We’re gearing up for this weekend’s race in Darlington! In anticipation of Saturday night’s race, here are some fun track facts about Darlington:
“The Track Too Tough To Tame” – rookie racers who hit the wall during the race are said to have earned their “Darlington Stripe”
“Lady In Black” – this nickname came about because the walls around the track are always painted white prior to a race, but are always mostly black by the end of the race because of all the tire contact during the race
“A NASCAR Tradition” - the track is often advertised using this phrase
2. The track’s unique, somewhat egg-shaped design came about because of a minnow pond located near one end of the track – the owner refused to relocate when the track was built and the track builders promised not to disturb the pond.
3. The shape of the track makes it challenging for the drivers and crews to setup their cars’ handling in a way that will be effective at both ends of the track since each end is a slightly different shape.
4. The track is built on an old peanut and cotton field.
5. In recent years, the track has been reconfigured – the old front stretch is now the back stretch and the turns have been renumbered as well. Lights were also installed in 2003-2004 to facilitate night races to beat the daytime heat.
6. Seating capacity for the track now sits at 65,000, but has always been limited by the location of a highway behind the back stretch of the track and the location of another pond (the original minnow pond no longer exists).
7. Darlington has a legendary quality among drivers and older fans – it has a long history compared to other NASCAR speedways of its era. Because of this, it’s also the track where many drivers first learned truly how fast stock cars could go on a long track.
Until next time, happy racing!