced Hi-er), a division of the Chinese-owned Haier Group, has joined the Ginn Racing team of sponsors. A leading manufacturer of home appliances and consumer electronics, Haier will sponsor Joe Nemechek's Ginn Racing entry in Saturday night's Nextel Cup race in Darlington S.C. The Haier Group, ranked by Forbes magazine as the most reputable company in China and 25th overall in the world, was founded in 1984 in Qingdao, China. The company's products are manufactured in 16 countries, including the United States. Haier's U.S. manufacturing plant is located in Camden, S.C., approximately 30 miles from Darlington Raceway. For more info on Haier America go to haieramerica.com.(Ginn Racing PR), see an image of the car on my #13 Team Schemes page.(5-9-2007)

  • 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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