The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Sep. 2, 2016
What to Watch: Friday
This weekend's TV Schedule can be found here.
by The Frontstretch Staff
Records and facts
Last year's Bojangles' Southern 500 was dominated by Brad Keselowski. The Team Penske driver led 196 laps. However, the race came down to a final round of stops under yellow with a few laps to go. Carl Edwards was able to beat Keselowski off pit road, then held him up to take the victory. Keselowski was second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.
All-time, David Pearson has the most wins at the "Track Too Tough to Tame" with 10, the most recent of the wins coming in the CRC Chemicals Rebel 500 in 1980. Dale Earnhardt has nine wins, including season sweeps in 1987 and 1990. Jeff Gordon is third with seven career wins.
Among active drivers, Gordon is on top with seven has the most victories. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson has three wins, while Greg Biffle has two.
Track / Race Length: 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, 367 laps (501.322 miles)
Banking: 25 degrees in Turns 1-2, 23 degrees in Turns 3-4
Frontstretch: 1,229 ft., banked 3 degrees
Backstretch: 1,229 ft., banked 3 degrees
Grandstand Seating: 58,000
Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Pace Car Speed: 50 mph
Practice No. 1: Saturday, September 3, 11 a.m. - 12:25 p.m. on CNBC
Happy Hour: Saturday, September 3, 1:30 - 2:50 p.m. on CNBC
"The respect Darlington commands is incredible. Competing there is no easy feat. To qualify well requires a lot of bravery, to win there requires a lot of smarts. It's a tough track -- hence the name it's given -- and she requires a lot of respect. I'm pumped to run the throwback scheme. This is the second year and it's so cool to walk through the garage and see the creativity that all the teams and sponsors have put into the weekend. Every year I see it getting better and better." - Jimmie Johnson
"It's a challenging track. It's probably one of the toughest that we have on our schedule. There are four completely different corners and you're typically entering them at high speed and usually right up against the wall. There is very minimal room for error, which is how you end up with the famous 'Darlington Stripe.' You have to definitely be aggressive and get the most out of it, but you don't want to hit the wall because that's a pretty big setback. It helps to have a good setup to start out with and from there you do your best to keep your bumpers clean so you don't have tire rubs, accidents and things like that. In the Southern 500, there are usually a lot of cautions and a lot of things happen, so there's a lot of opportunity for things to change and for you to try something different. It's definitely our longest race of the year, so you have to be patient and not make mistakes so that you're still in it at the end." - Danica Patrick
"Races at Darlington have been pretty tough for me. We've had some decent runs there, but it just seems like you really have to put everything together the whole day. If you can say you won a race at Darlington, that's a feather in your cap because you conquered something that's very difficult to obtain. That's something to be proud of, knowing that you're in a group of drivers with names like Allison and Pearson and Petty, the pioneers of our sport." - Tony Stewart
"It's my favorite race track we go to. I love Darlington Raceway. It's got so much history behind it. It's completely unique compared to anyplace else we go. It's just an absolute blast. I love racing there. I haven't been there in a Cup car, and I am curious as to how it's going to differ from the XFINITY side. But I think it's going to be a great race and probably the most anticipated track for me since coming to the Cup side.
"We've got a cool throwback paint scheme from Love's Travel Stops. It's the same colors and branding that they used on the fuel canopies of the first travel stop they opened in 1981 in Amarillo, Texas. Now they've got almost 400 locations across the country. We'll try to keep it clean. It's already got stripes on it, so we don't need to add a Darlington stripe." - Chris Buescher
Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for Frontstretch.com. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by the Frontstretch Staff
by Kevin Rutherford
Q: Darlington Raceway has had more than its share of unusual crashes over the years. Steve Park being injured because the steering wheel came off in his hands in 2001 is just one example. Tommy Houston was the victim of a strange crash after the Gatorade 200 Busch Grand National race in 1988. What happened?
Less than a lap after the restart from that wreck, Meacham got into Harry Gant, sparking a crashing involving Gant, Dale Jarrett and Dave Mader, III. Afterwards, NASCAR parked Meacham. The wrecks were not intentionally by any means. Instead, it appeared that Meacham was having trouble holding his line. As a result, he was a menace to anyone around him.
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