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Event Schedule

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Wednesday May 7th
7:30 pm Darlington Car Hauler Parade, Florence Civic Center



Thursday May 8th
3:00pm Grandstand Gates Open

3:00pm NNS Practice

4:30pm Sprint Cup Series Practice

5:40pm NNS Practice

7:00pm Sprint Cup Series Practice

8:10pm NNS Final Practice



Friday May 9th
12:00pm Grandstand Gates Open

12:00pm Sprint Cup Series Practice

2:00pm Sprint Cup Series Final Practice

3:10pm NNS Qualifying (Two Laps)

5:15pm Sprint Cup Series Qualifying (Two Laps)

7:00pm Driver Introductions for Diamond Hill Plywood 200

7:30pm Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Nationwide Series Race (147 Laps, 200.8 Miles)



Saturday May 10th
2:00pm Grandstand Gates Open

6:50pm Driver Introductions for Dodge Challenger 500

7:20pm Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race (367 Laps, 501.3 Miles)


key
NSCS = Sprint Cup Series
NNS = Nationwide Series
NCTS = Craftsman Truck Series
SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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(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)




SPRINT CUP RACE INFO and RUNDOWN
NEWS, STATS, RESULTS, LINKS and INFO

the Jayski site is owned and served by:



THE RACE: Dodge Challenger 500

Sprint Cup Race #11 of 36 for the 2008 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 | Camping | Rundown of Race/Lucky Dogs/Results
Entry/Practice/Qualifying | Track/Race Records | Track/Race Info
Driver/Team News | Paint Schemes | Odds


  • Race: Saturday, May 10, 2008 in Darlington, SC

  • Title Sponsor: Dodge

  • Track: Darlington Raceway

  • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 7:20pm/et


Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

  • FOX 7:00pm/et

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

  • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
    Thursday, May 15 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED and
    Thursday, May 15 at 5:30pm/et on HD Net (High Def)

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


Radio Coverage/Shows/ Team


Purse/Race Awards

    2008: $5,618,601
    2007: $5,507,009
    2006: $5,410,760
    2005: $5,338,043
    2004: $5,219,075
    2003: $4,695,345


Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practices:
    Thursday, May 8, 4:30 - 5:30pm/et, TV-none;
    Thursday, May 8, 7:00 - 8:00pm/et, TV-none;
    Friday, May 9, 12:00 - 1:30pm/et, TV-SPEED

  • Happy Hour Practice: Friday, May 9, 2:00 - 3:00pm/et on TV-SPEED


Qualifying Information/Times/TV

  • Qualifying Draw [ping pong balls]: Thursday, May 8, 3:30pm/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42 [if no past champ prov used, then 43rd goes next fastest non top-35 driver], Friday, May 9 at 5:15pm/et, TV-SPEED, re-air at 1:00am/et;
    AND live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio.


RACE RUNDOWN
news and links

  • Busch Wins at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2008 and his 7th career win. He dominated the later stages of the race and led 169 laps on the night. #99-Carl Edwards was second, with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Jeff Gordon, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #6-David Ragan, #17-Matt Kenseth, #11-Denny Hamlin, #28-Travis Kvapil, #22-Dave Blaney, and #10-Jeff Burton (who continues his streak of finishing every lap this season). Pole sitter #16-Greg Biffle broke a transmission midway through the race and finished 43rd. There were 8 cautions for 31 laps and 15 leaders with 35 lead changes.
    Darlington Race Results Awards Page.(5-10-2008)

  • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Darlington race 11 of 36]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 1690 [3 wins]
    2) #31-Jeff Burton 1611 -79 [1 win]
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1556
    4) #11-Denny Hamlin 1500 -190 [1 win]
    5) #07-Clint Bowyer 1490 -200 [1 win]
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1442 -248 [1 win]
    7) #99-Carl Edwards 1400 -290 [would be 4th without 100 pt penalty] [3 wins]
    8) #20-Tony Stewart 1397 -293
    9) #29-Kevin Harvick 1396 -294
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon 1326 -364
    11) #16-Greg Biffle 1308 -382
    12) #6-David Ragan 1266 -424
    other chase contenders
    13) #12-Ryan Newman 1264 -426 [1 win]
    14) #9-Kasey Kahne 1264 -426
    15) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 1230 -460
    16) #42-Juan Montoya 1190 -500
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington page.(5-10-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Lowe's:
    one change in the top 35 as Hornish falls out and Blaney jumps in. The points between 35th and 36th is now 18
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    30) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing 878 +72
    31) #44-Reutimann/Waltrip Racing 873 +67
    32) #41-Sorenson/Ganassi Racing 872 +66
    33) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing 851 +45
    34) #01-Smith/Dale Earnhardt Inc 835 +29
    35) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis 824, 18 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
    36) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing 806 -18 points out of 35th
    37) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing 730 -94
    38) #40-Franchitti/Ganassi Racing 690 -134
    39) #70-Sauter/Haas CNC Racing 679 -145
    40) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing 654 -170
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(5-10-2008)

  • Darlington International Raceay Penalty Report:
    Car #, Reason, Penalty, Lap Issued
    1 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 2
    2 #12 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 64
    3 #20 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 141
    4 #18 Lug nut(s) not installed MCI 141
    5 #66 Lug nut(s) not installed MCI 141
    6 #40 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 142
    7 #10 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 201
    8 #55 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 250
    9 #77 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 278
    10 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 281
    11 #05 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 281
    12 #43 Removing equipment from assigned pit area SG 303
    PT – Pass through
    TE – Tail end of the longest line
    SG – Stop and Go
    OL – One lap
    ND – NASCAR discretion
    MCI – Must come into pits(NASCAR Statistics)(5-10-2008)

  • Darlington International Raceway Fast Facts
    .. Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500, his ninth victory in 125 Sprint Cup Series races.
    .. This is his third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2008.
    .. This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in four races at Darlington Raceway.
    .. Busch became the 43rd different race winner at Darlington and at 23 years, eight days – the youngest. He beat Terry Labonte (9/1/1980) by nine months and eight days.
    .. Carl Edwards (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish of 2008 and his fourth in five races at Darlington.
    .. Jeff Gordon (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 2008, tying his season best set at California. It is his 19th top-10 in 28 races at Darlington.
    .. Michael McDowell (28th) was the highest finishing rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-10-2008)

  • Who got a lap back on each caution at Darlington: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: no cars a lap down
    Caution 2: #45-Petty, 41st
    Caution 3: #07-Bowyer, 15th
    Caution 4: #15-Menard, 36th
    Caution 5: #43-Labonte, 18th
    Caution 6: #07-Bowyer [2], 15th
    Caution 7: #9-Kahne, 22nd
    Caution 8: #38-Gilliland, 20th
    (5-10-2008)

  • To The Back [2]: #7-Gordon [backup car], #9-Kahne [backup car]
  • Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order Page
  • 2009 Shootout Lineup/All-Times Poles
  • Entry List Page

  • Race Coverage of the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, May 10, 2008.
    TV: Fox in Hi-Def at 7:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio
    ESPN.com: on the ESPN.com NASCAR page - Racecast and Chat.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Thursday, May 15 at 12:00pm/et and;
    HDNET, Thursday, May 15 at 5:30pm/et


NEWS, PRACTICE, QUALIFYING and RESULTS
news and links

  • Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway Pit Stall Selections

  • Biffle on pole at Darlington: #16-Greg Biffle won the Coors Light Pole for the Dodge Challenger 500, Biffles 1st pole of 2008, first since Atlanta last Oct and 5th of his career. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson [in a backup car], #20-Stewart, #2-Busch, #18-Busch, #19-Sadler, #24-Gordon, #66-Riggs and #43-Labonte. Missing the race were two drivers; #70-Sauter and #34-Jeff Green. See qualifying results, pole progression, starting lineup on my Darlington Lineup/Qualifying Page.(5-9-2008)

  • Darlington Raceway Qualifying Fast Facts:
    .. Greg Biffle won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Dodge Challenger 500 with a lap of 27.405 seconds, 179.442 mph.
    .. Biffle broke Ward Burton’s track qualifying record of 28.295 seconds, 173.797 mph – set March 22, 1996, in the first qualifying session after the last re-paving of Darlington raceway. Burton’s was the longest standing qualifying record at an active, non-restrictor-plate track. The top-41 times bettered Burton’s speed.
    .. This is his fifth pole in 197 career NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
    .. This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2008.
    .. This is Biffle’s first pole and sixth top-10 start in eight races at Darlington Raceway.
    .. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2008 and his fourth in 14 Darlington races.
    .. Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his sixth top-10 start in 10 races at Darlington. This is his 11th top-10 start of the 2008 season.
    .. Dave Blaney (13th) was the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time.
    .. Regan Smith (16th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(5-9-2008)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Friday, May 9, 2008 at 5:15pm/et.
    TV: SPEED - 5:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Jayski.com: Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: 1:00am/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session on Friday, May 9. 2008 at 5:15pm/et, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #15-Menard, the final top-35 driver scedhuled is #9-Kahne. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #21-Elliott, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #84-Allmendinger. See the full qualifying order on my Darlington Qualifying Page.(5-8-2008)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the top five:
    #11-Hamlin 179.651
    #18-Busch 179.174
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 179.141
    #9-Kahne 178.731
    #24-Gordon 178.510
    slowest: #70-Sauter 171.065 & #07-Bowyer 172.125
    no speed listed: #84-Allmendinger
    most laps run: #6-Ragan 25
    note: the track qualifying record is held by Ward Burton, in March 1996 [after the track was repaved the last time] 173.797mph
    incidents: got another one in the wall as #41-Sorenson slapped the turn 2 wall and crushed the right front of the car and will have to go to a backup car for qualifying this afternoon, the 4th driver to a backup; late in the session, #48-Johnson spun off turn 4, held it off the outside wall, and kissed the inside wall, doing some damage to the left front and the splitter...this is a backup car already, but it is repairable. Then just after the track went green again, #15-Menard came off turn 4, scraped the wall, then came down and slapped the inside wall, the #15 will go to a backup; then in turn 2, #7-Gordon scraped the wall, but the car looks repairable.
    See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-9-2008)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers [go-or-go-homers] run in Happy Hour practice at Darlington
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #40-Sterling Marlin, 12th
    #22-Dave Blaney, 20th
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 23rd
    #45-Kyle Petty, 26th
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 29th
    #96-J.J. Yeley, 33rd
    #21-Bill Elliott, [has past champ provisional to use if needed], 38th
    #34-Jeff Green, 39th
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 44th
    #84-AJ Allmendinger, no speed, didn't practice
    See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-9-2008)

  • The Third practice for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the the top five:
    #5-Mears 177.300
    #1-Truex Jr. 176.759
    #7-Gordon 176.746
    #24-Gordon 175.817
    #48-Johnson 175.509 [before crash]
    slowest: #21-Elliott 170.614 & #96-Yeley 170.946
    most laps run: #9-Kahne 62
    Jeff Green, not John Andretti is driving the #34-Chevy
    incidents: dozens of cars have the famed Darlington strip, #6-Ragan slapped the wall and slmost spun but saved it; #45-Petty spun off turn 4 and did some damage to ther right rear and wing endcap; #11-Hamlin slapped the wall just after running a fast lap; #48-Johnson slammed the wall hard and is going to a backup car; #18-Busch lept up to speed after Johnson wrecked and was admonished by NASCAR; #07-Bowyer crashed late, but the team is making repairs
    NASCAR.com's leaderboard is now back up to speed and running on time.
    See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-9-2008)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers [go-or-go-homers] run in the 3rd practice at Darlington
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 15th
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 17th
    #40-Sterling Marlin, 20th
    #84-AJ Allmendinger, 25th
    #22-Dave Blaney, 27th
    #34-Jeff Green, 36th
    #45-Kyle Petty, 38th
    #21-Bill Elliott, [would use past champ provisional], 45th
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 43rd
    #96-J.J. Yeley, 44th
    See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-9-2008)

  • The Second practice for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the the top five were:
    #84-Allmendinger 178.679
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 178.640
    #22-Blaney 178.620
    #18-Busch 177.249
    #16-Biffle 176.676
    slowest: #17-Kenseth 171.441 and #10-Carpentier 172.457
    most laps run: #18-Busch 42; #9-Kahne, 41
    note: the track qualifying record is held by Ward Burton, in March 1996 [after the track was repaved the last time] 173.797mph
    See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-8-2008)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers [go-or-go-homers] run in the 2nd practice at Darlington
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #84-AJ Allmendinger, 1st
    #22-Dave Blaney, 2nd
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 6th
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 7th
    #40-Sterling Marlin, 8th
    #96-J.J. Yeley, 19th
    #34-John Andretti, 23rd
    #21-Bill Elliott, [would use past champ provisional] 43rd
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #45-Kyle Petty, 37th
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 44th
    See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-8-2008)

  • First practice for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the top five were:
    #18-Busch 175.522 [would be new track record by over 1.5 mph]
    #11-Hamlin 174.885
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 174.780
    #28-Kvapil 174.724
    #20-Stewart 174.519
    slowest: #99-Edwards 169.263 and #45-Petty 170.744
    most laps run: #84-Allmendinger 41; #00-McDowell 38
    #45-Petty only ran 7 laps
    note: the track qualifying record is held by Ward Burton, in March 1996 [after the track was repaved the last time] 173.797mph
    See all the speeds on my Dartlington
  • Practice Speeds Page.(5-8-2008)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers [go-or-go-homers] practice at Darlington
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 7th
    #22-Dave Blaney, 8th
    #84-AJ Allmendinger, 10th
    #40-Sterling Marlin, 20th
    #96-J.J. Yeley, 25th
    #34-John Andretti, 34th
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 38th
    #21-Bill Elliott, [would use past champ provisional] 42nd
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 41st
    #45-Kyle Petty, 44th
    See all the speeds on my Dartlington
  • Practice Speeds Page.(5-8-2008)

  • Darlington Practice TODAY: there are two scheuduled [there is rain in the area] one-hour practice sessions on Thursday, May 8th for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway. The first one is scheduled for 4:30pm and the second session at 7:00pm/et. Neither is scheduled to be televised. Will post speeds here when I get them.(5-8-2008) Comment here

  • Entry List for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of 2008 owners points (2008 race attempts/owners pts standings in parens):
    #10-Patrick Carpentier (10/43)
    #21-Bill Elliott [Past Champ] (10/44)
    #22-Dave Blaney (10/36)
    #34-John Andretti (10/45)
    #40-Sterling Marlin (10/39)
    #45-Kyle Petty (10/41)
    #70-Ken Schrader (10/37)
    #78-Joe Nemechek (10/42)
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger (10/40)
    #96-J.J. Yeley (10/38)
    In the event qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,22,70,96,40,84,45,78
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 10,34
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Darlington Entry List
    (5-5-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Darlington
    no changes in who is in or out, the order got changed a bit and the points between 35th and 36th is now 71
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    32) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing 799 +113
    33) #44-Reutimann/Waltrip Racing 767 +81
    31) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing 760 +74
    34) #01-Smith/Dale Earnhardt Inc 759 +73
    35) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing 757, 71 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
    36) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis 686 -71 points out of 35th
    37) #70-Sauter/Haas CNC Racing 648 -109
    38) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing 640 -117
    39) #40-Franchitti/Ganassi Racing 629 -128
    40) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing 572 -185
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(5-3-2008)

  • 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 Sprint 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)

  • Go or Go Home Drivers to Qualify Together: NASCAR announced in January that starting with the Cup race at California, teams outside the top 35 in owners points will be allowed to qualify together at the end of the qualifying session. The Nationwide and Truck Series used this procedure at Daytona. Sprint Cup didn't use the new procedure at Daytona due to the unique/somewhat complicated qualifying session/races there. The thought is that nobody would have an advantage in track conditions.(2-19-2008)

  • Qualifying Rules/Notes/News page

  • Jayski's - 2008 Sprint 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 Sprint 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 Sprint 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 Sprint 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 Sprint 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]

  • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Cup: NASCAR announced an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Sprint 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 2008 Past Champions Provisional Page for more.(2-8-2008)


RACE RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS

  • Four Race Tracks Tony Stewart has never won a Cup race at: There are four current race tracks the Cup Series runs on that #20-Tony Stewart has not won at [a Cup race]:
    California 0 for 14 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
    Las Vegas 0 for 10 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
    Talladega 0 for 19 with a best finish of 2nd [6 times] in 2001,2002,2005,2006
    Darlington 0 for 15 with a best finish of 4th in 2001 & 2002
    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.(4-27-2008)

  • 2007 Pole Sitter: #07-Clint Bowyer, 164.897, finished 9th

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

  • 2007 Race Winner: #24-Jeff Gordon, 124.383mph, started 10th

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

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

  • Most Wins - Active Driver: Jeff Gordon, 7

  • 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, 12

  • 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: 37, Chevy

  • 44 drivers have posted poles at Darlington

  • A total of 42 drivers have won 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 104]

  • 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: 6

  • 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 104 [18.3%]

  • Races won from the top 5: 67 of 104 - 64.4%

  • Races won from the Top 10: 91 of 104 [87.5%]

  • Races won from the Top 15: 99 of 104 [95.2%]

  • Races won from outside the Top 10: 13 of 104 [12.5%]

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

  • At Darlington Raceway:
    • Built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-50, Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 4, 1950.
    • The track was re-measured to 1.375-mile in 1953.
    • The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
    • The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington was held on April 3, 1982.
    • The track was repaved in 1995.
    • The first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Darlington was held on May 12, 2001. • The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
    • The track was repaved again starting last year.
    • There have been 104 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway since the track opened in 1950.
    • There was one race per year in 1950, 1951, between 1953 and 1959 and again every year since 2005. Darlington held two races a season in all other years.
    • Curtis Turner won the first pole at Darlington Raceway in 1950.
    • Johnny Mantz won the first race at Darlington, in 1950.
    • 44 drivers have posted poles at Darlington; 23 drivers have won more than one.
    • David Pearson leads all drivers with 12 poles at Darlington.
    • Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne and Ken Schrader lead all active drivers with three poles each.
    • 42 drivers have won races at Darlington; 22 drivers have won more than once there.
    • David Pearson leads all drivers with 10 victories followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine.
    • Jeff Gordon is third overall and leads all active drivers with seven victories.
    • Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 races at Darlington, more than any other organization. He broke a tie with Junior Johnson when Jeff Gordon won there last fall
    • 18 races at Darlington have been won from the pole, the most productive starting position.
    • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington was 43rd in the track’s inaugural race in 1950 by Johnny Mantz. That race had a 75-car field.
    • Not only is Darlington the site of the oldest NASCAR race on asphalt, it is also the site of one of the closest race finishes in NASCAR history. Ricky Craven edged Kurt Busch by 0.002 seconds on March 16, 2003 – the smallest margin of victory since NASCAR instituted electronic timing in mid-1993.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-6-2008)


SCHEDULED PAINT SCHEMES

    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #00-Michael McDowell Max Helton/Love You Mom" #00 Team Schemes Page
    #6-David Ragan AAA Insurance #6 Team Schemes Page
    #7-Robby Gordon Jim Beam #7 Team Schemes Page
    #10-Patrick Carpentier Lifelock #10 Team Schemes Page
    #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground #11 Team Schemes Page
    #17-Matt Kenseth DeWalt NANO #17 Team Schemes Page
    #18-Kyle Busch Indiana Jones M&M's #18 Team Schemes Page
    #19-Elliott Sadler McDonalds #19 Team Schemes Page
    #21-Bill Elliott Motorcraft 1971 Mercury Retro #21 Team Schemes Page
    #28-Travis Kvapil Lafayette Ford Ford #28 Team Schemes Page
    #40-Sterling Marlin Dodge Challenger #40 Team Schemes Page
    #42-Juan Pablo Montoya Wrigley's Big Red Gum #42 Team Schemes Page
    #45-Kyle Petty Marathon American Spirit Oil #45 Team Schemes Page
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mountain Dew Retro #88 Team Schemes Page
    #99-Cale Edwards Claritin #99 Team Schemes Page


  • Big Red back on the #42: Wrigley's Big Red brand will once again adorn the hood of the #42 Dodge Charger that Juan Pablo Montoya will pilot at Darlington Raceway this weekend. This will be the third race for the Big Red paint scheme this season.(CGRFS) see images of the scheme on my #42 Team Schemes page.(5-7-2008)

  • Jack is back on the #07: After a three-race hiatus, Clint Bowyer's #07 Chevy returns to its traditional black and white Jack Daniel's paint scheme this weekend at Darlington. Jack Daniel's will be the primary sponsor on RCR's #07 entry for the remainder of the 2008 schedule with the exception of Dover in June and Watkins Glen in August when DIRECTV will assume the primary sponsorship position.(RCR)(5-7-2008)

  • Waltrip Honors Friend, McDowell Pays Special Tribute to Mother: For Brain Cancer Awareness week May 4-10, Michael Waltrip designed a special paint scheme for the #00 Toyota Camry to honor his dearly departed friend Max Helton who was instrumental in establishing Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) in 1988. "Max was a really special person in my life," Waltrip said. "I cherished the time I spent with him and the positive influence he had on me. We will miss him, but we will never forget him." Helton's vision came to life with the help of Darrell and Stevie Waltrip and so many others. Michael befriended Helton in the late 80's as he began work in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing community providing ministries for drivers, team members, family and friends. "I don't believe our racing family would have the continuity and the family atmosphere it has if it wasn't for Max and MRO," Darrell Waltrip said. "Max came to my wife Stevie and me in Riverside, California in 1987 and said he wanted to start a ministry in NASCAR. He said he was willing to move to North Carolina. We were excited because he was an ordained minister. When he came to NASCAR, people immediately fell in love with him. I am so proud of Michael Waltrip and Michael McDowell for recognizing his accomplishments. Max meant a lot to everyone in this sport." This weekend is also Mother's Day and Michael Waltrip wanted to also pay tribute to mothers with a "Love You Mom" decal on the back of the #00 Toyota Camry. "We put a special note on McDowell's car to all the mothers watching the race on Saturday," Waltrip said. "Our mom is an important part of our lives. I love the fact that we are racing on Saturday, so that we can spend Mother's Day with her at home on Sunday." McDowell was a huge supporter of the idea because he wanted to show admiration for his mom that he lost to pancreatic cancer at age 45 when he was only 21. "I wanted to pay tribute to my mom," McDowell said. "In addition to MW's 'Love You Mom' decal, I'm also running one I designed to honor my mom. She had such a positive impact on my life. Everybody that knew her loved her. She was just a happy person. I miss seeing her smiling face, but I know she's with me every day. My wife Jami and I want to wish all the mother's a Happy Mother's Day."(MWR)(5-7-2008) Comment here

  • Wood Brothers Racing Brings Back Mercury Paint Scheme: Wood Brothers Racing will be placing its 1971 Mercury paint scheme on the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion in Darlington this weekend for the Dodge Challenger 500 on Saturday night, May 10th. Bill Elliott will drive the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion with the vintage paint scheme. The candy apple red and white COT with the signature gold numbers will commemorate a time in Wood Brother's racing history when David Pearson drove the #21 to five wins and eight pole starting positions at Darlington Raceway. The #21 Purolator Mercury moved back into the racing scene when Leonard Wood recently restored the race car that was housed in the Darlington Raceway Museum for over 30 years. David Pearson and Carl Edwards brought modern and classic race cars together again in a media event for the newly surfaced raceway in April. Pearson made laps in the original Mercury as Carl Edwards followed in the new COT style race car. Leonard Wood stood by and buckled Pearson in, as he did as Pearson’s crew chief years ago. Scenes of the special feature will air during the pre-race show NASCAR Raceday on Speed Saturday, May 10th at 5:00pm/et.(Wood Brothers Racing)(5-7-2008) Comment here

  • Indiana Jones Scheme for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch's #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry will sport a special Indiana Jones-themed paint scheme, and Busch will wear a matching fire suit during the Dodge Challenger 500 Sprint Cup race in Darlington, South Carolina, on May 10. The special paint scheme features: Movie title decals on the hood, trunk and TV panel; An image of Indiana Jones with his iconic hat and whip on the left rear panel; and The M&M'S Brand Red, Green and Yellow characters sporting various Indiana Jones-themed outfits. The M&M'S Brand Racing team also plans to feature fun Indiana Jones-themed activities for fans attending the Darlington race, giving them a literal taste of the adventure.(PWR New Media), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-5-2008) Comment here

  • Kvapil gets sponsor for Darlington: Fayetteville’s [NC] Lafayette Ford will sponsor driver #28-Travis Kvapil in the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. Lafayette Ford and the #28 car have a vaunted history. Fred Lorenzen, NASCAR’s “Golden Boy” of the 1960s, scored virtually all of his wins with sponsorship from the dealership while driving for the Holman-Moody team. In 1964, he won five consecutive starts, with the last being the Rebel 300 at Darlington.(Fayetteville Observer)
    AND: Yates Racing announced that LaFayette Ford, who sponsored the #28 with driver Fred Lorenzen from 1962-1967, will again sponsor the #28 entry but this time with driver Travis Kvapil for the Sprint Cup series race at Darlington Raceway on May 10th. Kvapil's #28 will sport a paint scheme reminiscent to that of Fred Lorenzen's during the 60's when LaFayette Ford sponsored Lorenzen's #28 machine. The Darlington 500 will mark the first time LaFayette Ford has served as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series since the dealership was associated with Lorenzen. LaFayette Ford is proud to be Fayetteville, North Carolina's only family-owned and operated Ford dealer. They have been serving the Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, and surrounding areas since 1949.(Yates Racing)(4-30-2008) Comment here

  • LifeLock Sponsoring Carpentier for 8 Races: Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced that LifeLock, the nation’s leading identity theft protection service, will sponsor the #10 Dodge with driver Patrick Carpentier in eight races in the 2008 Sprint Cup Season. LifeLock will sponsor Carpentier at Phoenix on April 12, Talladega on April 27, Richmond on May 3, Darlington on May 10, Charlotte on May 25, Michigan on June 15, Chicagoland on July 12 and Kansas on Sept. 28. Gillett Evernham Motorsports CEO Tom Reddin said the addition of LifeLock to the existing sponsorship lineup at the #10 of Valvoline, Auto Value/All Pro Bumper-to-Bumper, Charter and Cintas mean there are few unsponsored races remaining on the #10 Dodge in 2008.(Gillett Evernham PR)(4-4-2008)

  • Retro Mountain Dew scheme for Dale Jr. UPDATE: hearing that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run a retro #88 Mountain Dew scheme sometime in 2008, supposedly at Darlington in May, see an image on my #88 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2008)
    UPDATE: Fans who attend the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway will not only see some of the most exciting racing of the 2008 season, they will also see a special one-time-only throwback paint scheme on the #88 Mountain Dew AMP Energy/National Guard entry driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. To kick off Mountain Dew's "Old School New School" promotion, Earnhardt will pilot the #88 Mountain Dew AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy with a throwback paint scheme modeled after the 1981-82 entry driven by Darrell Waltrip. "I'm so excited about this paint scheme. To run a paint scheme like the Mountain Dew one is a tribute to the history of the sport and the heritage at Darlington," said Earnhardt. "I can't wait to see how the car looks on the track because it looks awesome on paper." The folks at Mountain Dew think Darlington luck could be in Earnhardt's future, and that's why they've chosen Darlington as the race to launch the Mountain Dew and AMP Energy "Old School New School" promotion that will give consumers the chance to win "Cars, Kicks and More." You can learn more about Mountain Dew "Old School New School" by going to www.oldschoolornew.com.(Darlington Raceway PR)(4-1-2008) Comment here

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


TRACK/RACE NEWS

  • 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 early 2008
    Grandstand Seating: 68,000
    Opened: 1950

    Race Festivities/Officials:
    Grand Marshal: NASCAR Driver's Mothers
    Command to start engines: NASCAR Driver's Mothers
    Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Contest winner's Mother
    Invocation: Harold King, Darlington Raceway Chaplain
    National Anthem: Mercury Recording artist, Julie Roberts
    Military Flyover: three A-10's, 188th Wing, Forth Smith, AR
    for the season race officials by track, see my Race Officials page

  • Track Homepage: darlingtonraceway.com

  • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Darlington Raceway

  • Last Year: see my May Darlington Race Info page

  • 2008 Darlington Raceway FanGuide: download the pdf at Darlingtonraceway.com.


  • No talks, but Darlington president wouldn't be opposed to date change: While the Mother’s Day date has worked for Darlington Raceway, raceway president Chris Browning said he wouldn’t be opposed to moving it back to Labor Day weekend if an opportunity ever came up. The track hosted the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003. The final Southern 500 was run in November of 2004. “We wouldn’t be opposed to it at all,” Browning said. “Nothing in the sport is ever set in stone.” Browning said there haven’t been any talks on the subject, but attendance in California, which got the Labor Day weekend date, has been down since the first year. There were various Internet rumors earlier this year that California might swap its date with Atlanta. And Browning said if California’s date would change, he would like first crack at it. “We would hope (NASCAR) would come talk to us,” he said.(Florence [SC] Morning News)(5-10-2008)

  • Mother's Day tribute at Darlington: The mothers of the Sprint Cup drivers will join their sons during Saturday's prerace festivities at Darlington Raceway. The mothers will be introduced with their sons during driver introductions. They also will give the command for their sons to start their engines and begin the 500-mile race.(Delaware News Journal)(5-8-2008)

  • Tix still available at Darlington; Dilner to grand marshal hauler parade: Economic times are tough and tough times call for a trip to the track "Too Tough to Tame." Race fans looking for ways to spend their economic stimulus payments from the federal government need look no further than the Dodge Challenger 500 race weekend, May 8-10 at Darlington Raceway. Fans who wish to spend some of their stimulus money at Darlington Raceway have plenty of options:
    * Tickets to the Dodge Challenger 500: Ticket prices start as low as $45 and great seats on the frontstretch are still available. Tickets to the mother of all race tracks make a great Mother's Day gift.
    * Tickets to the Diamond Hill Plywood 200: Ticket prices start as low as $30 and get you admission for a full day of on-track activity. Each Friday ticket includes Sprint Cup Series practice, Sprint Cup and Nationwide qualifying and the excitement of Nationwide Series racing under the lights at Darlington - an amazing deal, all for only $30.
    * Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame: Are you an old school NASCAR fan? We have got the answer for you; a trip to the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame. The Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA are located just behind the Colvin grandstands at Darlington Raceway. Fans who tour the museum will be treated to some of the most legendary cars of NASCAR's yesteryear, including the Plymouth Johnny Mantz drove to victory in the first Southern 500 in 1950. Fans can see all of this and much more for only $5.40.
    * Driver Gear: Still trying to get your wardrobe up-to-date with your driver's new colors for 2008? Look no further than the gift shop at Darlington Raceway. The gift shop at Darlington Raceway can help get you outfitted in the latest driver apparel for your favorite driver. Located behind the Colvin grandstand, the Darlington Raceway gift shop carries all of the latest in driver apparel, die-cast and other novelty items to help you show your support for your favorite driver.
    * Darlington Stripe Zone: For fans looking for the ultimate Darlington Raceway experience look no further than the Darlington Stripe Zone. The pre-race Stripe Zone package includes: appearances by current Sprint Cup Series stars Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne, pre-race pit passes, a premium parking pass with each order, pre-race food and beverage, track souvenir, live entertainment, and additional giveaways. This package can be added to any grandstand ticket for the Dodge Challenger 500 for only $140.
    AND SPEED television personality Bob Dillner will serve as Grand Marshal for the fourth annual Darlington Hauler Parade on Wednesday, May 7. Dillner is best known for his work covering NASCAR racing on various SPEED network programs including: NASCAR Victory Lane, NASCAR Live and The SPEED Report. In addition to covering racing, Dillner is also an owner/driver in various forms of Super Late Model racing, the Pro Challenge Series and Legends Car racing with drivers Zach Stroupe and his daughter Meghan. Don't miss your chance to see another incredible finish at Darlington Raceway when the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take on the track "Too Tough to Tame" in the Dodge Challenger 500 on May 10, 2008. The racing action kicks off with the Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on May 9th. Order your tickets now by calling 1-866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway)(5-1-2008)

  • Darlington National Anthem singer announced: South Carolina native and Mercury Recording artist, Julie Roberts, will perform the National Anthem prior to the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway. Roberts, the daughter of an engineer and an accountant, grew up singing country in Lancaster, S.C. Order tickets by calling 1-866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway)(4-16-2008)

  • Have Mom wave the green flag at Darlington: Looking for that perfect Mother's Day gift for your mom? Dodge Boys Racing has got a great suggestion for you! Simply visit www.dodgeboysracing.com and enter the Wave the Green Flag contest. Your mother (and three guests) could win an all-expense-paid travel package to the Dodge Challenger 500 Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway over Mother's Day weekend. Then, on Saturday, May 10, 2008, she could Wave the Green Flag to start the race! Simply fill out the required information-including your 100-words-or-fewer essay on why your mother should be declared the best NASCAR mom-and click on the Submit button. Or, if you're a mom and you want to enter your own name, go right ahead. But you have to hurry. Entries must be received by April 10, 2008. Visit www.dodgeboysracing.com and nominate your mom today to Wave the Green Flag at Darlington. Don't miss your chance to see another incredible finish at Darlington Raceway when the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take on the track "Too Tough to Tame" in the Dodge Challenger 500 on May 10, 2008. The racing action kicks off with the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on May 9th. Order your tickets now by calling 1-866-459-RACE(Darlington Raceway PR)(4-1-2008)

  • 200 mph at Darlington: What a difference a paving makes: 200 miles per hour. That's how fast the Sprint Cup Series cars ran during Goodyear tire tests earlier this week at historic Darlington Raceway. That's not a miss-print. The Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon, the Ford of Greg Biffle and the Dodge of Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman were all clocked unofficially at 200 mph at the end of this old track's smooth, newly re-paved backstretch. Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning almost couldn't believe it himself. "We had some of the telemetry numbers from the teams and I couldn't believe it when they told me they were hitting 200 mph at the end of the backstretch," said Browning. "That's incredible!" Jeff Gordon, a seven-time winner on the tricky, treacherous, 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval, said the track was fast and smooth. "The old humps and bumps are gone," said Gordon. "It's still Darlington. It's just a lot smoother and a lot faster." Order tickts now by calling 1-866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-14-2008)

  • Paving Complete at Darlington: Paving of the racing surface at Darlington Raceway has been completed, track President Chris Browning announced today. "This begins a new chapter in the history books at Darlington Raceway," said Browning. "We are very excited to be finished with the paving so that we can now focus on preparing for the upcoming Dodge Challenger 500 race weekend, May 8-10." Paving at Darlington Raceway began in mid-January, took nearly 15,000 tons of asphalt to complete and replaced a surface that was laid in 1994. Construction crews utilized 4 million reference points around the legendary track to ensure that the transitions in the corners and banking stayed true to the track's original design. The new racing surface was part of a $10 million capital improvement project that also included an infield access tunnel large enough to accommodate car haulers, motor homes and emergency vehicles and the addition of SAFER barrier walls to interior concrete walls on the frontstretch and backstretch. "All of the upgrades that we have completed during this capital improvement project will play a vital role in the future of Darlington Raceway," said Browning. Next up at the track "Too Tough to Tame" is a Goodyear tire test on March 10 and 11. The two-day test session will be the first time race cars have been on the new pavement and will include seven-time Darlington winner, Jeff Gordon, two-time Darlington winner, Greg Biffle and 2008 Daytona 500 champion, Ryan Newman. The test will be closed to the public, but fans can logon to darlingtonraceway.com for updates. Order tickets and Colvin Grill all-you-can-eat package now by calling 1-866-459-RACE(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-5-2008)

  • Burton 1st driver to see new surface at Darlington: Construction crews working to repave Darlington Raceway received a visit from Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton on Wednesday. Burton, driver of the #31 AT&T Mobility Richard Childress Racing entry, spent time talking with the crew working on the project and then went to work himself, driving a milling machine in turn 3. "I have never driven so slow at Darlington," joked Burton after he finished milling the asphalt in turn 3. "A project of this magnitude shows a commitment to Darlington Raceway, and that is something that race fans everywhere should be very pleased with." Burton, winner of the 50th Southern 500 (August 22, 1999), was also presented with a historic piece of the start-finish line by Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. Order your tickets and Colvin Grill all-you-can-eat package now by calling 1-866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-24-2008)

  • Darlington Raceway Wall under assembly: The infamous wall that has dashed so many Darlington dreams and caused countless "Darlington Stripes" began to take shape on Monday as crews re-assembled the outer SAFER barrier wall at Darlington Raceway. Paving began at the track "Too Tough to Tame" in the mid January and with the outer groove of the track complete, construction crews are now focusing on finishing the racing surface and infield access tunnel in advance of the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500. The new asphalt surface at Darlington Raceway is part of a $10 million dollar capital improvement project that began following the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500. In addition to the new racing surface, work is also underway to complete a new infield access tunnel large enough to accommodate race car haulers, motorcoaches and emergency vehicles. Order your tickets and Colvin Grill all-you-can-eat package now by calling 1-866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(2-5-2008)

  • New All-You-Can-Eat Ticket Package available at Darlington: Fans still in search of tickets for the May 10th Sprint Cup Series Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway can now purchase an all-you-can-eat food and beverage ticket package to the new Colvin Grill. Ticket packages start at $60 for adults and $55 for children age 12 and under and can be purchased by calling 1-866-459-RACE. Each package includes seating in the Colvin grandstand and unlimited hamburgers, hot dogs, snack items and soft drinks in the Colvin Grill. Additionally, fans who have already purchased tickets for the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 or plan to purchase tickets in a grandstand other than Colvin may add the all-you-can-eat package to their existing ticket for only $15 per adult and $10 per child under 12. Each fan who takes advantage of this unique offer will receive a special wristband valid for admission to the Colvin Grill adjacent to the Colvin grandstand outside of turn 2 at Darlington Raceway. The grill will open two-hours prior to the scheduled start of the Dodge Challenger 500 on May 10th and will close at the scheduled start time of the race. Fans are encouraged to act quickly as only a limited number of Colvin Grill ticket packages are available.(Darlington Raceway PR)(1-29-2008)

  • Paving begins at Darlington Raceway: Engine noise could be heard coming from historic Darlington Raceway on Monday well in advance of the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500. The engine noise came not from race cars, but from construction equipment being used to lay the first of two layers of new asphalt at the track "Too Tough to Tame." The new asphalt surface at Darlington Raceway is part of a $10 million dollar capital improvement project that began following the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500. In addition to the new racing surface work is also underway to complete a new infield access tunnel large enough to accommodate race car haulers, motorcoaches and emergency vehicles. Order tickets now by calling 1-866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(1-15-2008)

  • Race Cars return to Darlington on Labor Day Weekend: Darlington Raceway officials announced the thundering roar of racing engines will once again resonate around the legendary 1.366-mile oval on Labor Day weekend next year with the inaugural Darlington Historic Racing Festival August 30-31, 2008. The Darlington Historic Racing Festival will feature legendary cars and drivers from a variety of racing series, including NASCAR and Indy Car, from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. The festival will offer both the young and seasoned race fan a chance to meet the drivers and see the machines that made auto racing the hugely popular sport it is today. Racing personalities who have already agreed to participate include legendary driver and car owner Junior Johnson, Daytona 500 winner Buddy Baker, three-time NASCAR Cup champion Darrell Waltrip, ten-time Darlington Raceway winner David Pearson, championship car owner Bud Moore and former driver Cotton Owens. The Darlington Historic Racing Festival will offer fans two days of excitement featuring question and answer sessions with the legends, exhibition laps by the historic race cars, autograph sessions, a large display and vendor area, car carousels, and a variety of other activities. Tickets for the event are $15 per day or $25 for the entire weekend, kids age 12 and under will be admitted free. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE.(Darlington Raceway PR)(12-20-2007)

  • Craven helping out with removing Darlington S/F line: Ricky Craven is set to visit Darlington Raceway on Wednesday, December 5th at noon to lend a hand in extracting the current start/finish line. A section of the start/finish line will be donated to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of an exhibit which will include Craven's winning car in the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 race, the closest finish in NASCAR history.(Darlington Raceway PR)(12-1-2007)

  • Darlington starts milling work on track: Construction crews at Darlington Raceway began milling the legendary track's surface last week. The milling process consists of grinding the existing asphalt surface an average of three-inches, and in some areas up to eight-inches, in preparation for the installation of the new surface. The milling process will be completed in approximately two-weeks.(Darlington Raceway PR)(11-30-2007)

  • Darlington starts repaving: Another historical moment took place last week on the hallowed grounds of legendary Darlington Raceway as paving crews began the intimidating challenge of repaving NASCAR's first paved superspeedway. The $10-million repaving project includes new asphalt around the entire 1.366-mile oval, concrete pit stalls and a new infield access tunnel underneath turn three. All construction will be completed in time for the Dodge Challenger 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, May 8 - 10, 2008.(Darlington Raceway PR)(11-6-2007)

  • Check out Darlington Paving Project: Fans can now keep up with the progress of Darlington Raceway's repaving and tunnel construction project online, thanks to a new link on the track's website featuring both photo and video galleries of the work in progress. Along with still photographs, short videos are also included on the page. The videos, in addition to giving fans a look at the actual work under way, will also feature comments from engineers involved with the project, Raceway staff members, and other special guests. To access the paving page, simply log on to www.darlingtonraceway.com and click the link in the right-hand rail. The 2008 Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend at Darlington is currently scheduled to include practice and qualifying for the Busch and Cup Series on Friday, May 9, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 that evening. On Saturday night, May 10, Darlington Raceway will host Cup Series racing for the 59th consecutive year when the green flag waves to signal the start of the Carolina Dodge Dealers 500. Jeff Gordon, a seven-time winner at Darlington, is the defending champion. Seat requests are now available for all events. For tickets or more information, call toll-free at 866.459.RACE (7223).(Darlington Raceway PR)(8-6-2007)

  • 2008 Darlington Raceway Renewal Process Currently Under Way: Renewal letters for next year's Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway were mailed on Friday, July 6. The renewal deadline is August 20. The track "Too Tough To Tame" is currently being repaved. The last time the track was repaved, in 1995, Ward Burton made fast work of the old record by posting a qualifying speed of 173.797 mph, a record that stands to this day. Fans renewing by the August 20 deadline will get the opportunity to drive paced laps on Darlington's brand-new asphalt on their choice of the following dates - March 29, April 5, or April 12, 2008. The 2008 Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 weekend is currently scheduled to include practice and qualifying for the Busch and Sprint Cup Series on Friday, May 9, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 that evening. On Saturday night, May 10, Darlington Raceway will host Cup Series racing for the 59th consecutive year when the green flag waves to signal the start of the Carolina Dodge Dealers 500. For tickets or more information, call toll-free at 866.459.RACE (7223).(Darlington Raceway PR)(7-12-2007)

  • Darlington repaving starts: Sometimes, it is necessary to tear down before building up. To that end, Darlington Raceway's repaving project began on June 18 with the removal of the track's SAFER barriers. Darlington's SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers were installed in February 2004 and saw their first competition during the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 weekend in March of that year. The summer solstice dawned on Darlington Raceway with a sense of déjà vu; the track's walls are currently concrete only. After completing Turns 3 and 4 earlier in the week, work on the retaining walls was finished on Wednesday afternoon, leaving the track looking rather like a special report on "The Weather Channel", featuring "hailstones the size of SAFER barriers." Scheduled completion date for the repaving project is November 30.(Darlington Speedway PR)(6-22-2007)

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


GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
    Number of Tires:
    Sprint Cup: Left-side -- 1,975, Right-side -- 1,975;
    Nationwide Series: Left-side -- 725, Right-side -- 725

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4122; Right-side -- D-4130

    Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.4 in.; Right-side -- 88.7 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
    Right Front -- 55 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
    Right Front -- 52 psi; Right Rear -- 48 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 54-58 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: With the complete re-pave of Darlington Raceway since last season, Goodyear has tested extensively at the track and brought a new combination of left- and right-side tires for teams to race on this weekend . . . Goodyear ran it's first two-day test at Darlington with drivers Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman in mid-March, and settled on it's right-side tire recommendation during that session . . . the tire manufacturer scheduled a one-day continuation test with the same drivers for early-April, and confirmed it's left-side recommendation at that session . . . Darlington is the only track at which NASCAR teams are scheduled to run this specific combination of left- and right-side tire codes this season . . . however, teams will run this right-side code (D-4130) with a different left-side code at Charlotte later this month . . . teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . 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.


DRIVER/TEAM/TESTING NEWS

  • Marlin back in the #40; Franchitti update: Former CGRFS driver Sterling Marlin will drive the #40 Dodge Challenger in this Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway, while its full-time driver Dario Franchitti continues to recover from a race injury he received in the NNS event at Talladega Superspeedway last month (April 26). At this time, Marlin is confirmed to drive for CGRFS at Darlington only. He raced full-time for CGRFS when the team started in 2001 and drove for CGRFS from 2001-2005 tallying 172 starts, four wins, three poles, 24 top-fives, 57 top-10s and led a total of 1,444 laps. Marlin also tested the #40 Monday and Tuesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway
    Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the #40 CGRFS Dodge, will sit out this weekend's NSCS race at Darlington Raceway. Franchitti was fitted for a carbon fiber brace last week but will take another weekend off to give his ankle more time to heal. His status behind the wheel of the #40 Dodge will continue to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
    Speical Scheme: The #40 Dodge will feature the new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 on its hood this weekend in Darlington, S.C. Powered by a 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine that produces 425 horsepower, the Challenger SRT8 is true to its historical roots, but with modern features that customers expect like SIRIUS Satellite radio, UConnect hands-free phone and MyGIG infotainment system featuring a 30 gig hard drive. For more information about the new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, go to www.dodge.com.(CGRFS)(5-7-2008) Comment here

  • Schrader back in the #70 UPDATE nope..it is Sauter: Ken Schrader will drive for the #70 Haas CNC Racing team at Darlington Raceway, said team competition director Matt Borland.(SceneDaily)(5-5-2008)
    UPDATE: Johnny Sauter will drive the #70 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Darlington Raceway, according to an updated Sprint Cup Series entry list for the Dodge Challenger 500. The original entry list had Ken Schrader driving this weekend. Sauter has driven for the team at Phoenix and Richmond this year. He has qualified for both races on speed but has been caught up in accidents in both events with finishes of 37th and 33rd.(SceneDaily)(5-6-2008)
    Comment here

  • Hamlin injured but OK to drive: Just when #11-Denny Hamlin thought things couldn't get any worse, he fell hard on his left hip playing basketball and could hardly walk when he arrived Monday for testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'd like to say I was going up for a dunk, but I think everybody knows that ain't true," Hamlin said. "When I went up, the person was lower than I was and I kind of clipped over his shoulder and I was horizontal to the ground -- that was bad. It popped and it doesn't feel good at all. I couldn't lay on it last night, and it ain't getting much better." The injury came roughly 24 hours after Hamlin led a record 381 of the first 382 laps at Richmond International Raceway, only to lose a coveted win on his hometown track when he cut his right front tire. He had to intentionally stop his car on the track to bring out the caution needed to head to pit road for a tire change.(full note at ESPN/AP)(5-6-2008) Comment here

  • Marlin in the #40 at Darlington: Sterling Marlin will rejoin Chip Ganassi Racing as a temporary replacement for injured #40-Dario Franchitti at the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Darlington. Marlin said he also will be a standby for Franchitti for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte [Lowe's Motor Speedway, Coke 600]. Veteran driver Ken Schrader has been signed to replace Franchitti for Saturday’s Cup race [at Richmond]. Marlin already was scheduled to drive for #09 Phoenix Racing at Richmond. Marlin said he will test at Charlotte for Ganassi on Monday and Tuesday. He will not participate in the Sprint Cup All-Star race on May 17 in Charlotte. His daughter — a senior at Columbia Academy — is graduating from high school that weekend.(Tennessean)(5-1-2008) Comment here

  • See the 2008 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


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