Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina going into the Goodyear 400 on Sunday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).
Darlington Raceway Data
Season Race #: 12 of 36 (05-09-21)
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: 293 laps / 400 miles
Stage 1 Length: 90 laps
Stage 2 Length: 95 laps
Final Stage Length: 108 laps
Top 12 Driver Ratings at Darlington
Kyle Larson…………………………. 111.3
Denny Hamlin……………………… 106.8
Erik Jones…………………………… 105.7
Kevin Harvick………………………. 104.8
Kyle Busch…………………………. 102.8
Martin Truex Jr…………………….. 101.2
Brad Keselowski……………………. 98.4
Chase Elliott…………………………. 90.2
Joey Logano…………………………. 90.1
Kurt Busch……………………………. 88.9
Ryan Newman………………………. 87.6
William Byron………………………… 82.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2020 races (18 total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.
Darlington Raceway – Qualifying / Race Data
Track qualifying record:
Aric Almirola, Ford
184.145 mph, 26.705 secs. April 11, 2014
Track race record (500 miles):
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
141.383 mph, (03:32:45), May 11, 2013
2020 pole winner:
None – Qualifying By Random Draw
Brad Keselowski – Started 1st, May 17, 2020
2020 race winner:
Kevin Harvick, Ford
115.815 mph, (03:27:21), May 17, 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). The race to 6 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds to complete.
- 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 has been a total of 119 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Darlington Raceway.
- A total of 741 different drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 461 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.
- Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active drivers in starts at Darlington with 26 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). The best finish by a driver making their series debut at Darlington was fourth-place by NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte on September 4, 1979.
- 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 an 8.8 in 17 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||8.882||17|
|2||David Pearson||6.277||47||2||Brad Keselowski||9.571||14|
|3||Frank Mundy||6.667||3||3||Kyle Larson||9.667||6|
|4||Fonty Flock||7.000||8||4||Joey Logano||10.357||14|
|5||Jeff Gordon||7.000||36||5||Ryan Blaney||11.375||8|
|6||Scott Pruett||7.000||2||6||Ryan Newman||11.708||24|
|7||Dick Hutcherson||7.200||5||7||Kurt Busch||11.769||26|
|8||Fireball Roberts||7.200||20||8||Chase Elliott||12.625||8|
|9||Bob Burdick||7.500||2||9||William Byron||13.200||5|
|10||Pete Hamilton||7.600||5||10||Aric Almirola||13.818||11|
- A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at least one pole at Darlington Raceway.
- Six of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series pole winners at Darlington Raceway are active this weekend.
|Rank||Active Pole Winners (6)||Poles|
- NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in 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 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 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.
|First-Time Pole Winners||Season||Driver’s Age|
- Youngest Darlington pole winner: William Byron (Sept. 1, 2019 – 21 years, 9 months, 3 days).
- Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (Sept. 6, 1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days).
- A total of 12 different manufacturers have won at least one 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).
- A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Darlington Raceway.
- Six of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Darlington Raceway are active this weekend.
|Rank||Active Race Winners||Wins||Seasons|
|1||Kevin Harvick||3||2020, 2020, 2014|
|2||Denny Hamlin||3||2020, 2017, 2010|
|5||Martin Truex Jr||1||2016|
- 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.
- Kevin Harvick (2020, 2020, 2014) and Denny Hamlin (2020, 2017, 2010) lead all active drivers in victories at Darlington 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.
- A total of 11 different drivers have won from the pole or first starting position 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 119 (16.8%) NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway have been won from the pole; 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:||17.24%||20|
|Winning from the Front Row:||31.90%||37|
|Winning from a top-five Starting Position:||60.34%||70|
|Winning from a top-10 Starting Position:||84.62%||99|
|Winning after Starting Outside the top 20:||5.17%||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: Kyle Busch (May 10, 2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).
- Oldest series Darlington winner: Harry Gant (Sept. 1, 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 24; followed by Ryan Newman with 22.
- Eight active organizations have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.
|1||14||Hendrick Motorsports||2012, ’09, ’07, ’04 sweep, ’03, ’02, 1998, ’97, ’96 sweep, ’95, ’91, ’86|
|2||8||Joe Gibbs Racing||2020, ’19, ’17, ’15, ’13, ’10, ’08, ’00|
|3||8||Wood Brothers Racing||1981, ’77, ’76 sweep, ’74, ’73, ’72, ’68|
|4||8||Richard Childress Racing||1994, ’93, ’90 sweep, ’89, ’87 sweep, ’86|
|5||5||Roush Fenway Racing||2006, ’05, 1999 sweep, ’93|
|6||3||Stewart-Haas Racing||2020, ’20, ’14|
|7||3||Team Penske||2018, 1975 sweep|
|8||1||Chip Ganassi Racing||2002|
- 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 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway.
- Chevrolet leads the series in win at Darlington with 41 victories; followed by Ford (31), Mercury (10), Toyota (eight), Oldsmobile (six), Dodge (five), Pontiac (five), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Hudson (three) and American Motor Company (two).
ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS
- A total of 62 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; followed by Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch with two each.
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||4||Alex Bowman||1|
|5||Fireball Roberts||4||Austin Dillon||1|
|Jeff Gordon||4||Brad Keselowski||1|
- A total of 141 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 series drivers in top-five finishes at Darlington with 11 top fives.
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||11|
|2||David Pearson||24||2||Denny Hamlin||9|
|3||Bill Elliott||22||3||Ryan Newman||7|
|4||Dale Earnhardt||19||4||Brad Keselowski||5|
|Jeff Gordon||19||Kyle Busch||5|
- A total of 231 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-10 finishes at Darlington with 15 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||15|
|2||Richard Petty||34||2||Denny Hamlin||13|
|3||David Pearson||30||3||Ryan Newman||13|
|4||Bobby Allison||26||4||Kyle Busch||12|
|Mark Martin||26||5||Kurt Busch||11|
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 5.167 in six 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||5.167||6|
|2||Erik Jones||5.167||6||2||Kyle Larson||6.667||6|
|3||Kyle Larson||6.667||6||3||Denny Hamlin||7.529||17|
|4||Denny Hamlin||7.529||17||4||Brad Keselowski||10.429||14|
|5||Marty Robbins||8.000||2||5||Kyle Busch||11.167||18|
|6||Shorty Rollins||9.000||2||6||Martin Truex Jr||11.765||17|
|7||Bill Elliott||9.365||52||7||Austin Dillon||12.000||9|
|8||Brad Keselowski||10.429||14||8||Ryan Newman||12.833||24|
|9||Herb Thomas||10.429||7||9||Kevin Harvick||12.885||26|
|10||Nelson Stacy||10.500||6||10||Tyler Reddick||14.333||3|
TRACK / EVENT 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||Sunday, March 16, 2003||Ricky Craven||Kurt Busch|
|0.132||Sunday, March 21, 2004||Jimmie Johnson||Bobby Labonte|
|0.144||Sunday, August 31, 1997||Jeff Gordon||Jeff Burton|
|0.169||Sunday, March 23, 1997||Dale Jarrett||Ted Musgrave|
- Four NASCAR Cup Series races have resulted in a NASCAR Overtime finishes at Darlington Raceway:
|Scheduled Laps||Actual Laps||Overtime Laps||Race Winner||Date|
|367||374||7||Kevin Harvick||Saturday, April 12, 2014|
|367||368||1||Jimmie Johnson||Saturday, May 12, 2012|
|367||370||3||Regan Smith||Saturday, May 7, 2011|
|367||370||3||Greg Biffle||Saturday, May 7, 2005|
- 10 of the 119 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened from their scheduled number of laps; the most recent was last 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 six times: 1952, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2016.
- Last season, all three races at Darlington did not hold qualifying due to the COVID-19 pandemic/restrictions and instead, the first race determined by a random draw (May 17), the second race as by inverted field (May 20) and the Playoff race was by Metric Qualifying – the same format that will be used this weekend.
- NASCAR Cup Series has held seven races on Mother’s Day producing six different winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon won the most recent Cup race on Mother’s Day in 2007 at Darlington Raceway. Buck Baker has won the most times on Mother’s Day – twice (1956, 1954).
|1||Jeff Gordon||Sunday, May 13, 2007||Darlington Raceway||Mother’s Day|
|2||Cale Yarborough||Sunday, May 14, 1978||Talladega Superspeedway||Mother’s Day|
|3||Benny Parsons||Sunday, May 9, 1971||South Boston Speedway||Mother’s Day|
|4||Bob Welborn||Sunday, May 11, 1958||Greensboro Fairgrounds||Mother’s Day|
|5||Buck Baker||Sunday, May 13, 1956||Orange Speedway||Mother’s Day|
|6||Tim Flock||Sunday, May 8, 1955||Arizona State Fairgrounds||Mother’s Day|
|7||Buck Baker||Sunday, May 9, 1954||Wilson Speedway||Mother’s Day|
- 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 782 laps led in 26 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||Races|
|Rank||Active Drivers||Led||Completed||% Led||Races|
|5||Martin Truex Jr||444||6,011||7%||17|
- Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series – Danica Patrick, Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson.
|Drivers||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Date|
NASCAR IN SOUTH CAROLINA
- South Carolina has hosted a total of 312 NASCAR national series races among 10 different tracks.
|Track Name||City||Cup||Xfinity||Truck||Totals||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 140 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.
- 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 totaling 239 victories; seven have won in the NASCAR Cup Series.
|South Carolina Race Winners||Cup||Xfinity||Truck||Combined|
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