What To Watch For At Darlington

Rush hour at ISM Raceway

What To Watch For: 

Darlington Raceway has hosted 116 NASCAR Cup Series races, dating back to 1950. The 116 Cup races have produced 51 different winners, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with 10 victories. Eight of the 51 winners will be active this weekend, led by seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson with three wins. Erik Jones is the most recent winner at Darlington.

Six drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Cup Series win at Darlington Raceway: Johnny Mantz (1950), Nelson Stacy (1961), Larry Frank (1962), Terry Labonte (1980), Lake Speed (1988) and Regan Smith (2011).

The youngest Cup Series Darlington winner is Erik Jones (9/1/2019 – 22 years, 11 months, 2 days) and the oldest series Darlington winner is Harry Gant (09/01/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 22 days).

A total of 51 different drivers have won the Busch Pole Award at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Darlington with 12. Pearson’s 12 Darlington poles are tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (12 poles at Daytona) for the second-most poles all-time at a single track in the NASCAR Cup Series. Pearson also holds the series record for the most poles at a single track with 14 poles at Charlotte. Kurt Busch (2001, 2013) and Kevin Harvick (2014, 2017) lead all active drivers in poles at Darlington with two each.

The youngest Darlington Cup Series pole winner is William Byron (09/01/2019 – 21 years, 9 months, 3 days) and the oldest pole winner is David Pearson (09/06/1982 – 47 years, 8 months, 15 days). … A total of 11 different drivers have won from the pole at Darlington; led by David Pearson with four wins (1971, 1972, 1976 sweep). Kevin Harvick is the only active driver to win from the pole (2014) at Darlington.

The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second-most wins (17). The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington is 43rd by Johnny Mantz in 1950 – the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event held at the historic raceway.

In total 163 different drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series have led at least one lap at Darlington Raceway. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Darlington Raceway with 2,648 laps led in 44 series starts. Kyle Busch leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with 716 laps led in 15 starts.

The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by the race winner was 351 laps of the scheduled 400 laps (87%) by Johnny Mantz on September 4, 1950. He started the race from the 43rd position. The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by a driver that did not win the race was 284 laps of the scheduled 367 laps (77%) by Kyle Larson on September 2, 2018. The fewest laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway by the race winner was just the final lap by Ricky Craven on March 16, 2013. He started the race from the 31st position and won.


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