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20 Dar Cook Out Southern 500 4c

Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Cook Out Southern 500

Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina going into the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 26
Rank Driver Points Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Kyle Larson 2,052 5 12 52 47
2 Ryan Blaney 2,024 3 4 24 19
3 Martin Truex Jr. 2,024 3 5 24 19
4 Kyle Busch 2,022 2 5 22 17
5 Chase Elliott 2,021 2 3 21 16
6 Alex Bowman 2,015 3 0 15 10
7 Denny Hamlin 2,015 0 5 15 10
8 William Byron 2,014 1 3 14 9
9 Joey Logano 2,013 1 5 13 8
10 Brad Keselowski 2,008 1 2 8 3
11 Kurt Busch 2,008 1 3 8 3
12 Christopher Bell 2,005 1 0 5 0
13 Michael McDowell 2,005 1 0 5 0
14 Aric Almirola 2,005 1 0 5 0
15 Tyler Reddick 2,003 0 3 3 -2
16 Kevin Harvick 2,002 0 0 2 -3

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Fast Facts: Race #1 (Darlington Raceway)

  • The 2021 season is the second year the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has opened at Darlington Raceway (2020-2021). Darlington is the fourth different track to open postseason for the series.
    • 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
Darlington Kevin Harvick Sunday, September 6, 2020
  • 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 series champion and former Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson.
  • Four times the winner of the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the championship – 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 Playoffs at Chicagoland Speedway and 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 opening Playoff race at Chicagoland Speedway and went on to win the title.
    • In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the opening Playoff race at Chicagoland Speedway and went on to win the title.
  • The worst finish in the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series 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 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Chicagoland Speedway for a driver that went on to win the title was Jimmie Johnson’s 12th-place finish in 2016.
  • Eventual champions and their finishes 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 Motor Speedway by a driver that went on to win the title was Kyle Busch’s 19th-place finish in 2019.
  • The worst finish in the opening race of the Playoffs at Darlington Raceway by a driver that went on to win the title was Chase Elliott’s 20th-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 championships among two drivers – Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017).
  • The deepest seed an eventual champion has started the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs was seventh by Kevin Harvick (2014) and Joey Logano (2018).
  • Below are the seedings of the eventual champions as they entered the Playoffs (2014-2020):
    • 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)
    • Chase Elliott, 2020 (fifth seed)

NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Top 16 in the Driver Standings at Darlington Raceway

Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating
1 Kyle Larson 7 0 0 4 6 0 6.0 111.5
2 Martin Truex Jr 18 0 2 3 9 0 11.2 103.9
3 Ryan Blaney 9 0 0 0 1 0 19.0 74.1
4 Kyle Busch 19 0 1 6 13 0 10.7 103.1
5 Chase Elliott 9 0 0 2 4 2 17.2 90.3
6 Alex Bowman 8 0 0 1 2 0 17.1 79.9
7 Denny Hamlin 18 1 3 10 14 0 7.4 107.3
8 William Byron 6 1 0 2 2 1 18.7 87.1
9 Joey Logano 15 0 0 4 7 1 14.7 91.1
10 Brad Keselowski 15 1 1 5 7 0 11.3 96.1
11 Kurt Busch 27 2 0 4 11 3 16.3 86.4
12 Michael McDowell 12 0 0 0 0 4 28.3 47.6
13 Christopher Bell 4 0 0 0 0 0 20.8 66.7
14 Aric Almirola 12 0 0 0 2 2 18.5 69.8
15 Tyler Reddick 4 0 0 0 1 0 13.8 81.0
16 Kevin Harvick 27 2 3 11 16 1 12.6 104.4

* – Based on last 19 races at Darlington Raceway (2005 – 2021).

Darlington Raceway Data

Season Race #: 27 of 36 (09-05-21)
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 12 Driver Ratings at Darlington
Kyle Larson ……………………….. 111.5
Denny Hamlin……………………… 107.3
Kevin Harvick……………………… 104.4
Martin Truex Jr……………………. 103.9
Kyle Busch…………………………. 103.1
Erik Jones………………………….. 100.0
Brad Keselowski……………………. 96.1
Joey Logano………………………… 91.1
Chase Elliott…………………………. 90.3
William Byron……………………….. 87.1
Ryan Newman………………………. 87.0
Kurt Busch…………………………… 86.4Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2021 races (19 total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.

Qualifying Data

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

2020 Southern 500 pole winner:

None – Qualifying by Metric Qualifying

Chase Elliott – Started 1st

Track qualifying record:

Aric Almirola, Ford

184.145 mph, 26.705 secs., April, 11, 2014

(Set in Round 1 of 2)

Race Data

2020 Darlington #1 race winner:

Kevin Harvick, Ford

115.815 mph, (03:27:21), May 17, 2020

2020 Darlington #2 race winner:

Denny Hamlin, Toyota

104.984 mph, (02:42:23), May 20, 2020

2020 Southern 500 winner:

Kevin Harvick, Ford

132.256 mph, (03:47:26), Sept. 6, 2020

Track race record (500 miles):

Matt Kenseth, Toyota

141.383 mph, (03:32:45), 05-11-13

At Darlington Raceway:

HISTORY

  • 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 120 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Darlington Raceway.

STARTS

  • A total of 744 different drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 463 drivers have competed in more than one race at Darlington.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in starts at Darlington with 65.
  • Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active series drivers in starts at Darlington with 27 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 NASCAR Cup 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 8.778 in 18 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 8.778 18
2 David Pearson 6.277 47 2 Brad Keselowski 9.000 15
3 Frank Mundy 6.667 3 3 Kyle Larson 10.286 7
4 Fonty Flock 7.000 8 4 Joey Logano 10.467 15
5 Jeff Gordon 7.000 36 5 William Byron 11.833 6
6 Scott Pruett 7.000 2 6 Chase Elliott 11.889 9
7 Dick Hutcherson 7.200 5 7 Ryan Blaney 11.889 9
8 Fireball Roberts 7.200 20 8 Kurt Busch 11.963 27
9 Bob Burdick 7.500 2 9 Ryan Newman 12.040 25
10 Pete Hamilton 7.600 5 10 Kevin Harvick 13.593 27

POLES

  • 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 Darlington pole winners are active this weekend.
Rank Active Pole Winners Poles
1 Kevin Harvick 2
2 Kurt Busch 2
3 Brad Keselowski 1
4 Denny Hamlin 1
5 Ryan Newman 1
6 William Byron 1
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Darlington Raceway with 12 poles – (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 pole at Darlington Raceway in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph.
  • 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).
  • In total, nine drivers have won consecutive poles at Darlington Raceway – most recently Kasey Kahne (2004, 2005).
  • David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five straight (1975 – 1977).
  • Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Cup Series pole at Darlington Raceway.
First-Time Pole Winners Season Driver’s Age
Clint Bowyer 2007 27
Elliott Sadler 2003 27
Kurt Busch 2001 23
John Andretti 1995 32
Ken Schrader 1987 31
Bill Elliott 1981 25
Fred Lorenzen 1961 26
Cotton Owens 1957 33

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).

WINS

  • A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Darlington Raceway.
  • Six of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series Darlington race winners are active this weekend.
Rank Active Race Winners Wins Seasons
1 Kevin Harvick 3 2020-3, 2020-1, 2014
2 Denny Hamlin 3 2020-2, 2017, 2010
3 Martin Truex Jr 2 2021, 2016
4 Erik Jones 1 2019
5 Brad Keselowski 1 2018
6 Kyle Busch 1 2008
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in victories at Darlington Raceway with 10 wins (1968, ’70, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’76 sweep, ’77, ’79, 80); followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine and Jeff Gordon with seven.
  • Denny Hamlin (2010, 2017, 2020-2) and Kevin Harvick (2014, 2020-1, 2020-3) lead all active drivers with three wins each.
  • Youngest series Darlington winner: Kyle Busch (5/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).
  • Oldest series Darlington winner: Harry Gant (09/01/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days).
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • A total of 11 different drivers have won from the pole at Darlington Raceway in the NSCAR cup Series.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in wins from the pole at Darlington 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 120 (16.667%) 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 %
1 20 16.67% 11 3 2.50%
2 17 14.17% 12 1 0.83%
3 13 10.83% 13 3 2.50%
4 9 7.50% 14 2 1.67%
5 12 10.00% 15 3 2.50%
6 5 4.17% 16 1 0.83%
7 4 3.33% 23 2 1.67%
8 7 5.83% 31 1 0.83%
9 8 6.67% 37 2 1.67%
10 6 5.00% 43 1 0.83%
Additional Statistics Winning % Wins
Winning from the first Starting Position: 16.67% 20
Winning from the Front Row: 30.83% 37
Winning from a top-five Starting Position: 59.17% 71
Winning from a top-10 Starting Position: 84.17% 101
Winning after Starting Outside the top 20: 5.00% 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.
  • Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 27; followed by Ryan Newman with 25.
  • 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 (31), Mercury (10), Oldsmobile (six), Toyota (eight), Dodge (five), Pontiac (five), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Hudson (three) and American Motor Company (two).

ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS

Runner-Up Finishes:

  • 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.

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
2 Richard Petty 8 2 Kevin Harvick 2
3 David Pearson 7 Kyle Busch 2
4 Mark Martin 6 Kyle Larson 2
5 Fireball Roberts 4 5 Alex Bowman 1
Jeff Gordon 4 Austin Dillon 1
Brad Keselowski 1
Joey Logano 1
Kurt Busch 1
Ryan Newman 1

Top-Five Finishes:

  • 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 NASCAR Cup Series drivers in top-five finishes at Darlington with 11.

Top Five in Top-Five Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Top Five Rank Active Drivers Top Five
1 Richard Petty 25 1 Kevin Harvick 11
2 David Pearson 24 2 Denny Hamlin 10
3 Bill Elliott 22 3 Ryan Newman 7
4 Dale Earnhardt 19 4 Kyle Busch 6
5 Jeff Gordon 19 5 Brad Keselowski 5

Top-10 Finishes:

  • A total of 233 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 16 top 10s.

Top Five in Top-10 Finishes at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Top 10 Rank Active Drivers Top 10
1 Bill Elliott 35 1 Kevin Harvick 16
2 Richard Petty 34 2 Denny Hamlin 14
3 David Pearson 30 3 Ryan Newman 14
4 Bobby Allison 26 4 Kyle Busch 13
5 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.
  • Kyle Larson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 6.0 in seven starts.

Top 10 in Average Finishing Position at Darlington Raceway (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Avg Start Races Rank Active Drivers Avg Start Races
1 Bob Burdick 3.000 2 1 Kyle Larson 6.000 7
2 Kyle Larson 6.000 7 2 Erik Jones 7.000 7
3 Erik Jones 7.000 7 3 Denny Hamlin 7.389 18
4 Denny Hamlin 7.389 18 4 Kyle Busch 10.737 19
5 Marty Robbins 8.000 2 5 Martin Truex Jr 11.167 18
6 Shorty Rollins 9.000 2 6 Brad Keselowski 11.333 15
7 Bill Elliott 9.365 52 7 Austin Dillon 12.400 10
8 Herb Thomas 10.429 7 8 Kevin Harvick 12.630 27
9 Nelson Stacy 10.500 6 9 Ryan Newman 12.720 25
10 Kyle Busch 10.737 19 10 Tyler Reddick 13.750 4

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 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
Kevin Harvick 4/12/2014 367 374 7
Jimmie Johnson 5/12/2012 367 368 1
Regan Smith 5/7/2011 367 370 3
Greg Biffle 5/7/2005 367 370 3
  • Nine of the 118 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened from their scheduled number of laps; the most recent was 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 restrictions and instead was determined by a random draw or inverted field.

LAP LEADERS

  • In total 174 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 792 laps led in 27 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 792 9,003 9%
2 Richard Petty 2,391 17,120 14% 2 Kyle Busch 725 6,585 11%
3 David Pearson 2,116 12,536 17% 3 Martin Truex Jr 692 6,304 11%
4 Jeff Gordon 1,744 11,458 15% 4 Denny Hamlin 598 6,299 9%
5 Darrell Waltrip 1,723 16,395 11% 5 Kyle Larson 500 2,501 20%
6 Cale Yarborough 1,647 12,959 13% 6 Brad Keselowski 384 5,196 7%
7 Bobby Allison 1,601 12,630 13% 7 Kurt Busch 365 8,944 4%
8 Harry Gant 1,088 9,144 12% 8 Ryan Newman 339 8,537 4%
9 Bill Elliott 980 17,477 6% 9 Chase Elliott 151 2,845 5%
10 Fireball Roberts 916 4,572 20% 10 Joey Logano 122 5,133 2%

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
Danica Patrick 33 26 9/3/2017
Danica Patrick 25 24 9/4/2016
Danica Patrick 30 42 9/6/2015
Danica Patrick 33 22 4/12/2014
Danica Patrick 40 28 5/11/2013
Danica Patrick 38 31 5/12/2012
Averages 33.2 28.8
Inactive Drivers Starting Position Finishing Position Date
Janet Guthrie 26 16 9/5/1977
Shawna Robinson 42 42 3/17/2002

NASCAR IN SOUTH CAROLINA

  • South Carolina has hosted a total of 315 NASCAR national series races among 10 different tracks.
Track Name City Cup Xfinity Truck Combined First Year
Darlington Raceway Darlington 120 62 8 190 1950
Coastal Speedway Myrtle Beach 2 0 0 2 1956
Columbia Speedway Columbia 43 0 0 43 1951
Gamecock Speedway Sumter 1 0 0 1 1960
Greenville-Pickens Speedway Greenville 29 2 0 31 1951
Hartsville Speedway Hartsville 1 0 0 1 1961
Lancaster Speedway Lancaster 2 0 0 2 1957
Newberry Speedway Newberry 1 0 0 1 1957
Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds Spartanburg 22 0 0 22 1953
Rambi Race Track Myrtle Beach 9 13 0 22 1958
Totals 230 77 8 315
  • 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; seven have won in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Driver Cup Xfinity Trucks Combined
David Pearson 105 1 0 106
Cale Yarborough 83 0 0 83
Cotton Owens 9 0 0 9
Tiny Lund 5 0 0 5
James Hylton 2 0 0 2
Johnny Allen 1 0 0 1
Joe Eubanks 1 0 0 1
Larry Pearson 0 15 0 15
Jason Keller 0 10 0 10
Butch Lindley 0 6 0 6
Jeremy Clements 0 1 0 1
Totals 206 33 0 239

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