Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Matt Kenseth glad Southern 500 is back on Labor Day

Matt Kenseth is 7/1 to win this week; lone win at Darlington in 2013.
Matt Kenseth / No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Preview
Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway
No. 20 Dollar General Toyota News and Notes:

JOE GIBBS RACING AT DARLINGTON:
Joe Gibbs Racing has 68 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway and has earned four wins, 17 top-five, and 39 top-ten finishes. The organization also has led for a total of 1,158 laps, has an average start of 15.5 and an average finish of 11.9 at the 1.37-mile historic track.

KENSETH BY THE NUMBERS: In 21 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington, Kenseth has completed 6,990 of 7,215 laps (96.9 percent) and has led for a total of 183 laps. Kenseth has earned one win, three top-five finishes, 10 top-ten finishes and one pole award at the South Carolina historic track. Kenseth earned his first victory at Darlington in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013.

THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Listerine, Glad, TruMoo, Armour, Bounty, Pringles, First Quality, Hanes, Coca-Cola and Reese’s will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Darlington Raceway.

RACE INFO: The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (1.37-mile) begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 6. The race will be broadcast live on NBC, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

Kenseth’s 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
2439153293$4,040,42912.413.5
Kenseth’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
56834160285169,748$111,204,67718.014.1

From the Cockpit:
Matt Kenseth:
“Darlington has changed a lot over the years, we only race there once a year, and it’s a different aero package this time as well, so I’m not sure that anyone really knows what to expect this weekend. The track itself at Darlington seems to age quicker than it does at most of the others racetracks we race at. Darlington is just a really unique place that has changed a lot, especially after the repave. We used to be right up along the fence, but even that has changed with the addition of safer barriers so you never know what Darlington is going to be like until we get on track. I think that it’s great that we’re back to running Darlington over Labor day weekend because it was one of those races that I’m glad we’re back to that date. It’s one of the few truly special races that holds so much tradition with a date on the calendar.”

From the Pit Box:
Jason Ratcliff:
“Things are going to be different this weekend because we haven’t run at Darlington at this time of the year in a while and I think that it will definitely be a lot warmer than it’s been in years past. The track itself has also been losing some grip over the years. Our team was able to test at Darlington at the end of June, and I thought that it was one of the better tests that we’ve had. Darlington is such a unique place anyways, but I think that based off this new aero package and tire combination, it’s going to provide for a really good race. I think that the tire combination for this weekend will allow everyone to get a better handle on this new aero package.”

About Dollar General:
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With more than 12,199 stores in 43 states, Dollar General is America’s largest small-box multi-price point discount retailer. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. For more information on Dollar General, please visit www.dollargeneral.com.

DG at the Track:
Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America, with more than 12,199 stores in 43 states. There are 16 Dollar General locations in the Darlington, S.C. area.

- Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin owns 6.9 average finish at Darlington

Denny Hamlin is 8/1 to win at Darlington; took checkers in 2010.
Denny Hamlin / No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry Preview
Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway
No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota News and Notes:

HAMLIN AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY
: Denny Hamlin will make his 10th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway for this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. In his previous nine starts at the ‘Lady in Black,’ Hamlin has one win from 2010 with four top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes, an average start of 10.1 and an average finish of 6.9. Hamlin has led 357 laps at the 1.366-mile track, completing 100 percent of attempted laps (3,314 of 3,314 laps).

DOUBLE DUTY: This weekend, Hamlin will pull double duty competing in Saturday’s Sport Clips VFW Help a Hero 200 behind the wheel of the No. 20 Sport Clips Camry and Sunday night he will pilot the No. 11 Sport Clips Camry for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

THROWBACK SCHEME: As part of Darlington’s throwback weekend to celebrate the 1970’s, the No. 11 Sport Clips Camry in the Cup Series will run a retro scheme inspired by Cale Yarborough and the No. 20 Sport Clips Camry in the XFINITY Series will run a special scheme during the Sport Clips sponsored race. This will not be the first time Hamlin has driven a Camry inspired by Yarborough at Darlington. For the 2012 Bojangles’ Southern 500, Hamlin donned a retro firesuit and a retro paint scheme to honor Yarborough’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Of all drivers who have won in the No. 11 car, Yarborough leads the list with 55 total wins.

SPORT CLIPS VFW HELP A HERO 200: This weekend, Sport Clips will continue their partnership with Darlington Raceway to raise awareness and funds for their ‘Help A Hero’ program. In its fourth year to partner with Darlington Raceway, the national haircut franchise will use the race to increase awareness and support for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program which provides scholarships to active-duty military and veterans who are pursuing a college degree or vocational certification. New to this year’s partnership, active duty and retired military, and veterans can purchase special 50 percent off tickets to the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200. Darlington Raceway will also donate $2 for every ticket sold to support The VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program. To purchase, visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/HelpAHero. To date, Sport Clips and the VFW have granted more than $1.2 Million in scholarships since beginning the program in 2013.

JGR AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 68 total starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway. In those 68 starts, the team has four wins, one pole, 17 top-five finishes, 39 top-10 finishes, an average start of 15.5, an average finish of 11.9, led 1,158 laps and completed 22,659 of 23,125 laps (98.0%). Bobby Labonte recorded the team’s lone pole in 1997 and Labonte (2000), Kyle Busch (2008), Denny Hamlin (2010) and Matt Kenseth (2013) each have a win at “The Lady in Black.”

RACE INFO: The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, September 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on NBC, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET

Hamlin’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats at Darlington Raceway:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
91470357$1,537,11710.16.9
Hamlin’s 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
2418112420$3,638,78312.514.9
Hamlin’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
3502599165227,500$66,201,11014.114.7

About Sport Clips Haircuts
Sport Clips Haircuts is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas. It was established in 1993 by founder and CEO Gordon Logan and started franchising in 1995. The sports-themed haircutting franchise, which specializes in haircuts for men and boys, is ranked by Entrepreneur as one of the Top 10 “Fastest-Growing Franchises” and ranks 36th in the “Franchise 500.” It is also ranked by FORBES as a “Top Ten Best Franchise” to buy for its investment category. With more than1,400 Sport Clips stores, new locations open each month in the U.S. and Canada. Sport Clips is the “Official Haircutter” of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), offers veterans preferential pricing on haircuts and franchises, and was named as one of the “2014 Best for Vets: Franchises” by Military Times. Our “Help A Hero” program has raised more than $3 million to help deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members call home through the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ and to provide scholarships for veterans transitioning to a civilian career. Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards, and partners with numerous NCAA and professional sports teams. To learn more about Sport Clips, visit sportclips.com.

-Joe Gibbs Racing

Dale Earnhardt Jr. still serching for first Darlington win

Junior is 20/1 to win his first Darlington race on Sunday.
No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet SS / Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
Hometown: Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age: 40 
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

VALVOLINE THROWBACK: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a throwback No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet SS this weekend at Darlington Raceway. The paint scheme pays homage to the brand’s storied history in motorsports with an early-1980s look inspired by Valvoline cars driven by some of the era’s racing icons, including Cale Yarborough, Ron Bouchard, Neil Bonnett and Buddy Baker. The one-race sponsorship of Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS marks an elevated partnership between Hendrick Motorsports and Valvoline, which in September 2013 announced a four-year agreement that kicked off last season. The new sponsorship at Darlington represents Valvoline’s first primary paint scheme since that time.

DARLINGTON BEST: Earnhardt scored his best Darlington finish last April, when he crossed the finish line second. Previously, Earnhardt matched his best Darlington finish in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2008 after scoring a fourth-place result. He also finished fourth there in March 2002.

LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks sixth among drivers in laps run in the top 15 at Darlington. During the last 10 races there, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has spent 71.9 percent of the events running in the top 15. Earnhardt also ranks seventh in the average running position category with an 11.4 average spot.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks eighth in the driver rating category at Darlington with a score of 94.3 during the past 10 races. The driver rating is a formula that combines the following categories: wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum points a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday's race at Darlington
“I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the throwback paint schemes. There’s going to be a lot of things the fans are going to enjoy. Not only being here at the racetrack and being able to see everything, but the racetrack itself is sort of rebranding itself with all of the old signage and bringing back the ‘Too Tough to Tame’ slogan they used for years. Even the broadcast is going to have some throwback ad space during the commercials, which I think the fans are really going to love that are tuning in at home.”
 
 

2015 Season

  • 3rd in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 11 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 204 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 565 starts
  • 25 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 138 top-five finishes
  • 239 top-10 finishes
  • 8,051 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 20 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 4 top-five finish
  • 9 top-10 finishes
  • 176 laps led
 

Jimmie Johnson and 'Lady in Black' have good relationship

Jimmie Johnson is 10/1 to win at Darlington. Captured HMS' 200th win.
No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS / Jimmie Johnson

Driver: Jimmie Johnson 
Hometown: El Cajon, California
Age: 39 
Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

DARLINGTON THROWBACK EXPLAINED: Jimmie Johnson and longtime partner Lowe's will race a throwback car for this weekend. The No. 48 Chevrolet will feature the 1940s and 1950s Lowe's Home Improvement logo that was prominently used beginning with the company’s founding in 1946 through the time period in which Darlington Raceway first opened in 1950. To see the paint scheme, click here.

WIN NO. 200: On May 12, 2012, Johnson led 134 laps around the "Lady in Black" and took the checkered flag at Darlington for not only his 56th career win, but the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson’s other wins at Darlington came when the track had two race dates in a single season and he swept the 2004 events. In the past two races at Darlington, Johnson has finished fourth and third, respectively.

DARLINGTON DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Johnson has the third-best driver rating at Darlington with a score of 106.8 during the past 10 years at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

JOHNSON BEAT THE HEAT: During a recent race weekend at Watkins Glen, Johnson partnered with longtime partner Gatorade to document how he stays hydrated during race weekends and his fitness routine. Click here to watch the video and click here to see the photo gallery from his bike ride.

RICHMOND TICKET PACKAGE: Richmond International Raceway and Johnson have teamed up to offer a family ticket package for Saturday, Sept. 12 at RIR. The package includes a NASA hands-on activity, a question-and-answer session with the six-time champion and a ticket to the race on Saturday night. Tickets are $24 for kids 12 and younger and $48 for adults. For more information, click here.

UPCOMING JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION WELLNESS CHALLENGE EVENTS: Registration is open for the final event of the 2015 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge. The Lake Davidson Sprint Triathlon will take place on Sept. 13 in Davidson, North Carolina. Log on to www.jjfwellnesschallenge.orgfor more details.

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Darlington
“I really like Darlington. One of my favorite memories was winning the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports there. Everyone came to victory lane and we did this huge group photo. It was a special night – we had been chasing that number for a while – and it was just a big celebration.” 
 
 

2015 Season

  • 5th in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 4 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 11 top-five finishes
  • 16 top-10 finishes
  • 467 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 495 starts
  • 74 wins
  • 33 pole positions
  • 204 top-five finishes
  • 308 top-10 finishes
  • 17,618 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 16 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 9 top-five finishes
  • 12 top-10 finishes
  • 551 laps led
 

Jeff Gordon loved racing at Darlington right away

Jeff Gordon is a seven-time winner at Darlington.
No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon

Driver: Jeff Gordon
Hometown: Pittsboro, Indiana
Age: 44
Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Darlington Raceway media center at 2 p.m. local time Friday.

POINTS UPDATE: Two races remain – Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway – before the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set with Jeff Gordon currently ranked 13th, 52 points ahead of the cutoff position. Along with seven wins at Darlington, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has two victories at Richmond.

NEARING 25K: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS, is 169 shy of 25,000 career laps led. He has led more than 169 laps at the 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval twice – in 1996 and 2005.

TOPS AMONG ACTIVE DRIVERS AT DARLINGTON: The 44-year old driver ranks first among active drivers in the following statistical categories at the South Carolina track: wins, top-five finishes, top-10s, laps led and average start (6.8).

MILLION DOLLAR PAYDAY: In the final year of its existence, Gordon won three of the four “Winston Million” races in 1997 to capture the $1 million payday from the series sponsor. Gordon held off a hard-charging Jeff Burton during the closing laps at Darlington to become only the second driver to claim the prize. Bill Elliott, the first $1 million victor, won in 1985.

ANOTHER MILLION DOLLAR VICTORY: On Sept. 6, 1998, Gordon again won $1 million from the series sponsor as part of its “No Bull 5” program – his fourth consecutive victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

NEW 3M TAGLINE: 3M’s new corporate tagline “Science. Applied to Life.” will appear on the No. 24 Chevrolet SS again at Darlington Raceway. This weekend marks the seventh time 3M has been the primary sponsor of the No. 24 Chevrolet SS. It previously appeared on Gordon’s car at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Dover International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and will be the primary for a total of 11 races in 2015.

Jeff Gordon on racing at Darlington
“When I first started racing at Darlington, I loved it right away. There was a patience needed there – you had to hold back, not abuse the tires and stay out of the fence. You had to ‘race the racetrack,’ but you don’t hear that quite as much anymore.

“Darlington has changed a lot over the years since it was repaved. Now you’re racing track position, how far you can push the tires and how hard you can push the car.”
 
 

2015 Season

  • 13th in standings
  • 24 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 12 top-10 finishes
  • 167 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 785 starts
  • 92 wins
  • 80 pole positions
  • 323 top-five finishes
  • 466 top-10 finishes
  • 24,831 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 34 starts
  • 7 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 19 top-five finishes
  • 23 top-10 finishes
  • 1744 laps led
 
- Hendrick Motorsports

Kyle Busch favored to win 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500

Last race for Jeff Gordon at Darlington where he's won seven times. 
LAS VEGAS -- Kyle Busch is the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook's favorite, at 5-to-1 odds, to win Sunday night's Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Not only has the Joe Gibbs driver won four of the past nine Sprint Cup races, one of those victories came at Kentucky Speedway. The new aero package employed at Kentucky, consisting of a 3 1/2-inch spoiler reduction and 1 3/4-inch less overhang on the splitter, will be used again this weekend.

Kevin Harvick won Darlington last season and comes in as the second choice to win at 6-to-1 odds, and he would probably be favored if it weren't for Busch’s dominance in Kentucky. Darlington's 1.366-mile layout with four unique high-banked turns is nothing like Kentucky Speedway’s 1.5-mile layout, but it's the aero package influencing the bookmakers’ numbers.

In Kentucky, Joe Gibbs Racing had all four of its cars finish in the top five, as Kyle Busch led 163 of the 267 laps. Harvick finished eighth, though it was one of the few races in which he failed to lead a lap this season. Although he has 17 top-five finishes in 24 races this season, Harvick has failed to win a race since March (Phoenix, CampingWorld.com 500). JGR, meanwhile, has taken the checkered flag in five of the past seven races, the momentum starting with the debut of the new aero package in Kentucky.

The package suggests JGR cars will be fast again on Sunday, but Darlington – a special track with so much NASCAR history – must be handicapped. There isn't any other track like it, and comparisons are hard to make. They call this the track "too tough to tame," and the Lady in Black will paint a Darlington stripe on anyone who gets too close to her wall. The best of the best have all gotten their Darlington stripes, but some are less susceptible – and those are the drivers you'll want to key on Sunday night, in addition to referencing what happened at Kentucky.

Let's take a look at the top candidates to win and their opening odds at the Westgate.

Denny Hamlin (8/1): Just like most of the field, this will be his first ever Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend, but he should compete for the win. While his only win of the season came at Martinsville, the 'Lady' has been super kind to Hamlin over his career. In nine starts, he's averaged a 6.9 finish with a win in 2010. When factoring in his Kentucky performance, where he finished third and led 13 laps, he looks like a very attractive wager this week in both odds to win and driver matchups. Also attractive is his retro No. 11 paint scheme that pays respect to South Carolina native Cale Yarborough, who won the Southern 500 five times.

Read More Here...complete list of Southern 500 odds

Darlington Raceway Track Facts: 2015 Southern 500

The Southern 500 in finally back to Labor Day at Darlington Raceway. 
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Darlington Raceway
Rank
Driver
Races
Poles
Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
DNFs
Average Finish
Driver Rating
 
 
1
Kevin Harvick
18
1
1
4
7
1
17
93.1
 
2
Joey Logano
6
0
0
0
2
1
23
77.9
 
3
Dale Earnhardt Jr
20
0
0
4
9
1
14.3
94.3
 
4
Brad Keselowski
6
0
0
1
2
0
14.3
84.7
 
5
Jimmie Johnson
16
0
3
9
12
1
8.4
106.8
 
6
Martin Truex Jr
9
0
0
1
3
0
13.1
92.1
 
7
Matt Kenseth
21
1
1
3
10
1
16
93.2
 
8
Kurt Busch
18
2
0
2
5
1
17.9
81.6
 
9
Denny Hamlin
9
0
1
4
7
0
6.9
107.1
 
10
Jamie McMurray
14
1
0
3
5
1
16.1
82.6
 
* – Based on last 10 races at Darlington Raceway (2005 – 2014).

Darlington Three Year Average Finishes Of Drivers Currently 17th – 30th In The Standings

Points Pos.
Driver
3 Yr. Average Finish (2012 - 2014)
17
 Aric Almirola
21.0
18
 Kasey Kahne
20.7
19
 Greg Biffle
10.0
20
 Austin Dillon
11.0
21
 Kyle Larson
8.0
22
 Danica Patrick
27.0
23
 Casey Mears
25.7
24
 AJ Allmendinger
24.0
25
 David Ragan
33.0
26
 Sam Hornish Jr.*
0.0
27
 Tony Stewart
9.0
28
 Trevor Bayne*
0.0
29
 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19.0
30
 Justin Allgaier
23.0

*Sam Hornish Jr. and Trevor Bayne have not made starts in the last three seasons at Darlington in the NSCS.


STATISTICAL ADVANCE

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.
Starts
·         There have been 111 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fifth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races.   
·         709 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 428 in more than one.
·         NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 34 starts; followed by Tony Stewart with 22.
·         Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.824.
·         Jeff Gordon (6.8), Ryan Newman (8.6) and Kasey Kahne (9.1) are the only active three drivers with an average starting position in the top 10.  
·         125 different drivers have made NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career debut at Darlington Raceway.

Poles

·         Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington in 1950 in an Oldsmobile with a speed of 82.034 mph.  
·         48 drivers have Coors Light poles at Darlington, led by David Pearson with 12. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers with four.
·         Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Darlington. Kasey Kahne is the only active driver with consecutive Coors Light poles (2005-2006).
·         David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Darlington with five (1975 - 1977).
·         Youngest Darlington pole winner: Kurt Busch (09/02/2001 – 23 years, 0 months, 29 days).
·         Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (09/06/1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days).
·         Eight drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Darlington Raceway: Cotton Owens(1957), Fred Lorenzen (1961), Bill Elliott (1981), Ken Schrader (1987), John Andretti (1995), Kurt Busch(2001), Elliott Sadler (2003) and Clint Bowyer (2007).
Wins
·         47 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven wins; followed by his HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson with three.
·         Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint 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 Darlington winner: Kyle Busch (05/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).
·         Oldest Darlington winner: Harry Gant (09/01/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days).
·        
Manufacturer
Wins
Chevrolet
41
Ford
28
Mercury
10
Oldsmobile
6
Dodge
5
Pontiac
5
Buick
4
Plymouth
4
Hudson
3
Toyota
3
American Motors Company
2

Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Darlington in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 14.
·         11 different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Darlington; led by Chevrolet with 41 victories; followed byFord with 28 and Toyota has three.
·         20 of the 111 (18.02%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in last season’s event.
·         NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson has won from the pole four times at Darlington – the series’ most. 
·         The Coors Light pole 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).   

Wins
·         37 of the 111 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 20 from first-place and 17 from second-place.
·         96 of the 111 (86.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·         Six of the 111 (5.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
·         The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NSCS event.
·         13 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Darlington; Dale Earnhardt (1989-1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995-1996) are tied for the series-most in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each. 
·         All seven active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Darlington Raceway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Among active drivers, Kyle Busch won at Darlington in the fewest previous appearances (three). 
·         Matt Kenseth competed at Darlington Raceway 19 times before winning last season; the longest span of any the six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
·         Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 22.
Additional Finishing Position Stats
·         Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each.Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with four.
·         Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine.  
·         Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with 12 each.
·         Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 6.889.
·         Three active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (6.8),Kyle Larson (8.0) and Jimmie Johnson (8.4).   
Track/Event Specific Stats
·         Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway is the (03/16/2003) race won by Ricky Craven with a MOV of 0.002 second over Kurt Busch. The MOV is tied with the 2011 Talladega race as the closest finish in the NSCS since the inception using electronic timing and scoring. 
·         There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting in a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway: 2005 (367/370), 2011 (367/370), 2012 (367/368) and 2014 (367/374).

Additional Finishing Position Stats
·         Eight of the 111 races at Darlington Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the fall race of 2000.  
·         Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway five times; most recently was the fall race of 2004.  
·         Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,744 laps led in 34 starts.
Female Competitor Stats
·         Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Active Drivers
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Danica Patrick
38
31
5/12/2012
Danica Patrick
40
28
5/11/2013
Danica Patrick
33
22
4/12/2014
Averages
37.0
27.0
 
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
·         There have been 221 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 10 tracks in South Carolina.
Track Name
City
NSCS
Darlington Raceway
Darlington
111
Columbia Speedway
Columbia
43
Greenville-Pickens Speedway
Greenville
29
Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds
Spartanburg
22
Rambi Race Track
Myrtle Beach
9
Coastal Speedway
Myrtle Beach
2
Lancaster Speedway
Lancaster
2
Gamecock Speedway
Sumter
1
Hartsville Speedway
Hartsville
1
Newberry Speedway
Newberry
1

·         The first NASCAR Sprint 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.  

NASCAR In South Carolina
·         133 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as South Carolina.
·         117 of the 133 (87.9%) South Carolina drivers have competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  
·         10 drivers from South Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; seven have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Driver
NSCS
NXS
NCWTS
David Pearson
105
1
0
Cale Yarborough
83
0
0
Cotton Owens
9
0
0
Tiny Lund
5
0
0
James Hylton
2
0
0
Johnny Allen
1
0
0
Joe Eubanks
1
0
0
Larry Pearson
0
15
0
Jason Keller
0
10
0
Butch Lindley
0
6
0

                            
Milestones – 2015 Season – Race 25

 
DRIVER
HAS
NEEDS
MILESTONE
DESCRIPTION
 
 
Jeff Gordon
785
3
788th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Consecutive Starts
In three starts Jeff Gordon will tie Ricky Rudd (788 consecutive starts) for the series all-time lead in consecutive starts.
 
Tony Stewart
578
1
579th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start
Stewart can tie Buck Baker (579 starts) for 23rd on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts list. 
 
Clint Bowyer
349
1
350th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start
Bowyer is tied with Ned Jarrett for 69th on the all-time NSCS starts list, one start behind Denny Hamlin in 68th (350 starts).
 
Cole Whitt
74
1
75th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start
Whitt is 225th on the all-time NSCS starts list, one start behind Casey Atwood in 224th (75 starts).
 
Jimmie Johnson
74
2
76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win
Jimmie Johnson is eighth on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in seventh (76 wins).
 
Tony Stewart
48
2
50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win
Stewart is 13th on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett in 12th (50 wins).
 
Carl Edwards
24
1
25th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win
Edwards is 31st on the all-time NSCS wins list, one win behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joe Weatherly and Denny Hamlin tied for 28th (25 wins).
 
Denny Hamlin
99
1
100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top-Five Finish
Hamlin is 38th on the all-time NSCS top-five list, one top five behind Geoff Bodine in 37th (100 top fives).
 
Tony Stewart
299
1
300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top-10 Finish
Stewart is 17th on the all-time NSCS top-10 finishes list, two top 10s behind James Hylton in 16th (301 top 10s).
 
Jeff Gordon
24,831
169
25,000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Laps Led
Gordon can become the sixth driver in NSCS history to lead 25,000 laps; joining Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Bobby Allison.
 
Matt Kenseth
9,748
252
10,000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Laps Led
Kenseth can become the 16th driver in series history to lead 10,000 or more laps. 
 
Kevin Harvick
7,969
31
8,000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Laps Led
Kevin Harvick can become the 24th driver in series history to lead 8,000 or more laps. 
 
#43 car
199
1
200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins
The No. 43 car is second on the all-time NSCS wins list, five wins behind the No. 11 car in first (204). The last win for the No. 43 car came at Daytona last season.
 
Chevrolet
749
1
750th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win
Chevrolet will attempt to post the manufacturer's 750th win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend. Chevrolet leads the series in wins.