Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Darlington Showtime Southern 500 Odds & Ends

David Pearson leads all drivers with 12 poles and 10 wins at Darlington
At Darlington Raceway:

· Built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-50, Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt on Sept. 4, 1950.
· The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953.
· The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
· The track was repaved in 1995.
· The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
· The track was repaved again prior to the 2008 season.

· There have been 107 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway since the track opened in 1950.
· There was one race per year in 1950, 1951, from 1953-1959, and again every year since 2005. Darlington held two races a season in all other years.
· Curtis Turner won the first pole, in 1950.
· Johnny Mantz won the first race, in 1950.
· 47 drivers have posted poles at Darlington.
· David Pearson leads all drivers with 12 poles at Darlington.
· 44 drivers have won races at Darlington; 25 drivers have won more than once there.
· David Pearson leads all drivers with 10 victories, followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine.
· Jeff Gordon is third overall and leads all active drivers, with seven victories.
· Hendrick Motorsports has won 13 races at Darlington, more than any other organization.
· 19 races at Darlington have been won from the pole, the most productive starting position.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 43rd, in the track’s inaugural race in 1950 by Johnny Mantz. That race had a 75-car field.
· Darlington is the site of one of the closest race finishes in NASCAR history. Ricky Craven edged Kurt Busch by 0.002 seconds on March 16, 2003 – which is tied with Talladega (April 17, 2011) as the closest margin of victory since NASCAR instituted electronic timing in 1993.

NASCAR in South Carolina
* There have been 217 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in South Carolina.
* 133 NASCAR drivers (all-time) have their home state recorded as South Carolina.
* There have been 11 race winners from South Carolina in NASCAR’s three national series

Darlington Raceway Data
Race #: 10 of 36 (05-07-11)
Track Size: 1.366 miles
· Banking/Corners: 23-25 degrees
· Banking/Frontstretch: 6 degrees
· Banking/Backstretch: 6 degrees
· Frontstretch: 1,229 feet
· Backstretch: 1,229 feet

Gordon has a top-five finish in his last seven Darlington starts
Driver Rating at Darlington
Jeff Gordon 117.6
Greg Biffle 113.8
Denny Hamlin 109.1
Jimmie Johnson 102.8
Ryan Newman 99.9
Kyle Busch 97.2
Martin Truex Jr. 93.3
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 92.9
Kasey Kahne . 90.3
Mark Martin 90.1
Jeff Burton 89.8
Matt Kenseth 89.8
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2010 races (6 total) at Darlington.

Qualifying/Race Data
2010 pole winner: Jamie McMurray (180.370 mph, 27.264 seconds)
2010 race winner: Denny Hamlin (126.605 mph, 05-08-10)
Track qualifying record: Jamie McMurray (180.370 mph, 27.264 seconds, 05-08-10)
Track race record: Kyle Busch (140.350 mph, 05-10-08)

- compiled by Ray M. Smith, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

Showtime Southern 500 Odds to Win From the Las Vegas Hilton

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