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May 07

Statistical Advance: Analyzing Darlington Raceway

There have been 109 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway

NASCAR logoA look at some of the top statistical performers at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina going into the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on May 11.

DARLINGTON-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

 

Greg Biffle (No. 16 Meguiars Ford)

  • Two wins, two top fives, five top 10s; two poles
  • Average finish of 14.0
  • Average Running Position of 9.8, third-best
  • Driver Rating of 110.5, second-best
  • Series-high 283 Fastest Laps Run
  • 2,170 Laps in the Top 15 (73.7%), fourth-most
  • 249 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), third-most

 

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Doublemint Toyota)

  • One win, two top fives, four top 10s
  • Average finish of 15.5
  • Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best
  • Driver Rating of 102.3, fifth-best
  • 470 Green Flag Passes, third-most
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.837 mph, fifth-fastest
  • 2,423 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), second-most
  • Series-high 323 Quality Passes

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet)

  • Three top fives, seven top 10s
  • Average finish of 15.3
  • Average Running Position of 12.6, ninth-best
  • Driver Rating of 90.4, 10th-best
  • 485 Green Flag Passes, second-most
  • 1,911 Laps in the Top 15 (64.9%), ninth-most
  • 229 Quality Passes, sixth-most

 

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Geek Squad Ford)

  • Three top fives, six top 10s
  • Average finish of 13.1
  • Average Running Position of 12.8, 10th-best
  • Driver Rating of 93.9, ninth-best
  • 149 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
  • 418 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.490 mph, eighth-fastest
  • 2,000 Laps in the Top 15 (68.0%), seventh-most
  • 249 Quality Passes, third-most

 

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Cromax Pro Chevrolet)

  • Seven wins, 18 top fives, 21 top 10s; three poles
  • Average finish of 11.8
  • Series-best Average Running Position of 8.3
  • Series-best Driver Rating of 111.8
  • 180 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
  • Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 160.041 mph
  • Series-high 2,615 Laps in the Top 15 (88.9%)
  • 245 Quality Passes, fifth-most

 

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota)

  • One win, three top fives, six top 10s
  • Average finish of 5.9
  • Average Running Position of 8.8, second-best
  • Driver Rating of 109.5, third-best
  • 175 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.896 mph, third-fastest
  • 2,123 Laps in the Top 15 (82.5%), sixth-most
  • 229 Quality Passes, sixth-most

 

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Emerald Green Chevrolet)

  • Three wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
  • Average finish of 9.1
  • Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best
  • Driver Rating of 105.7, fourth-best
  • 210 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
  • 453 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.918 mph, second-fastest
  • 2,137 Laps in the Top 15 (72.6%), fifth-most
  • 227 Quality Passes, eighth-most

 

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet)

  • Three top fives, four top 10s; four poles
  • Average finish of 13.9
  • Average Running Position of 11.1, seventh-best
  • Driver Rating of 98.3, sixth-best
  • 192 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.483 mph, ninth-fastest
  • 1,985 Laps in the Top 15 (67.4%), eighth-most

 

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota)

  • One top five, eight top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 17.5
  • Driver Rating of 86.5, 12th-best
  • 76 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
  • 431 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
  • 195 Quality Passes, 12th-most

 

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)

  • One top five, two top 10s
  • Average finish of 9.3
  • Driver Rating of 84.5, 13th-best

 

Ryan Newman (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet)

  • Seven top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 12.4
  • Average Running Position of 11.0, sixth-best
  • Driver Rating of 97.6, seventh-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.652 mph, seventh-fastest
  • 2,326 Laps in the Top 15 (79.0%), third-most
  • 193 Quality Passes, 13th-most

 

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)

  • Four top fives, 11 top 10s
  • Average finish of 11.8
  • Average Running Position of 14.1, 11th-best
  • Driver Rating of 90.0, 11th-best
  • 104 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
  • Series-high 496 Green Flag Passes
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.420 mph, 10th-fastest
  • 1,813 Laps in the Top 15 (61.6%), 10th-most
  • 266 Quality Passes, second-most

 

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)

  • One top five, three top 10s
  • Average finish of 11.3
  • Average Running Position of 12.5, eighth-best
  • Driver Rating of 95.2, eighth-best
  • 115 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
  • 437 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 159.673 mph, sixth-fastest
  • 215 Quality Passes, ninth-most

 

Chase Contenders

The Top 12

Following Race 10 of 36

                                                                                Rank        Season

                                                                                Last          Driver

Driver                             Points   Wins      Poles        Week        Rating

1. Jimmie Johnson       383       2           1              1           114.3

2. Carl Edwards             342       1           0              2             92.6

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.     324       0           0              4             95.0

4. Clint Bowyer              316       0           0               5             95.0

5. Brad Keselowski        314       0           0               6             94.5

6. Kasey Kahne              299       1           0               3            98.9

7. Aric Almirola              293       0           0             11             81.6

8. Paul Menard               290       0           0            10             78.9

9. Kyle Busch                 285       2           2               7           100.1

10. Greg Biffle                  280       0           0              8             80.9

11. Matt Kenseth              279       2           2             13           117.9

12. Kevin Harvick            276       1           0               9             91.4

___________________________________________________________

 

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

13. Martin Truex Jr.               269         30. David Blaney             173

14. Jeff Gordon                    269         31. Denny Hamlin            155

15. Jamie McMurray             267         32. J.J. Yeley                  148

16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.        256         33. David Stremme          146

17. Ryan Newman                242         34. David Reutimann        141

18. Joey Logano                   237         35. AJ Allmendinger         122

19. Jeff Burton                     235         36. Landon Cassill           116

20. Kurt Busch                     231         37. Travis Kvapil              106

21. Marcos Ambrose             225         38. Scott Speed                71

22. Tony Stewart                  224         39. Michael McDowell        70

23. Mark Martin                    207         40. Michael Waltrip            63

24. Casey Mears                  203         41. Terry Labonte              52

25. Juan Pablo Montoya        202         42. Timmy Hill                   34

26. David Ragan                   192         43. Ken Schrader               29

27. Danica Patrick                180         44. Scott Riggs                   6

28. Bobby Labonte                177         45. Brian Keselowski           4

29. David Gilliland                 173

Note: The first 26 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season determine which 12 drivers qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, contested over the final 10 races of the season. After race No. 26, the top 10 earn a berth in the Chase. Spots 11 and 12 – the Wild Cards – will go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20.

 

 

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2013 Top 12 at Darlington Raceway

  Driver

Races

Poles

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

DNFs

Average Finish

Driver Rating

 
 

1

Jimmie Johnson

14

0

3

7

10

1

9.1

105.7

 

2

Carl Edwards

9

0

0

3

6

1

13.1

93.9

 

3

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

18

0

0

3

7

1

15.3

90.4

 

4

Clint Bowyer

7

1

0

0

1

2

22.6

75.4

 

5

Brad Keselowski

4

0

0

1

2

0

9.3

84.5

 

6

Kasey Kahne

10

4

0

3

4

0

13.9

98.3

 

7

Aric Almirola

1

0

0

0

0

0

19.0

67.3

 

8

Paul Menard

6

0

0

0

0

0

24.5

57.3

 

9

Kyle Busch

8

0

1

2

4

0

15.5

102.3

 

10

Greg Biffle

12

2

2

2

5

1

14.0

110.5

 

11

Matt Kenseth

19

1

0

1

8

1

17.5

86.5

 

12

Kevin Harvick

16

0

0

2

5

1

18.8

84.4

 

* – Based on last eight races at Darlington Raceway.

 

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 109 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The 1.366-mile track has hosted the fourth most NASCAR Sprint Cup points paying races.  
  • 700 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway; 423 in more than one.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Darlington with 65. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 54 starts; followed by Mark Martin with 46.
  • 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 (9/2/2001 – 23 years, 0 months, 29 days).
  • Oldest Darlington pole winner: David Pearson (9/6/1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days).
  • 45 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 (5/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).
  • Oldest Darlington winner: Harry Gant (9/1/1991 – 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 by Ford with 28.
  • 19 of the 109 (17.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Dale Jarrett in 1997.
  • The 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 109 (33.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 19 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
  • 94 of the 109 (86.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Six of the 109 (5.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup 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. The furthest back an active winner has started was 23rd by Regan Smith (2011).
  • Buddy Baker and Richard Petty are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Darlington with eight each. Mark Martin leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with six; followed by Jeff Gordon with four.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with 25. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 18.
  • Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes at Darlington with 35. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 26.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Darlington with a 6.719.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.857.
  • Three active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have an average finish in the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (5.8), Jimmie Johnson (9.1) and Brad Keselowski (9.2).
  • 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 lead in consecutive wins at Darlington with three each.
  • All 10 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).
  • Mark Martin competed at Darlington Raceway 15 times before winning in 2009; the longest span of any of the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
  • Among the 10 active NSCS Darlington winners Mark Martin (15), Bobby Labonte (14) and Jeff Burton (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
  • Ken Schrader leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington without visiting Victory Lane at 44.
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway was the (3/16/2003) 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 109 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 (9/4/1978) made his series debut at Darlington Raceway.
  • Ken Schrader (3/29/1987), Kurt Busch (9/2/2001) and Clint Bowyer (5/13/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles at Darlington.
  • Regan Smith (5/7/2011) and Terry Labonte (9/1/1980) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Darlington.   
  • Three female drivers have competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

o    Janet Guthrie  – (9/5/1977) – starting 26th and finishing 16th

o    Patty Moise – (3/17/2002) – starting 42nd and finishing 42nd

o    Danica Patrick – (5/12/2012) – starting 38th and finishing 31st

  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Darlington with 1,720 laps led in 32 starts.

Darlington Raceway Data

Season Race #: 11 of 36 (5-11-13)

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 12 Driver Rating at Darlington

Jeff Gordon………………………… 111.8

Greg Biffle………………………….. 110.5

Denny Hamlin………………………. 109.5

Jimmie Johnson…………………… 105.7

Kyle Busch…………………………. 102.3

Kasey Kahne………………………… 98.3

Ryan Newman……………………….. 97.6

Martin Truex Jr………………………. 95.2

Carl Edwards………………………… 93.9

Dale Earnhardt Jr…………………… 90.4

Tony Stewart…………………………. 90.0

Matt Kenseth………………………… 86.5

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (eight total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.

 

Qualifying/Race Data

2012 pole winner: Greg Biffle, Ford, 180.257 mph, 27.281 secs. 5-10-12

 

2012 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 133.802 mph, (03:45:25), 5-12-12

 

Track qualifying record: Kasey Kahne, Toyota, 181.254 mph, 27.131 secs. 5-06-11

 

Track race record: Kyle Busch, Toyota, 140.350 mph, (03:34:14), 5-10-08

NASCAR in South Carolina

  • There have been 219 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in South Carolina.

Track Name

City

NSCS

Darlington Raceway

Darlington

109

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

 source: nascar.com