Darlington Raceway Data
Season Race #: 27 of 36 (05-20-20)
Playoff Race #: 1 of 10
Track Size: 1.366-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 25 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 23 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 6 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 6 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 1,229 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,229 feet
Race Length: 367 laps / 501.3 miles
Stage 1 Length: 115 laps
Stage 2 Length: 115 laps
Final Stage Length: 137 laps
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Darlington
Denny Hamlin……………………… 106.7
Erik Jones…………………………… 106.6
Kevin Harvick………………………. 103.5
Kyle Busch…………………………. 102.9
Brad Keselowski……………………. 99.9
Martin Truex Jr……………………… 99.6
Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 95.3
Joey Logano…………………………. 89.5
Matt Kenseth………………………… 89.1
Ryan Newman………………………. 88.4
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2020 races (17 total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.
2020 Darlington #1 pole winner:
None – Qualifying by Random Draw
Brad Keselowski – Started 1st
2020 Darlington #2 pole winner:
None – Qualifying by Inverting Field
Ryan Preece – Started 1st
2019 Southern 500 pole winner:
William Byron, Chevrolet
172.487 mph, 28.510 secs. 08-31-19
Track qualifying record:
Aric Almirola, Ford
184.145 mph, 26.705 secs. 04-11-14
2020 Darlington #1 race winner:
Kevin Harvick, Ford
115.815 mph, (03:27:21), 05-17-20
2020 Darlington #2 race winner:
Denny Hamlin, Toyota
104.984 mph, (02:42:23), 05-20-20
2019 Southern 500 winner:
Erik Jones, Toyota
133.825 mph, (03:44:48), 09-01-19
Track race record (500 miles):
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
141.383 mph, (03:32:45), 05-11-13
NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Fast Facts: Race #1 (Darlington Raceway)
- This is the first year the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has opened at Darlington Raceway.
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the first race of the Playoffs from 2004–2010,
- Chicagoland Speedway was the first race of the Playoffs from 2011–2017.
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted the first race of the Playoffs from 2018-2019.
|First Race Of The Playoffs – Race Winners|
|Track||Playoff Race Winners||Date|
|New Hampshire||Kurt Busch||Sunday, September 19, 2004|
|New Hampshire||Ryan Newman||Sunday, September 18, 2005|
|New Hampshire||Kevin Harvick||Sunday, September 17, 2006|
|New Hampshire||Clint Bowyer||Sunday, September 16, 2007|
|New Hampshire||Greg Biffle||Sunday, September 14, 2008|
|New Hampshire||Mark Martin||Sunday, September 20, 2009|
|New Hampshire||Clint Bowyer||Sunday, September 19, 2010|
|Chicago||Tony Stewart||Monday, September 19, 2011|
|Chicago||Brad Keselowski||Sunday, September 16, 2012|
|Chicago||Matt Kenseth||Sunday, September 15, 2013|
|Chicago||Brad Keselowski||Sunday, September 14, 2014|
|Chicago||Denny Hamlin||Sunday, September 20, 2015|
|Chicago||Martin Truex Jr||Sunday, September 18, 2016|
|Chicago||Martin Truex Jr||Sunday, September 17, 2017|
|Las Vegas||Brad Keselowski||Sunday, September 16, 2018|
|Las Vegas||Martin Truex Jr||Sunday, September 15, 2019|
- Prior to the 2020 season, Darlington Raceway has hosted just one other Playoff race, the penultimate event in the inaugural Playoffs in 2004. The race was won by seven-time champion and Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson.
- Four times the winner of the opening race of the postseason has went on to win the title – 2004, 2011, 2012, and 2017:
- In 2004 (inaugural Cup Playoffs), Kurt Busch won the opening race of the Playoff at New Hampshire and went on to win the title.
- In 2011 (race was delayed until Monday due to rain) Tony Stewart won his first race of the season at Chicago to open the Playoffs. Stewart went on to set the record for the most wins in a Playoff run with five victories and the title.
- In 2012, Brad Keselowski won the Playoff race at Chicago and went on to win the title.
- In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Playoff race at Chicago and went on to win the title.
- The worst finish in the opening race of the Playoffs by a driver that went on to win the title was Jimmie Johnson’s 39th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 2006 postseason.
- The worst finish in the opening Playoff race at Chicago for a driver that went on to win the title was Jimmie Johnson’s 12th-place finish in 2016.
- Eventual champions and their finish at Chicagoland: 2015 Kyle Busch – ninth, 2014 Kevin Harvick – fifth, 2013 Jimmie Johnson – fifth, 2012 Brad Keselowski – first, 2011 Tony Stewart – first
- The worst finish in the opening race of the Playoffs at Las Vegas by a driver that went on to win the title was Joey Logano’s third-place finish last season.
- No non-Playoff driver has ever won the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
- Since the inception of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs in 2014, entering the Playoffs as the No. 1 seed has been the most successful seeding producing three championship among two drivers – Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017).
- The deepest seed an eventual champion started the Playoffs was seventh by Kevin Harvick (2014) and Joey Logano (2018).
- Below are the seedings of the eventual champions as they entered the Playoffs (2014-2019):
- Kevin Harvick, 2014 (seventh seed)
- Kyle Busch, 2015 (No. 1 seed)
- Jimmie Johnson, 2016 (fifth seed)
- Martin Truex Jr., 2017 (No. 1 seed)
- Joey Logano, 2018 (seventh seed)
- Kyle Busch, 2019 (No. 1 seed)
NASCAR Cup Series 2020 Top 16 in the Driver Standings at Darlington Raceway
|Rank||Driver||Races||Poles||Wins||Top Fives||Top 10s||DNFs||Average Finish||Driver Rating|
|6||Martin Truex Jr||16||0||1||2||8||0||11.1||99.6|
* – Based on last 17 races at Darlington Raceway (2005 – 2020).
At Darlington Raceway:
- Darlington Raceway was built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-1950.
- Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950 – 75 cars competed in the event – Curtis Turner won the pole at 82.034 mph, and the race was won by Johnny Mantz (Plymouth, 75.250 mph, 6:38:40).
- The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953.
- The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
- The track was repaved in 1995.
- The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
- The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season.
- There have been 118 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Darlington Raceway.
- A total of 740 different drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 460 drivers have competed in more than one race at Darlington.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65.
- Matt Kenseth leads the all active drivers in starts at Darlington with 27; followed by Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch with 25 each.
- A total of 124 different drivers have made their NASCAR Cup Series career debut at Darlington Raceway; the most recent was T.J. Bell (May 7, 2011).
- Fred Lorenzen (16 starts) leads the series in average starting position at Darlington with a 3.688.
- Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the series in average starting position at Darlington with a 9.313 in 16 starts.
Top 10 in Average Starting Position at Darlington Raceway (All-Time and Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Avg Start||Races||Rank||Active Drivers||Avg Start||Races|
|1||Fred Lorenzen||3.688||16||1||Denny Hamlin||9.313||16|
|2||David Pearson||6.277||47||2||Brad Keselowski||9.923||13|
|3||Frank Mundy||6.667||3||3||Joey Logano||10.154||13|
|4||Fonty Flock||7.000||8||4||Ryan Newman||10.870||23|
|5||Jeff Gordon||7.000||36||5||Kurt Busch||11.600||25|
|6||Scott Pruett||7.000||2||6||Ryan Blaney||12.000||7|
|7||Dick Hutcherson||7.200||5||7||Erik Jones||13.000||5|
|8||Fireball Roberts||7.200||20||8||Jimmie Johnson||13.913||23|
|9||Bob Burdick||7.500||2||9||Aric Almirola||14.200||10|
|10||Pete Hamilton||7.600||5||10||Kevin Harvick||14.280||25|
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|Active Pole Winners at Darlington|
|Rank||Active Pole Winners||Poles|
- A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at least one Busch Pole Award at Darlington Raceway; seven are active this weekend.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in Busch poles at Darlington with 12 – (1967, ’70, ’72, ’73 sweep, ’75 sweep, ’76 sweep, ’77, ’78 and ’82)
- Pearson’s 12 Darlington poles are tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (12 poles at Daytona) for the second-most poles all-time at a single track in the NASCAR Cup Series. Pearson also holds the series record with 14 poles at Charlotte.
- Kurt Busch (2001, 2013) and Kevin Harvick (2014, 2017) lead all active drivers in Busch poles at Darlington with two each.
- Curtis Turner won the inaugural Busch Pole Award at Darlington Raceway in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph.
- Nine drivers have won consecutive Busch poles at Darlington, but none are active this weekend.
- David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five (1975 – 1977).
- Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Cup Series pole at Darlington Raceway.
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|First-Time Pole Winners At Darlington|
|First-Time Pole Winners||Season||Driver’s Age|
- Youngest Darlington pole winner: William Byron (09/01/2019 – 21 years, 9 months, 3 days).
- Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (09/06/1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days).
- A total of 12 different manufacturers have won at least one Busch pole in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.
- Ford leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Darlington Raceway with 43 poles; followed by Chevrolet (22), Mercury (13), Pontiac (10), Dodge (8), Buick (3), Oldsmobile (3), Plymouth (3), Toyota (2), Chrysler (1), Hudson (1) and Studebaker (1).
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|Active Darlington Race Winners|
|Rank||Active Race Winners||Wins|
|7||Martin Truex Jr||1|
- A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, eight are active this weekend.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in victories at Darlington with 10 wins (1968, ’70, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’76 sweep, ’77, ’79, 80); followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine and Jeff Gordon with seven.
- Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep, 2012), and Denny Hamlin (2010, 2017, 2020) lead all active drivers with three wins each.
- 13 drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for the series-most consecutive wins at Darlington with three each.
- Jimmie Johnson (three), Denny Hamlin (three) and Kevin Harvick (two) are the only active multiple race winners at Darlington Raceway.
- A total of 11 different drivers have won from the pole at Darlington; led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with four wins (1971, 1972, 1976 sweep). Kevin Harvick is the only active driver to win from the pole (2014) at Darlington.
- 20 of the 118 (16.9%) NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway have been won from the pole or first starting position; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in 2014.
- The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second-most wins (17).
NASCAR Cup Series Wins by Starting Positions at Darlington Raceway
|Starting Position||Wins||Winning %||Starting Position||Wins||Winning %|
|Additional Statistics||Winning %||Wins|
|Winning from the first Starting Position:||16.95%||20|
|Winning from the Front Row:||31.36%||37|
|Winning from a top-five Starting Position:||59.32%||70|
|Winning from a top-10 Starting Position:||83.90%||99|
|Winning after Starting Outside the top 20:||5.08%||6|
- The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event held at the historic raceway.
- Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway: Johnny Mantz (1950), Nelson Stacy (1961), Larry Frank (1962), Terry Labonte (1980), Lake Speed (1988) and Regan Smith (2011).
- Youngest series Darlington winner: Erik Jones (9/1/2019 – 22 years, 11 months, 2 days).
- Oldest series Darlington winner: Harry Gant (09/01/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days).
- Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 25; followed by Ryan Newman with 23.
- Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins by an organization at Darlington in the NASCAR Cup Series with 14 victories – Tim Richmond (1986), Ricky Rudd (1991), Jeff Gordon (1995, ’96 sweep, ’97, ’98, ’02, ’07), Terry Labonte (2003), Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep and 2012) and Mark Martin (2009).
- A total of 11 different manufacturers have won in the series at Darlington; led by Chevrolet with 41 victories; followed by Ford (30), Mercury (10), Oldsmobile (six), Toyota (eight), Dodge (five), Pontiac (five), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Hudson (three) and American Motor Company (two).
Additional Finishing Position Stats
- A total of 61 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have finished runner-up at Darlington Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty with eight second-place finishes each.
- Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with three.
Top Five In Runner-Up Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Runner-Ups||Rank||Active Drivers||Runner-Ups|
|1||Darrell Waltrip||8||1||Denny Hamlin||3|
|Richard Petty||8||2||Kevin Harvick||2|
|3||David Pearson||7||Kyle Busch||2|
|4||Mark Martin||6||3||Brad Keselowski||1|
|5||Fireball Roberts||4||Jimmie Johnson||1|
|Jeff Gordon||4||Joey Logano||1|
- A total of 140 different drivers have finished in the top-five at Darlington Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty with 25 top-five finishes.
- Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in top fives at Darlington with 10.
Top Five in Top-Five Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Top Fives||Rank||Active Drivers||Top Fives|
|1||Richard Petty||25||1||Kevin Harvick||10|
|2||David Pearson||24||2||Jimmie Johnson||9|
|3||Bill Elliott||22||Denny Hamlin||9|
|4||Dale Earnhardt||19||Ryan Newman||7|
|5||Jeff Gordon||19||5||Brad Keselowski||5|
- A total of 230 different series drivers have posted top-10 finishes at Darlington Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott with 35.
- Kevin Harvick leads all active series drivers in top 10s at Darlington with 14 top 10s.
Top Five in Top-10 Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Top 10s||Rank||Active Drivers||Top 10s|
|1||Bill Elliott||35||1||Kevin Harvick||14|
|2||Richard Petty||34||2||Matt Kenseth||13|
|3||David Pearson||30||Ryan Newman||13|
|4||Bobby Allison||26||Jimmie Johnson||13|
|5||Mark Martin||26||Denny Hamlin||13|
Average Finishing Position:
- Bob Burdick leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington Raceway with a 3.0 in two starts.
- Erik Jones leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.400 in five starts.
Top 10 in Average Finishing Position at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Avg Finish||Races||Rank||Active Drivers||Avg Finish||Races|
|1||Bob Burdick||3.000||2||1||Erik Jones||5.400||5|
|2||Erik Jones||5.400||5||2||Denny Hamlin||7.188||16|
|3||Kyle Larson||6.667||6||3||Tyler Reddick||10.000||2|
|4||Denny Hamlin||7.188||16||4||Brad Keselowski||10.385||13|
|5||Marty Robbins||8.000||2||5||Martin Truex Jr||11.125||16|
|6||Shorty Rollins||9.000||2||6||Kyle Busch||11.412||17|
|7||Bill Elliott||9.365||52||7||Ryan Newman||12.739||23|
|8||Tyler Reddick||10.000||2||8||Jimmie Johnson||13.043||23|
|9||Brad Keselowski||10.385||13||9||Austin Dillon||13.250||8|
|10||Herb Thomas||10.429||7||10||Kevin Harvick||13.360||25|
Track/Event Specific Stats
- Since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway is the March 16, 2003 race won by Ricky Craven with a margin of victory of 0.002 second over Kurt Busch.
- Darlington’s 0.002 sec. margin of victory is tied with the 2011 Spring Talladega race as the closest finishes in the series using electronic scoring.
Top Five Closest Margins of Victory at Darlington Raceway
|Margin Of Victory||Date||Race Winner||Runner-Up|
|0.002||3/16/2003||Ricky Craven||Kurt Busch|
|0.132||3/21/2004||Jimmie Johnson||Bobby Labonte|
|0.144||8/31/1997||Jeff Gordon||Jeff Burton|
|0.169||3/23/1997||Dale Jarrett||Ted Musgrave|
- Four NASCAR Cup Series races have resulted in a NASCAR Overtime finish at Darlington Raceway:
|Race Winner||Date||Scheduled No. Of Laps||Actual No. Of Laps||NASCAR Overtime Laps|
- Nine of the 118 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened from their scheduled number of laps; the most recent was the earlier this season.
|Date||Scheduled Laps||Actual Laps||Fewer Laps||Race Winner|
|Wednesday, May 20, 2020||228||208||20||Denny Hamlin|
|Sunday, September 3, 2000||367||328||39||Bobby Labonte|
|Sunday, September 5, 1999||367||270||97||Jeff Burton|
|Sunday, March 21, 1999||293||164||129||Jeff Burton|
|Sunday, September 5, 1993||367||351||16||Mark Martin|
|Sunday, September 6, 1992||367||298||69||Darrell Waltrip|
|Sunday, September 6, 1987||367||202||165||Dale Earnhardt|
|Sunday, April 13, 1980||367||189||178||David Pearson|
|Monday, September 1, 1969||367||230||137||LeeRoy Yarbrough|
|Monday, September 1, 1958||367||364||3||Fireball Roberts|
- Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway seven times: 1952, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2016. The most recent qualifying (2020) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead was determined by a random draw or inverted field.
Lap Leader Stats
- In total 169 different drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series have led at least one lap at Darlington Raceway.
- Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Darlington Raceway with 2,648 laps led in 44 series starts.
- Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with 750 laps led in 25 starts.
- The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by the race winner was 351 laps of the scheduled 400 laps (87%) by Johnny Mantz on September 4, 1950. He started the race from the 43rd position.
- The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by a driver that did not win the race was 284 laps of the scheduled 367 laps (77%) by Kyle Larson on September 2, 2018. He started the race from the second position.
- The fewest laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by the race winner was just the final lap by Ricky Craven on March 16, 2003. He started the race from the 31st position.
Top 10 Lap Leaders at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Led||Completed||% Led||Rank||Active Drivers||Led||Completed||% Led|
|1||Dale Earnhardt||2,648||14,011||19%||1||Kevin Harvick||750||8,343||9%|
|2||Richard Petty||2,391||17,120||14%||2||Kyle Busch||716||5,925||12%|
|3||David Pearson||2,116||12,536||17%||3||Denny Hamlin||574||5,639||10%|
|4||Jeff Gordon||1,744||11,458||15%||4||Jimmie Johnson||563||7,425||8%|
|5||Darrell Waltrip||1,723||16,395||11%||5||Brad Keselowski||380||4,539||8%|
|6||Cale Yarborough||1,647||12,959||13%||6||Kurt Busch||360||8,471||4%|
|7||Bobby Allison||1,601||12,630||13%||7||Ryan Newman||339||7,878||4%|
|8||Harry Gant||1,088||9,144||12%||8||Martin Truex Jr||248||5,645||4%|
|9||Bill Elliott||980||17,477||6%||9||Matt Kenseth||193||8,954||2%|
|10||Fireball Roberts||916||4,572||20%||10||Joey Logano||122||4,474||3%|
Female Competitor Stats
- Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series – Danica Patrick, Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson.
|Active Drivers||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Date|
|Inactive Drivers||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Date|
NASCAR in South Carolina
- South Carolina has hosted a total of 307 NASCAR national series races among 10 different tracks.
|Track Name||City||Cup||Xfinity||Truck||Total Races||First Year|
|Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds||Spartanburg||22||0||0||22||1953|
|Rambi Race Track||Myrtle Beach||9||13||0||22||1958|
|Coastal Speedway||Myrtle Beach||2||0||0||2||1956|
- The first NASCAR Cup Series race held in the state of South Carolina was at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4, 1950 – the event was won by Johnny Mantz in a Plymouth.
South Carolina In NASCAR
- A total of 139 different drivers have made at least one NASCAR national series start with their home state recorded as South Carolina.
- James Hylton leads all NASCAR drivers from South Carolina with the most NASCAR national series starts with 607.
Top Five in NASCAR National Series Starts from South Carolina Drivers
|South Carolina Drivers||National Series Starts||Hometown|
- Three drivers from South Carolina have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame – David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Cotton Owens.
- 11 drivers from South Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; seven have won in the NASCAR Cup Series.
— NASCAR —