NASCAR TRACKS

Darlington Raceway

Darlington, SC
Darlington Raceway Layout
Location:
Darlington, SC
Founded:
1950
Spectator Capacity:
47,000
Length:
1.366 mi
Turns:
4

TRACK BIOGRAPHY

Opening in 1950, Darlington Raceway is one of NASCAR’s oldest tracks, and the oldest superspeedway on the circuit. Built on farmland, the idea for Darlington was a track and event that could rival the Indy 500, but in the south. The track features a unique design, with turns one and two that are wide and sweeping. In turns 3 and 4, the track is much narrower and shorter. This is due to accommodate the minnow pond right next to the track, as the farmer who previously owned the land did not want the pond to be disturbed.

Throughout the years, Darlington has hosted the NASCAR crown jewel race, the Southern 500. This race is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend, and with lights added to the track in 2004, the race now begins in the day and ends at night.

Darlington is a favorite among fans and drivers alike. The track is very challenging to drive, and the fastest way around the track is right next to the wall, which leads to cars receiving the “Darlington Stripe” a nickname for the strip of paint on the car after making contact with the wall. The track is also subject to the elements of South Carolina, which makes the track surface age quickly and makes management of tires key to winning at Darlington.

Darlington hosts two race weekends a year, the Southern 500 in August, and the Goodyear 400 in May. The Goodyear 400 has been designated as “The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR”, with drivers running retro paint schemes on their cars.

TRACK PHOTOS

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 06: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer Throwback Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 06, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 09: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Freightliner Ford, leads the field to star the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 09, 2021 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) | Getty Images
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 06: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Throwback Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 06, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Cars race during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images