The Numbers for Darlington Raceway

THE NUMBERS for SHOWTIME Southern 500 Darlington Raceway

0 – fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway (9/2/63)

1 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish (24 times, most recent 9/3/79)

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1 – fewest laps led by race winner Ricky Craven, 3/16/03)

2 – fewest leaders (5/9/64)

4 – fewest lead changes (9/4/50) 6 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend

10 – most wins by driver (David Pearson)

12 – fewest cars running at finish (9/2/74)

17 – most cautions (5/9/09)

17 – most leaders (9/6/82) 19 – wins from the pole; 35 from the front row (107 races)

23 – most cars on lead lap at finish (9/1/02)

41 – most lead changes (9/6/82)

41 – most running at finish (twice, most recent 5/10/08)

44 – different race winners 47 – different pole winners

82 – number of cars that started the 1951 race on what was then a 1.25-mile track

101 – most caution laps (9/2/74)

120 minutes – approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.366-mile track after a significant rainfall

Key Darlington Dates

1949 – Harold Brasington, a retired racer, purchased 70 acres from Sherman Ramsey and started construction of the race track.  (The egg-shaped design was necessary because Brasington promised Ramsey the track wouldn’t disturb his minnow point on the west side of the property).

1950 – First race on Labor Day, a 75-car field for the 500-mile event on what was then a 1.250-mile track

1951 – Field of 82 cars started the race

1953 – Track was re-measured to 1.375 miles

1959 – Last convertible race (won by Fireball Roberts)

1965 – Cale Yarborough, of nearby Timmonsville, crashed with his car sailing over the guard rail and off the track.  He was unhurt and the mishap was used as an introduction to ABC’s Wide World of Sports for several years.

1970 – Track re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race

1982 – International Speedway Corporation (ISC) acquires Darlington Raceway

1995 – Track repaved

1997 – Frontstretch and backstretch switched

2000 – All cars pit on same side for first time

2005 – First Saturday night race at Darlington; track repaved

2011 Caution Update

4 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana)

16 – most cautions this season (Daytona)

75 – number of cautions in the first nine races of 2011; includes 40 for accidents, 13 for debris and 11 for spins

391 of 2,909 – number of laps under caution in 2011

490.593 of 3,463.080 – miles under caution in the first eight races

Did You Know In addition to the 107 Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway, nine other tracks in the state combined to host 110 Cup events before being dropped from the schedule.  Most prominent were 43 races at Columbia Speedway, 29 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway and 22 at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg.  Three of the nine hosted only one Cup event.

Provided by Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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