Of all the tracks on the NASCAR tour, none is more historic than the famed Darlington Raceway. This egg-shaped oval is home to the Southern 500 – a Labor Day classic which is considered one of stock car racing’s crown jewel events.
We have more track facts on other NASCAR Tracks below. Just click on the link in the table if you want to know more.
Where is Darlington Raceway ?
The track is located just outside of the town of Darlington, county seat of Darlington County, in South Carolina.
What is The Configuration of Darlington Raceway?
The Darlington Raceway is one of the most unique tracks in NASCAR. It has a rather unusual egg-shaped design, which came about due to the fact that a property owner refused to sell land at the west end of the track. Or at least so the legend goes.
This means that one end of the track is much tighter than the other. It also means that what was originally mean to be a 1.5 mile oval was shortened to one that is 1.366 miles (2.198km).
|Asphalt||1.366 miles||25° (1-2)/23° (3-4)||4|
Darlington Raceway Characteristics
Another thing that sets Darlington Raceway apart is that, for all intents and purposes, drivers race on what was intended to be an outer track apron. This outer belt was much more steeply banked than the racing area itself, and was designed to help drivers stay off the outside wall or at least mitigate an impact, but it wasn’t long until racers figured out their cars could achieve a lot more speed on the higher banks, and they’ve been running up there ever since.
Darlington Racing Lines
The track requires an unusual racing line. As opposed to most circuits, in which drivers will either hug the inside line or perhaps run an outer line midway between the apron and the outside wall, at Darlington there is only one line, and that is to enter the turns by cutting down to a lane from the bottom, then sweeping up to within inches of the wall and maintaining that arc through the remainder of the turn.
Needless to say, this leaves no room for error, and it’s what makes Darlington one of the most treacherous of racetracks for the drivers – and one of the most exciting for fans.
Is Darlington A Tough Track?
Darlington is also known for its abrasive racing surface, which can be exceedingly destructive on the tires. Tire management is critical here, more so than any other track on the circuit. As drivers and analysts so often put it, here you must race the track, not the other competitors.
With all this in mind it’s no wonder why Darlington is called “the track too tough to tame.” It is surely one of the most unique ovals in NASCAR, and there can be little doubt that it’s the toughest.
When Was Darlington Raceway Built?
The track was built in 1949-1950, and was inspired by – and meant to be a rival to – the Indianapolis 500, which was drawing unprecedented attendance for the time.
The first Southern 500 was run on Labor Day weekend and awarded a $25000 purse, the largest for a NASCAR race ever at that time. Of the 80-plus participants that showed up for the event, open-wheel ace Johnny Mantz took the win in what was the first 500 mile race in NASCAR history.
Darlington Raceway and The Winston Million
The Winston Million was a bonus program started in 1985 awarding a million-dollar prize to any driver/team that could win three of the four crown jewel events.
Darlington’s Southern 500 was the third of these on the calendar, and so it was that Darlington Raceway saw Bill Elliot make history by claiming the Winston Million in its first year.
The Lady in Black also saw several million-dollar dreams dashed against its outside wall throughout the following years, until Jeff Gordon became the second Winston Million winner in 1997 after an exciting last lap duel with Jeff Burton.
What Races are held at the Darlington Raceway?
Darlington hosts two Cup Series events in the spring and on Labor Day weekend, the Goodyear 400 and the Southern 500, respectively.
It also hosts accompanying Xfinity Series events, each 200 miles in length. In addition, there is a 200 mile Truck Series race there.
And there is the USAC Silver Crown Showdown at Darlington, the only open-wheel event held at the track.
Lastly, a charity cycling event named Too Tough to Ride is held in early May to accompany the spring Cup and Xfinity events at Darlington.
Darlington Race and the Crown Jewels: Southern 500
The Southern 500 is considered NASCAR’S oldest race. This history, along with the track’s reputation as one of the toughest in stock car racing, make the Southern 500 one of the most prestigious events on the calendar.
In 2003 the race lost its Labor Day position to California Speedway before being removed from the schedule altogether for four years between 2005 and 2009. In 2015, the Southern 500 returned to its traditional Labor Day weekend spot.
Darlington Raceway: Throwback Week
As one of stock car racing’s most historic tracks, Darlington plays host to Throwback weekend for its spring races. Throwback Week features retro liveries for the cars in all three major divisions, adding a layer of nostalgia to the action and giving the events a unique touch. Throwback Week has produced some memorable moments since its inception.
Table 1: Darlington Raceway Records
|MOST WINS||10||David Pearson|
|MOST TOP 5S||25||Richard Petty|
|MOST TOP 10S||35||Bill Elliot|
|MOST STARTS||65||Richard Petty|
|MOST POLES||12||David Pearson|
|AVERAGE FINISH||5.2||Erik Jones|
|LAPS LED||2,648||Dale Earnhardt|
|MOST LAPS||17,582||Ricky Rudd|
What Type of Track is Darlington Raceway
The Darlington Raceway is a NASCAR race track that is located in Darlington, South Carolina. The raceway is known for its unique egg-shaped oval design and for being one of the most challenging tracks on the NASCAR circuit. The track has a length of 1.366 miles (2.198 km) and features four turns,
Does Darlington Raceway Have Lighting for Night Racing?
Yes, Darlington Raceway is equipped with lighting for night racing. The track hosted its first night race in 2004 and has since become a fan-favorite event.
Why is Darlington called the “Lady in Black”?
The Darlington Raceway has two nicknames, Its most famous is the Lady in the Black. It name is rumored to have gotten this name as the track safe would cover the teack with fresh asphalt sealant the night be the race and give the track a dark black coloring for the race the next day.
Why is Darlington called “The Track Too Tough to Tame” due to both its rough surface bit mroe due to drivers drivers being prefectly fine driving roudn and then suddenly spinning of or slamming into the wal
How Many Laps are in a Race at Darlington Raceway?
The length of a race at Darlington Raceway depends on the type of race being held. The NASCAR Cup Series races are typically 500 miles (804.67 kilometers) long, which equals 367 laps around the track. The NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races are both 200 miles (321.87 kilometers) long, or 147 laps around the track. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Series race is only 150 miles (241.39 kilometers) long, or 110 laps around the track.
What are Some of the Notable Races at Darlington Raceway?
Some of the most notable races at Darlington Raceway include the NASCAR Cup Series races, a 400 and 500 mile race. Other notable races include the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, at 200 miles long , and the NASCAR Truck Series races here too.
How Many Spectators can Attend Darlington Raceway
Darlington Raceway can seat up to 47,000 spectators. The track has a number of grandstands and suites that offer great views of the action. There are also a number of concession stands and restrooms located throughout the facility.
Who Owns Darlington Raceway?
Darlington Raceway is owned by International Speedway Corporation (ISC), which is a publicly traded company. ISC owns and operates a number of NASCAR race tracks, including Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Michigan International Speedway.
What is the Length of the Darlington Raceway Track?
The length of the Darlington Raceway track is 1.366 miles (2.198 km). The track features four turns and a number of different configurations, including the oval track, the road course, and the “roval” track.
When is the Darlington Raceway NASCAR Race?
The NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is typically held in September. The date of the race varies from year to year, in 2022 there is a Cup series race on May 8th and on the 5th September that is called the Cookout Southern 500. So be sure to check the schedule ahead of time.
What is the Banking on Darlington Raceway?
The banking on Darlington Raceway varies depending on the location
- For the oval track configuration, the banking is 24 degrees in the turns
- and 3 to 2 degrees on the straights.
What fatalities have there been at Darlington Raceway?
There have been a total of two NASCAR fatalities at Darlington Raceway. Bobby Myers in 1957, and Buren Skeen who was the most recent fatality which occurred in 1965 during the Southern 500.
Can you Tour the Darlington Raceway
Yes, you can tour the Darlington Raceway. The track offers a number of different tours, including the Track Tour, the Pit Road Tour, and the Garage Tour. You can also take a self-guided tour of the track. For more information, be sure to check out the Darlington Raceway website.
What are the Ticket Prices for the Darlington Raceway Races?
The ticket prices for the Darlington Raceway races vary depending on the event. For example, the ticket prices for the NASCAR Cup Series race range from $40 to $95. Be sure to check the Darlington Raceway website for more information on ticket prices and availability.
Can you Camp or bring an RV to the Darlington Raceway
Yes, you can camp or bring an RV to the Darlington Raceway. The track offers a number of different camping options, including standard camping, VIP camping, and trackside camping. You can also bring an RV to the track. For more information, be sure to check out the Darlington Raceway website.
What are the Rules for Bringing a Pet to the Darlington Raceway
The Darlington Raceway does not allow pets on the premises. Service animals are allowed, but they must be registered with the track in advance. For more information, be sure to check out the Darlington Raceway website.
Does the Darlington Raceway have Wifi
Yes, the Darlington Raceway has wifi. You can access the wifi by connecting to the “Darlington Raceway” network. For more information, be sure to check out the Darlington Raceway website.
What Food and Drink Concessions Do They have at Darlington Raceway
The Darlington Raceway has a number of different food and drink concessions, including standard concession stands, food trucks, and restaurants. You can also bring your own food and drink into the track. For more information, be sure to check out the Darlington Raceway website.
Do you need Seat Cushions At Darlington Raceway?
No, you do not need seat cushions at Darlington Raceway. The seats at the track are angled slightly downward, so you will likely be comfortable without a seat cushion. However, if you prefer to use a seat cushion, they are allowed in the track. For more information, be sure to check out the article below.