Sunday, April 13, 2014

Harvick grabs first win ever at Darlington

The frustration had been mounting for Kevin Harvick since he won the second race of the season.

But Harvick, who had endured a series of mishaps and poor finishes in the past five weeks, took out those frustrations on the field Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, dominating the Bojangles Southern 500 and then winning a late dash to the checkered flag for his second win of the season. Harvick became the first two-race winner of the season, snapping a streak of seven different winners to start the season and gaining an advantage in the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format.

MORE: Earnhardt knows he finished second | Cup results | Behind the scenes with Chase Elliott

Harvick dominated the race, but came out of the pits fifth during a late caution period. Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others took just two tires while Harvick took four, setting up a dramatic finish.

But Harvick blew past Earnhardt on the second of two green-white-checkered restarts to regain the lead and take the victory. Earnhardt finished second, followed by Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.

Read More Here....Sporting News

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Bojangles Southern 500 Practice Notes: Gordon looks to be driver to beat

Gordon has everything in his favor this week to have another great run
Darlington Raceway may not have the sandpaper grit on its surface like it used to before the track was resurfaced in 2008, but it’s still a tough track to get around because of it’s unique configuration which is why some past trends on the track had a lot more emphasis placed in our ratings than usual.

On a normal race track, we weight the drivers mostly by what happened during Friday and Saturday practices on the track. It’s about 70 percent of the equation, but that figures drops significantly because there is no other track like Darlington, and it’s a lot easier to look and be fast on the track during practice when no one is racing for position.

Over the years, we consistently see the same names atop the top-10 finishers because they have learned how to race the track first and then the other drivers surrounding them second. It’s may sound like an easy process, but it takes time to get it mastered, and only a select few have been able to get it done on a regular basis.

This is why Jeff Gordon is considered our top driver to win Saturday night’s Bojangles Southern 500. And while he was no slouch during Friday’s two practices -- fifth and third respectively, he shoots up to the top our list just because of consistency on the track 'Too Tough to Tame'. Gordon has seven wins on the 1.366-mile layout, but none since 2007, which was the last year of the old surface. On the basis of coming in strong on big horsepower tracks like Fontana and Texas, along with strong practices, and then all his fantastic history on the track, we think he’s the driver to beat.

Had history and the track itself not played such role in the rating equation, Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano might be considered the drivers to beat. Both have been fast on just about every track and both had the best 10-consecutive lap average during each of Friday's practice sessions.

Last season it was Matt Kenseth winning who had never won at Darlington in 19 career races, but after winning at 1.5-mile tracks like Las Vegas and Kansas, he grabbed his first win. Keselowski and Logano have each won on the only two 1.5-mile tracks raced on this season at Las Vegas and Texas. Still, ‘The Lady in Back’ looms large as the only reason not to go all in with both of these drivers and the reason that tilts the scales in Gordon's favor.

Read More Here..........Final Driver Ratings

Micah Roberts, a former race and sports book director in Las Vegas, has been setting NASCAR odds since 1995. For more post-practice analysis, visit the Linemakers on SportingNews.com or follow MicahRoberts7 on Twitter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Darlington Driver Chassis Selections: 2014 Bojangle's Southern 500

Jeff Gordon (8/1) will be using anew chassis this week at Darlington
#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis for Darlington is PRS-904, which is a new chassis. The backup chassis is PRS-840 which last served as a backup at Las Vegas in March.

#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot chassis No. 453 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. This is the same DOW Chevrolet SS that Dillon raced to a 16th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Although Dillon has not yet competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he has made two appearances at the "Lady in Black" in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, securing his best starting position of third and his best finish of a fifth in 2012. He also finished 11th after starting eighth in 2013. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has two starts at the track in the Truck Series, earning his best finish of fifth in August 2010, coupled with a 15th-place result in March 2011.

#4-Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 4-843 in Saturday night's race at Darlington. Harvick last raced this car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. In that event, Harvick led 23 laps before an issue with the left-front hub sent the team to the garage area for repairs, which relegated them to a 41st-place finish. Harvick has 17 prior NSCS starts at Darlington. He has earned three top fives and six top 10s, and has an average start of 17.2 and an average finish of 17.9.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-829 for Saturday night's event at Darlington. Most recently, Kahne raced this chassis to an eighth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Kahne is two-for-two when it comes to racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Darlington. He led a combined 190 laps to win the 2004 and 2011 Truck events at the 1.366-mile oval.

#10-Danica Patrick will pilot Chassis No. 10-677, which was first used by Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman in September 2011 at Chicago, where he started fourth and led 18 laps before finishing eighth. Newman next used the chassis in October 2011 at Kansas, where he started 11th and finished 18th. The last time Newman drove the car was in March 2012 at Auto Club, where he started sixth and finished seventh in a race that ended early due to rain. Danica Patrick made her second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start using Chassis No. 10-677 in May 2012 at Darlington, where she started 38th and finished 31st. Since that race, the car was converted into a Gen-6 Chevrolet SS. Chassis No. 10-677 was pressed into service last May, when Patrick was involved in an accident in her primary car during practice for the Southern 500 at Darlington. She started 40th and finished 28th in the backup car. She competed with the chassis one other time in September at Dover, where she started 31st and finished 29th.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 804 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Darlington Raceway. Bowyer drove this Toyota to a 15th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 800 serves as the back-up chassis. This chassis has never seen action on the race track but has served as the back up for Fontana, Las Vegas and Texas. Bowyer has one top-10 finish in eight starts and completed 2,749 of 2,940 laps (93.5%) and led 16 laps with an average start 18.9 and average finish 21.1 with a best finish of ninth came in May 2007. Bowyer captured one of his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles at Darlington in May 2007 (the other coming at New Hampshire in Sept. 2007 where he won from the pole)

#16-Greg Biffle: and the Matt Puccia led #16 Red Cross team will run chassis RK-903 is a brand new chassis. The backup chassis will be RK-879 which last ran Las Vegas and finished 22nd. Biffle has 13 Sprint Cup career starts at Darlington, earning two wins, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Darlington is the track where Biffle holds his second-best starting average of 9.5, with an average finish of 13.9.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: and the #17 Nationswide team will be using primary chassis Chassis RK-902 at Darlington, which is a brand new chassis. The backup chassis is RK-860, which was last raced at Texas in 2013 and finished 16th. Stenhouse Jr. has one career Sprint Cup start at the 1.366-mile track where he finished 18th. With the Nationwide Eagle on the hood, the #17 Nationwide Insurance primary paint scheme has earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes this season.

#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis is PRS-903 for Darlington, which is a new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-844 which was last used as a backup at Las Vegas.

#24-Jeff Gordon: crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-861 for this Saturday night's race. This is a new chassis that has never been raced. Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has seven wins, three pole positions, 19 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s in 33 Cup starts at Darlington Raceway.

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 463 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. This #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS has been never been used in competition and is new to the RCR stable of Sprint Cup cars. At the 1.36-mile oval of Darlington Raceway, Menard has seven previous starts with a best start of 14th and finish of 13th, which both took place in the 2012 event. His average start at the "Track too Tough to Tame" is 24.4 and average finish is 23.7. Menard has completed 2,527 of 2,573 laps attempted (98.2 percent) and led three laps.

#31-Ryan Newman will race chassis No. 441 in Saturday night's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Chassis No. 441 was raced on March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway where the No. 31 team qualified 15th and finished seventh. Newman is looking to capture his first-career victory at his favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. The Rocket Man won the 2003 pole at the 1.366-mile oval. In total, he owns seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. The South Bend, Ind. native has an average start of ninth and average finish of 12th. Plus, Newman ranks third in most championship points earned in the last five races at Darlington and ranks sixth in points earned over the last 10 events.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Chassis No. 48-824 for Saturday night's race. Johnson drove this car to a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-784 which Johnson most recently raced last season at Michigan International Speedway in June.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary Chassis 808 has not raced. The backup chassis is 801, which finished 13th at Las Vegas.

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 team has selected Chassis No. 88-745. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a 24th-place finish at Bristol in March.

#99-Carl Edwards the #99 Ford EcoBoost team will unload primary chassis RK-874 at Darlington was last run in 2014 at Phoenix, finishing eighth. The backup chassis is RK-880 was last used in 2014 as a primary at Vegas, finishing fifth. Edwards has yet to capture a win at Darlington Raceway, finishing second in 2008 and 2011. Edwards has 10 Sprint Cup starts at Darlington with an average start of 15.9 and an average finish of 12.5.

- compiled by Jayski.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

'The Lady in Black' likes Denny Hamlin: Darlington best 5.4 average finish

Hamlin won at Darlington in 2010. He's 10/1 to win this week
Denny Hamlin / No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Preview
Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota News and Notes:

· HAMLIN LOOKING TO TAME ‘THE LADY IN BLACK’: Making his ninth-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at the historical Darlington Raceway, Denny Hamlin looks to earn his first win of the season and second-career win at ‘The Lady in Black.’ Piloting the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Hamlin will be looking to finish one position better than he has the previous two seasons. In his eight previous starts at the track, Hamlin has one win (2010), four top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes and average start of 10.1 and average finish of 5.4. He has led 354 laps and completed 100 percent of attempted laps (2,940 of 2,940 laps). His worst finish at Darlington Raceway in the NSCS is 13th in 2009.

· JGR AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has a total of 65 starts at Darlington Raceway entering this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. In those 65 starts, the team has four wins (Matt Kenseth – 2013; Hamlin – 2010; Kyle Busch – 2008; Bobby Labonte – 2000), one pole starting position, 16 top-five finishes, 37 top-10 finishes, an average start of 15.5, an average finish of 12.0, has led 1,143 laps and completed 21,537 of 22,003 attempted laps (97.9%).

· VFW SPORT CLIPS HELP A HERO: Through their partnership with Darlington Raceway, Sport Clips will be the entitlement sponsor for Fridaynight’s Nationwide Series race, showcasing their support for VFW with the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200. Sport Clips will continue to use its NASCAR partnership to raise awareness about the struggles many military families are facing and the VFW’s mission to support active-duty military, veterans and their families. As the “Official Haircutter” of the VFW, Sport Clips has donated more than $2 million to the organization through its annual “Help A Hero” campaign, which was established in 2007. Since their first contribution of more than $80,000, Sport Clips’ donations have increased annually. Earlier this year, Sport Clips made its most recent, and largest, donation of more than $525,000, benefiting the new VFW-administered “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program. The donations were collected by Sport Clips stylists, managers, and owner’s in-store and in their communities from October 14, 2013 to Veterans Day, November 11, 2013.Through this recent contribution, Sport Clips and the VFW provided 44 spring semester scholarships and expect to provide more than 60 additional scholarships, of up to $5,000, for the fall 2014 semester. Eligible service members can now apply through April 30 atwww.VFW.org/scholarship. The company also continues to support phone calls home for deployed and hospitalized service members through the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ Free Call Days. To learn more about Help A Hero, visit www.sportclips.com/hero. Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Elliott Sadler will pilot the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota during Friday night’s VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race.

· RACE INFO: The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET. For pre-race coverage, tune in to FoxSports 1 at 6:00 p.m. ET followed by full-race coverage on Fox beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET

Hamlin’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats at Darlington Raceway:
Starts
Wins
Top 5
Top 10
Poles
Laps Led
Earnings
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
8
1
4
7
0
354
$1,435,212
10.1
5.4
Hamlin’s 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
Starts
Wins
Top 5
Top 10
Poles
Laps Led
Earnings
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
6
0
1
2
1
41
$1,706,451
8.7
11.8
Hamlin’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
Starts
Wins
Top 5
Top 10
Poles
Laps Led
Earnings
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
297
23
85
138
18
6,758
$57,159,018
14.0
14.6

About Sport Clips Haircuts
Sport Clips Haircuts is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas. It was established in 1993 and started franchising in 1995 by founder and CEO Gordon Logan. The sports-themed haircutting franchise, which specializes in haircuts for men and boys, is ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 20 “Fastest-Growing Franchises” and in the top 40 in the “Franchise 500.” There are currently over 1,200 Sport Clips stores open 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 “Top Franchises for Veterans” by Franchise Business Review. Our “Help A Hero” program has raised more than $2 million to help deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members call home through the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ and provide scholarships for veterans transitioning to a civilian career. Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR drivers Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, and Drew Herring, and partners with numerous NCAA and professional sports teams. To learn more about Sport Clips, visit sportclips.com.

- Joe Gibbs Racing


VIDEO: ROBERTS TALKS DARLINGTON ODDS AND HAMLIN'S CHANCES

Clint Bowyer on the Southern 500: "I've never really run good at Darlington"

Clint Bowyer is 20/1 to win at Darlington saturday night
CORNELIUS, N.C. — Easter is just around the corner and the tradition that accompanies the holiday of dying eggs a variety of colors. Like everyone else, the Sprint Cup Series will have to wait until next weekend to celebrate the holiday- the first of two off weekends for the circuit- but colors and eggs of a different sort characterize this weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

The coloring may not happen to eggs this weekend but something else usually ends up colorful at Darlington. The egg-shaped track called “too tough to tame” typically challenges drivers with the result being contact with the wall. Whether it’s contact made by tires or, in some cases, the paint from a car leaving what is known as a “Darlington Stripe,” the result is a wall that can sometimes be as colorful as an Easter egg.

Clint Bowyer hopes all the colors of his No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota remain on his car and not the wall this weekend. It’s been a somewhat challenging track for the Michael Waltrip Racing driver. He did, however, earn one of his two poles at the 1.366-mile track, despite Bowyer saying he didn’t “know better than to drive it in that hard and he was just lucky it stuck and didn’t hit the wall.”

And while he has only one top-10 finish, half of his eight starts have ended in top-15s. With two consecutive top-10 finishes in the past two races, Bowyer hopes his brightly colored Toyota is more colorful than the Darlington walls by the end of 367 lapsSaturday evening.

How challenging is racing and being fast at Darlington?
“I’ve never really run good at Darlington — I do have a pole there. The first year ever I had no idea what I was doing and I was scared to death. I got out and they said that I was the fastest man alive and I said, ‘Good because I’m never going that fast again.’ It was one of those deals where I sat down there in (turn) one and watched people get in. It wasn’t necessarily how deep they got in, it was when they picked up the gas and how affirmative they picked up the gas. I just made up my mind, I’d already hit the wall twice in practice so I was going for it. If she sticks, she sticks and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I went in there and I knew exactly where I needed to lift and when I went back to the throttle I went wide open and I held it there all the way down the back straightaway and by the time I got to the checkered flag and finally breathed they said I was on the pole. That’s when I said, ‘Well good, that’s the last one I’ll ever do.”

CHASSIS
Chassis No. 804 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Darlington Raceway. Bowyer drove this Toyota to a 15th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 800 serves as the back-up chassis. This chassis has never seen action on the race track but has served as the back up for Fontana, Las Vegas and Texas.

DARLINGTON STATS
* One top-10 finish in eight starts
* Completed 2,749 of 2,940 laps (93.5%) and led 16 laps
* Average start 18.9 and average finish 21.1
* Best finish of ninth came in May 2007
* Captured one of his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles at Darlington in May 2007 (the other coming at New Hampshire in Sept. 2007 where he won from the pole)

Site
2006-11
Darlington
3
23
365/367
running
0
2007-11
Darlington
1
9
367/367
running
16
2008-11
Darlington
38
15
367/367
running
0
2009-11
Darlington
17
37
221/367
crash
0
2010-11
Darlington
27
32
331/367
running
0
2011-10
Darlington
26
31
363/370
crash
0
2012-11
Darlington
26
11
368/368
running
0
2013-11
Darlington
13
11
367/367
running
0

#ASKMWR
Throughout race weekends in 2014 MWR will collect questions hash-tagged #AskMWR on its @MWRteam Twitter handle. MWR Jackman Wes Evans will host a 3-minute video each Wednesday on www.michaelwaltripracing.com featuring MWR experts answering the best fan questions from the weekend.

FOLLOW ON TWITTER
@clintbowyer
@mw55
@mwrteam
@5hourenergy
@toyotaracing

- Michael Waltrip Racing

Carl Edwards 20/1 to win his first Southern 500

Carl Edwards – BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500
Team: No.99 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Primary Chassis: RK-874
Backup Chassis: RK-880
Twitter: @99_RFRracing

ADVANCE NOTES

Edwards at Darlington Raceway

o Edwards has yet to capture a win at Darlington Raceway, finishing second in 2008 and 2011
o Edwards has 10 Sprint Cup starts at Darlington with an average start of 15.9 and an average finish of 12.5
o Edwards has finished in the top-five three times and in the top-ten seven times

The Car
o Primary chassis RK-874 was last run in 2014 at Phoenix, finishing eighth
o Backup chassis RK-880 was last used in 2014 as a primary at Vegas, finishing fifth

Ford EcoBoost
o For 2014, EcoBoost will be available on more than 90% of the FORD nameplates, rising to 95% by 2015.
o EcoBoost technology combines smaller overall size with turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing for outstanding performance and fuel economy.
o Better fuel efficiency and lower fuel bills are the top reasons for EcoBoost engines.

Edwards on Darlington:
“We have EcoBoost on the car this week, it’s only the decals though because EcoBoost is so technologically advanced I don’t think they’d allow it. It would be an unfair advantage if we actually had an EcoBoost engine. Darlington is a lot of fun. It’s a 500 mile race so it is a true test of man and machine, and it is one of the toughest races of the year. It’s a fast race track, there is so much history there, and to win there would be great.”

- Roush Fenway Racing

LVH odds to win 2014 Bojangle's Southern 500 at Darlington

Jimmie Johnson is 5/1 to win his forth race at Darlington Saturday night
LAS VEGAS -- Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth combined to win 13 of the 36 races last season, but thus far in 2014 both have been kept from the winners circle. What is even more remarkable is that seven other drivers have won during the first seven races. It's the longest streak to start a season without multiple winners since 2003 when there were nine straight different drivers.

The all-time record to start a season is 10 different drivers in 2000. With the list of quality drivers that are still winless, that record could be in jeopardy and Darlington Raceway is the perfect track to have the streak continue.

If we look at who the most consistent drivers are at Darlington, three of them have yet to win on the season, and that’s not even including Kenseth, who won last season. Between three-time winner Jimmie Johnson, seven-time winner Jeff Gordon and 2010 winner Denny Hamlin, there is a strong probability for new winner again this week.

Johnson comes in as the LVH SuperBook’s 5-to-1 favorite to win Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 on the basis of the massive respect for his overall game, along with an 8.8 average finish on ‘the track too tough to tame’. Sure, he’s gotten his Darlington stripes just like everyone else, but he has a special skill on the track which has helped him handle the differing banks and angles on each set of turns. “The lady in black’, as the track is sometimes referred to, has been rather kind to Johnson.

Gordon has won seven times on the 1.366-mile layout, including a record four straight Southern 500’s from 1995-98. He’s had top-5 finishes in eight of his past 10 starts, grabbing the win in 2007. For the first time since 2009 -- a span of 174 races-- he comes into this year’s race as the points leader. The LVH has him at 8-to-1 and the way we saw him run at Fontana and Texas suggests that he’s got plenty of power to help him grab his eighth Darlington win, and his first of the season.

While the ‘Lady’ has allowed Johnson and Gordon plenty of success, they’ve also endured her wrath on occasion. Denny Hamlin (10-to-1), however, has never felt her true anger. In eight career starts, he’s never finished worse than 13th. He’s been runner up the past two seasons and won in 2010. He’s been kissed by her — collecting his own stripes — but they were just friendly hellos which has allowed him to average a series best 5.4 average.

A large number of 25-to-1 has been posted on a possible candidate to win — someone who would keep the different driver streak alive as well. Except this one, Tony Stewart, has never won at Darlington before. That’s a span of 21 races and is one of only two tracks he‘s never on, with Kentucky being the other. It’s amazing that a two-time Sprint Cup Champion, and a driver with Stewart’s moxie, could go on so long and not win the prestigious Southern 500. All the past greats have done it, and it’s one of those mysteries akin to Stewart never winning the Daytona 500.

The reason for the long odds is simply because no one knows what to think of the Stewart-Haas Racing program through seven races. SHR drivers Kurt Busch (25-to-1) and Kevin Harvick (8-to-1) have each won races this season, but they sit 25th and 26th respectively in points. Stewart is 14th, and has shown sign of getting back to his 2011 form, but as a bettor, they are hard to trust. Last week at Texas was the perfect example. They showed off amazing speeds in practices and qualifying, but something went wrong on race day.

Yes, they are all fast, but with two of three winning already, could it be that the new points system has lessened their sense of urgency, where they can take a swing for fences approach and sacrifice consistency? Wins are all that matter and they already theoretically have two cars in the Chase, unless this different driver streak keeps piling up.

What a bettor should like about Stewart is that Darlington needs to be checked off his list. His average finish of 12th-place should also meet satisfactory consistency requirements. He finished a career-best third in 2009 and matched it in 2012.

Harvick and Busch have never won at Darlington either, but the second-place finish by Busch in 2003 might have been the best finish to a race in NASCAR history. Ricky Craven won that race by two-thousandths of a second, and while they were slipping, sliding, beating and banging along the way, the final three laps showed all the unique facets of the track and why it is the most exciting type of racing on the circuit. It’s the Fenway Park of NASCAR — old, but nothing beats it.

Other drivers that have fared well at Darlington that have yet to win this year include Ryan Newman (12.3 avg.), Martin Truex Jr. (11.4) and 2005-06 winner Greg Biffle (13.9).

Read More Here...........LVH odds to win

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Darlington Notes & Quotes from Chevrolet Drivers: 2014 Bojangles Southern 500

Two of Darlington's best drive Chevy's, Gordon and Johnson
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES SOUTHERN 500
DARLINGTON RACEWAY
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
APRIL 8, 2014

TEAM CHEVY IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (NSCS) COMPETITION:

· Chevrolet has won 37 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Manufacturers’ Championships
· Team Chevy drivers have scored 721 wins and 649 poles in NSCS competition

CHEVROLET ON THE TRACK—DARLINGTON RACEWAY:
Chevrolet drivers have won 40 of 110 races at Darlington Raceway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, has seven (7) wins at Darlington Raceway (’95, ’96 – TWICE, ’97, ’98, ’02, & ’07)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, has visited Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway three (3) times (’04 – TWICE & ’12)
A Chevrolet driver has won two (2) of the last three (3) races at Darlington Raceway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Darlington Raceway 20 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 175 top-five and 363 top-10 finishes at Darlington Raceway
A Chevrolet has led 12,278 laps (33.2% of possible 37,037 laps) at Darlington Raceway

TEAM CHEVY FOR THE FANS AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY:
· Fans can check out great Chevrolet vehicles including: Corvette, Tahoe, Silverado High Country, Silverado Double Cab, Silverado HD 2500, Malibu, Cruze, Traverse, Equinox, Camaro and Impala. At the display fans can also take an up-close and personal look at the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS race car.
· Other activities at the Team Chevy Racing Display include a variety of interactive games for adults and kids
Fans can see a sample of engines, parts and accessories in the Team Chevy Display available for purchase from Chevrolet at their local Chevrolet dealer

DRIVER FAN Q/A APPEARANCES:
· Friday, April 11th – Richard Childress Racing teammates Ty Dillon and Cale Conley will visit the Team Chevy Stage at 12:30 p.m.followed by an appearance from Paul Menard at 4:00 p.m.
· Saturday, April 12th – Jamie McMurray will kick things off at the Team Chevy stage at 2:30 p.m. followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kyle Larson at 3:00 p.m.
· Hours of operation: Fri. April 11th – 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Sat. April 12th – 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

TEAM CHEVY FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER

The first time I drove there, it reminded me of a couple of sprint car tracks – tracks like Winchester (Ind.) Speedway – that are super-fast but you have to respect it or it could ruin your day. Darlington is just a cool, fast place – you get that sensation of speed there because you run right up next to the wall. And the track ‘drives’ you.

“At other places, we are typically trying to put the car in specific spots on the track. At Darlington, the track naturally ‘feeds’ you to a certain area which is right up next to the wall.

“Success always starts with the race team and the race car, and I’ve had good ones here. Another key to success at Darlington is being able to push the limits of the car and the track, and keeping it on that ‘edge’ without going over. At Darlington, it’s very easy to go over the edge.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – 7TH IN STANDINGS
“Darlington has been a great track for us over the years. The most memorable was winning the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports a few years ago. From a track standpoint, Darlington has character so track position and strategy will be pretty important. There is a ton of history and a great race for the fans to watch. It’s a high speed track – it’s one of my favorites. Texas was disappointing for us – we had such a fast car and had some bad luck so I’m looking forward to this weekend and getting back after it.”

PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 CERTAINTEED/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS
“Darlington Raceway is a very unique track with the way it’s laid out. We race right up against the wall in the turns, which is even more challenging with how the cars transition out of Turn 2 for the backstretch. Tire wear isn’t as tricky as it was after they repaved it a few years ago, but it still offers a challenge because of how the asphalt has weathered so quickly. We get to race under the lights on a Saturday night and drivers and fans seem to enjoy these types of race. Being one of the original tracks on the NASCAR circuit means there is some great history to the Lady in Black. We just hope we get to add our name to the history books this weekend.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“Darlington Raceway is my favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track. It’s so challenging. You have to race the track in order to get to the end. It’s a challenge to pass there. When you go into Turn 1, you lift on the straightaway and then you are pretty much wide open all the way through Turn 1 and 2. You drive it like no other track on the circuit. I don’t know what it’s going to be like with the new rules package or the tire combination they come up with. Regardless, it’s such a fun racetrack to drive because you have to hustle the car around. Plus, the history of the track is what makes it so amazing. The racetrack was designed to race on the apron and not on the banking. It’s amazing how much it hasn’t changed, but yet, it still produces great races.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“We’re going to get some time at Darlington Raceway running right by the wall. It’s a fun place. You can really have some exciting racing there. I’m looking forward to competing there in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. I’ve never been there in a Cup car, so it will really be a learning experience there and at all of these short tracks that we are going to in the Sprint Cup Series car for the first time. Bristol Motor Speedway treated us well and hopefully Darlington Raceway will also.”

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – 14TH IN STANDINGS
“Absolutely. As much as we know about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I think people underestimate how much we know about Darlington and the history of that track, and how hard it is to win races there. I guess that’s why a Sprint Cup win at Darlington is something that’s really important to me.”

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m looking forward to going to Darlington because the groove is right on the wall so it kind of suits my driving style. I like going to the top, and it seems like the closer you get to the wall there the faster you go. The track is also pretty rough so the times slow down a lot. After a few laps when times slow down it’s a little bit easier to pass because you can move around more and it just seems like there are more lanes on these worn out tracks. I did well there last year in the Nationwide car (finished sixth), so it should be good going back to race the Target Chevy.”

KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS- 19TH IN STANDINGS
“We were really good in the Darlington race last year. We ran inside the top four through the majority of the night. We were by far the best car at the end of that race, but just didn’t get the win because of circumstances when I was hit by another car as I was making my move for first. I’m looking forward to going back there this weekend. It’s a track I’ve always wanted to win at, and I definitely think we’re capable of doing so this weekend.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 CLOROX CHEVROLET SS – 20TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s one of those things where you go into the night at Darlington Raceway with your No. 47 Clorox Chevrolet SS knowing you’re going to earn your money. I feel like it is one of those places if you get around it well, you have accomplished something. At the same point if you struggle there, there is nowhere to hide. The history of the track and what it means to the sport of NASCAR makes it really cool to drive through the tunnel there. Again, it is one of the races I actually missed last year. Even though I haven’t really been that good there in the past, I really enjoy it.”

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“We tested our No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS at Darlington last week and things went really well, so we’re looking forward to getting there on Friday and seeing how we unload. The sensation of speed there is tremendous and it’s one of my favorite places to race. It’s going to be interesting to see how much faster everyone is compared to last year. Darlington is such a historic racetrack, so it’s always fun to race there under the lights and put on a good show for the fans.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“The biggest moment at Darlington I ever had was finishing second to Ricky Craven in 2003 – everyone knows that race. It’s one of the best finishes in NASCAR history. But probably the next biggest moment would be during my championship run in 2004. I had an ill-handling car and still managed to finish sixth with it due to good pit stops. That was a perfect moment because it was our championship to lose with where we finished that day in 2004. That was back when Darlington used to be in the Chase.”

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Well, any lap around Darlington is a lap where you have got to be paying attention to what’s going on because you can get yourself in trouble at any point on the race track. You carry a lot of speed into Turn 1 and you run right up the banking right up next to the wall and right back into the throttle. As you come back down the hill you might have to breathe the throttle a little bit, but it’s a lot of fun coming out of Turn 2 as it kind of shoots you down the backstretch. Turns 3 and 4 are probably the hardest because you carry so much speed off of (Turn) 2 into (Turn) 3 and the line kind of moves around a bit there. It’s probably the easiest place to get in the wall. Well it’s pretty easy to get in the wall anywhere, but definitely the easiest place to get into the wall is the middle of (Turns) 3 and 4.”

MARTIN TRUEX, JR., NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW CHEVROLET SS – 27TH IN STANDINGS
“I absolutely love Darlington Raceway. It is probably my favorite track on the whole circuit. I’ve always run well there and really enjoy the challenge of it. I’ve led a lot of laps at Darlington and been in position to win but never could put together the strategy to be at the front at the end. It’s a fun track — you can attack her (Lady in Black), but she can also reach out and bite you whenever she feels like it. It’s a delicate situation, and you sure don’t want to be on the wrong end of it. You’re living on that edge at Darlington, putting the car against that wall all night long. Having to be aggressive, and at the same time be perfect within a half-of-an inch from the wall. It does make for a really fun race.”

JUSTIN ALLGAIER, NO. 51 CHEVROLET SS – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“Darlington is one of the tracks on the schedule that you like to see because it’s unique. It doesn’t really seem to matter if you are a rookie or a veteran; the chances of getting a Darlington stripe are pretty good. I’m looking forward to getting there and making laps in a Sprint Cup car.”

About Chevrolet:
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

- Team Chevy

Kenseth looking for Darlington repeat and first win of 2014

Matt Kenseth is 7/1 to win Saturday at Darlington 
Matt Kenseth/No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota Preview
Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway
No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota News and Notes:

KENSETH’S DOUBLE-DUTY: In addition to competing in Saturday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500, Kenseth will also pilot the No. 20 GameStop/Call of Duty Ghosts Toyota in Friday’s VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway. Kenseth’s last Nationwide Series start at Darlington was in 2013 where he started third and finished fifth.

JOE GIBBS RACING AT DARLINGTON: Joe Gibbs Racing has 65 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway and has earned four wins, 16 top-five, and 37 top-ten finishes. The organization also has led for a total of 1,143 laps, has an average start of 15.5 and an average finish of 12.0 at the 1.37-mile historic track.

KENSETH BY THE NUMBERS: In 20 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington, Kenseth has completed 6,616 of 6,841 laps (96.7 percent) and has led for a total of 171 laps. Kenseth has earned one win, two top-five finishes, nine 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 last year, and enters the weekend as the defending race winner.

RACE INFO: Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (1.37-mile) begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 12th. The race will be broadcast live on FOX, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.
  
Kenseth’s 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
Starts
Wins
Top 5
Top 10
Poles
Laps Led
Earnings
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
7
0
1
5
1
222
$1,508,528
12.4
8.3
Kenseth’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
Starts
Wins
Top 5
Top 10
Poles
Laps Led
Earnings
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
515
31
139
253
12
9,148
$101,050,792
18.4
14.1

From the Cockpit:
Matt Kenseth:
“Winning the Southern 500 last year was definitely special because that’s one of the biggest races of the year in my opinion. It’s such a historic and prestigious race because the Southern 500 is one of the three or four races that you always hear people talking about. It’s certainly one you always want to win, and to say that we were able to get to Victory Lane last year was really a highlight for me. Darlington is such a fast race track, and the narrow lanes of the track make it a really challenging place to get around. It’s such a great race track though and I’m ready to get there this weekend.”

From the Pit Box:
Jason Ratcliff:
“I love racing at Darlington. Of course, being fortunate enough to have won last year was fantastic because this is a really big race in regards to the history of this track. I think that Darlington fits into the intermediate track category, even though it’s very unique, it’s very high-speed, and just shy of being a mile-and-a-half track. It’s close to home for the majority of us and it’s just always been one of my favorite tracks. Some of the best tracks on the circuit in my opinion are places that you have to race hard, but at the same time, where you need to race the racetrack. It’s all about surviving the intensity at a place like that.”

- Joe Gibbs Racing

Darlington Preview: 2014 Bojangle's Southern 500

The Lady in Black can be very angry at times when issuing stripes 
The NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers better be extra careful this Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, because “The Lady in Black” has waited an entire year to say hello, and when she says hello, she kisses sides of the cars with her signature Darlington stripe.

Every driver has gotten a Darlington stripe on their car at some point of their career, it’s just that some have been able to stay clear of the wall more frequently, and those are the drivers we want to focus on when choosing a driver to win at the sports books.

Darlington is the heart of NASCAR, and has been continually handing out stripes since 1950. Because of the unique 1.336-mile layout where one set of turns is narrower and banked lower than the other side, it offers the most unique racing experience of the season. At one point, because of those unique traits, winning the Southern 500 was just as prestigious as winning the Daytona 500 which began in 1959.

Drivers who win at Darlington are a special breed. They are usually the best of the best and their names continually find themselves in the top-5. Drivers like Denny Hamlin, who won in 2011, and was runner-up three times, including the past two seasons. Jimmie Johnson, who swept the 2004 season when the track last had two dates a season, and also won in 2012. Then there’s Jeff Gordon who has seven wins all-time, including a record four straight Southern 500’s from 1995-98.

The one name among drivers we consider great, a two-time champion, who is missing from the list of past winners is Tony Stewart. He’s had 21 cracks at it, and run well with a 12.3 average finish, but third-place twice is the best he’s done. He’s also never won the Daytona 500, but has won in the summer at Daytona, so zero wins total at a track for Stewart is a big deal and also very telling to how rough the track can be.

Last season it was Matt Kenseth winning at Darlington for the first time in his career. It was only his second top-5 finish in 20 starts at a place that he took plenty of lumps, as well as stripes. At the time, Kenseth had already won twice on the season, both on 1.5-mile tracks at Las Vegas and Kansas. He led only 17 laps on the day, but the last 12 he led were the most important.

Read More Here.......Top-5 Finish Prediction

LVH IndyCar odds to win: 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
LONG BEACH STREET CIRCUIT
SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014


WILL POWER 5-2
SCOTT DIXON 4
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA 7
HELIO CASTRONEVES 7
RYAN HUNTER-REAY 7
SIMON PAGENAUD 15
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE 15
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS 25
RYAN BRISCOE 30
TAKUMA SATO 12
JUSTIN WILSON 15
CHARLIE KIMBALL 30
MIKE CONWAY 30
MARCO ANDRETTI 30
TONY KANAAN 30
GRAHAM RAHAL 30
JOSEF NEWGARDEN 100
CARLOS MUNOZ 100
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA 100
FIELD 60

Darlington Storylines: 2014 Bojangles Southern 500

Kenseth or Johnson, 13 wins combined in 2013, have yet to win in 2014 
NASCAR Storylines for Week of April 7, 2014

Below are the NASCAR storylines for the three national series for the week of April 7, 2014.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – BOJANGLES’ SOUTHER 500, SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 6:30 P.M. ET ON FOX

Now Trending … Joey Logano Makes It Seven-For-Seven
For the seventh time in the first seven races of the 2014 season, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has seen a different winner. Joey Logano was the victor in the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after passing Jeff Gordon on the final lap. The streak is the longest to start a season since 2003 when there were nine different winners in the first nine races. The record is 10, set in 2000.

Logano Finally Turns Strong Starts Into A Win
Joey Logano used a last-lap pass of Jeff Gordon to capture his first victory of 2014, virtually clinching a spot in the Chase. Monday’s win was expected, and possibly overdue – if you look at his success in Coors Light Pole qualifying. In six races featuring the new knockout qualifying format, Logano is the only driver to make the final round in all. He’s started on the front row twice, including the pole at Las Vegas.

Johnson And Kenseth Look To Darlington For First Win
Last year Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth sat atop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with wins list with a combined 13 victories, three of them coming in the first six races. Yet, after the first seven races of 2014, the reigning series champion and the runner-up are still clamoring for their first wins. Maybe this weekend; they’ve won the last two races at Darlington. Kenseth won last year, Johnson in 2012.

Gordon Continues To Shine In 2014, Moves Into First
Jeff Gordon was leading on the final lap when he was passed by Joey Logano for the win at Texas. Although he finished second, Gordon moved into first place in the standings, four points in front of Matt Kenseth. It’s the first time Gordon has led the points since after the 2009 Coca-Cola 600, a span of 174 races. Gordon started 2014 with four consecutive top-10 finishes and has finished no lower than 13th. Next up is Darlington, where he has seven wins.

Can Stewart Check Darlington Off His List?
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has won at all the tracks currently on the schedule, minus two – Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway. With the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington on Saturday night, the Indiana native has the opportunity to check a win at “The Track Too Tough To Tame” off his bucket list. In 21 races, Stewart’s best finish is a pair of third-place finishes, most recently coming two years ago. His 10th-place showing at Texas on Monday was his third top-10 of 2014.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES – VFW SPORT CLIPS HELP A HERO 200, FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 8 P.M. ET ON ESPN2

Elliott: Victory Lane To The Classroom

Chase Elliott became the second youngest driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race when he took the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway. The JR Motorsports driver, who is a high school senior in Georgia, accomplished the feat at 18 years, 4 months and 7 days. Elliott overtook the series standings by two points over his teammate Regan Smith. He is the youngest points leader in series history.

NASCAR Next Drivers Impacting NASCAR Nationwide Series
When the NASCAR Next program was developed in 2011, the program was designed to provide a platform to showcase up-and-coming talent in NASCAR. That talent is definitely being showcased this season in the NNS. Former NASCAR Next member Kyle Larson’s win at Auto Club in March followed by current member Chase Elliott’s victory last Friday at Texas Motor Speedway marked the first time former and/or current NASCAR Next drivers have won back-to-back events in a NASCAR national series.

Pole Is Prime Property At Darlington
The NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway has been won from the pole an impressive 13 times overall, more than any other position on the starting grid. The race has been won from the pole five times in the last eight races, all by Joe Gibbs Racing drivers. Defending race winner, Kyle Busch, has won from the pole twice.

- NASCAR

Darling Raceway Track Facts: 2014 Bojangles Southern 500

The Lady in Black give out stripes as souvenirs   
Darlington Raceway Data
Season Race #: 8 of 36 (04-12-14)
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
 
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Darlington
Jeff Gordon.............................. 111.8
Denny Hamlin............................ 108.9
Greg Biffle................................ 107.5
Jimmie Johnson........................ 107.5
Kyle Busch............................... 106.2
Kasey Kahne.............................. 99.1
Ryan Newman............................. 95.8
Martin Truex Jr............................ 94.8
Carl Edwards.............................. 93.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 91.4
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (nine total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.
 
Qualifying/Race Data
2013 Coors Light pole winner:
Kurt Busch, Chevrolet
181.918 mph, 27.032 secs. 05-10-13
 
2013 race winner:
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
141.383 mph, (03:32:45), 05-11-13
 
Track qualifying record:
Kurt Busch, Chevrolet
181.918 mph, 27.032 secs. 05-10-13
 
Track race record:
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. – won by Johnny Mantz.
·         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.
Notebook
·         There have been 110 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fourth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races.  
·         702 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway; 426 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 33 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 27.
·         Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Darlington in 1950 with a speed of 82.034 mph. 
·         47 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. 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).
·         46 different drivers have won at Darlington Raceway, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.
·         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).
·         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 40 victories; followed byFord with 28.
·         19 of the 110 (17.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Dale Jarrett in 1997. 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 (19) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second most wins (17).  
·         36 of the 110 (32.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 19 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
·         95 of the 110 (86.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·         Six of the 110 (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 was 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NSCS event.
·         Buddy Baker and Richard Petty are tied for theseries 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. 
·         Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 22.
·         Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.758.
·         Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.375.
·         Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (5.3) and Jimmie Johnson (8.8).  
·         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 theseries lead in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each. 
·         All six 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.
·         Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 27.
·         Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway was the (03/16/2003) race won by Ricky Craven with a MOV of 0.002 second – the MOV is tied with the 2011 Talladega race as the closest finishes in the NSCS using electronic scoring. 
·         There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway: 2005 (367/370), 2011 (367/370) and 2012 (367/368).
·         Eight of the 110 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. 
·         Terry Labonte (09/04/1978) made his series debut at Darlington Raceway.
·         Ken Schrader (03/29/1987), Kurt Busch (09/02/2001) and Clint Bowyer (05/13/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Darlington.   
·         Regan Smith (05/07/2011) and Terry Labonte (09/01/1980) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Darlington. 
·         Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,736 laps led in 33 starts.
·         Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Race Name
Janet Guthrie
26
16
9/5/1977
Southern 500
Shawna Robinson
42
42
3/17/2002
Carolina Dodge Dealers 400
Danica Patrick
38
31
5/12/2012
Bojangles' Southern 500
Danica Patrick
40
28
5/11/2013
Bojangles' Southern 500
 
NASCAR in South Carolina
·         There have been 220 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 10 tracks in South Carolina.
Track Name
City
NSCS
Darlington Raceway
Darlington
110
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
 
·         133 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as South Carolina.
·         11 drivers from South Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; eight have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Driver
NSCS
NNS
NCWTS
David Pearson
105
1
0
Cale Yarborough
83
0
0
Rex White
28
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