Statistically speaking: a look at Darlington

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series goes night racing this weekend with Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Jeff Gordon is the winningest active driver at the track with seven trips to victory lane, and it just so happens that Saturday night’s green flag will mark the 700th-career Sprint Cup start for the four-time champion.

Darlington is also the site of the closest finish in series history since the implementation of electronic scoring in 1993. In 2003, Ricky Craven beat out Kurt Busch by 0.002 seconds to claim his final win. Craven has since retired from driving, but Busch is expected to compete this weekend, driving the No. 70 Furniture Row Racing Ford.

Here’s a statstical look at how several other drivers have fared at Darlington over the years (stats provided by NASCAR Media Group):

Greg Biffle (No. 16 Rousch Fenway Racing Ford)

· Two wins, two top fives, five top 10s; two poles

· Average finish of 14.0

· Average Running Position of 9.8, third-best

· Driver Rating of 110.5, second-best

· Series-high 283 Fastest Laps Run

· 2,170 Laps in the Top 15 (73.7%), fourth-most

· 249 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), third-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· One win, two top fives, four top 10s

· Average finish of 15.5

· Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best

· Driver Rating of 102.3, fifth-best

· 470 Green Flag Passes, third-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.837 mph, fifth-fastest

· 2,423 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), second-most

· Series-high 323 Quality Passes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Three top fives, seven top 10s

· Average finish of 15.3

· Average Running Position of 12.6, ninth-best

· Driver Rating of 90.4, 10th-best

· 485 Green Flag Passes, second-most

· 1,911 Laps in the Top 15 (64.9%), ninth-most

· 229 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)

· Three top fives, six top 10s

· Average finish of 13.1

· Average Running Position of 12.8, 10th-best

· Driver Rating of 93.9, ninth-best

· 149 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

· 418 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.490 mph, eighth-fastest

· 2,000 Laps in the Top 15 (68.0%), seventh-most

· 249 Quality Passes, third-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Seven wins, 18 top fives, 21 top 10s; three poles

· Average finish of 11.8

· Series-best Average Running Position of 8.3

· Series-best Driver Rating of 111.8

· 180 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most

· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 160.041 mph

· Series-high 2,615 Laps in the Top 15 (88.9%)

· 245 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· One win, three top fives, six top 10s

· Average finish of 5.9

· Average Running Position of 8.8, second-best

· Driver Rating of 109.5, third-best

· 175 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.896 mph, third-fastest

· 2,123 Laps in the Top 15 (82.5%), sixth-most

· 229 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Three wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s

· Average finish of 9.1

· Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best

· Driver Rating of 105.7, fourth-best

· 210 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

· 453 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.918 mph, second-fastest

· 2,137 Laps in the Top 15 (72.6%), fifth-most

· 227 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Three top fives, four top 10s; four poles

· Average finish of 13.9

· Average Running Position of 11.1, seventh-best

· Driver Rating of 98.3, sixth-best

· 192 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.483 mph, ninth-fastest

· 1,985 Laps in the Top 15 (67.4%), eighth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· One top five, eight top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 17.5

· Driver Rating of 86.5, 12th-best

· 76 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most

· 431 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most

· 195 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Penske Racing Ford)

· One top five, two top 10s

· Average finish of 9.3

· Driver Rating of 84.5, 13th-best

Ryan Newman (No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· Seven top fives, nine top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 12.4

· Average Running Position of 11.0, sixth-best

· Driver Rating of 97.6, seventh-best

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.652 mph, seventh-fastest

· 2,326 Laps in the Top 15 (79.0%), third-most

· 193 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· Four top fives, 11 top 10s

· Average finish of 11.8

· Average Running Position of 14.1, 11th-best

· Driver Rating of 90.0, 11th-best

· 104 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

· Series-high 496 Green Flag Passes

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.420 mph, 10th-fastest

· 1,813 Laps in the Top 15 (61.6%), 10th-most

· 266 Quality Passes, second-most

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota)

· One top five, three top 10s

· Average finish of 11.3

· Average Running Position of 12.5, eighth-best

· Driver Rating of 95.2, eighth-best

· 115 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most

· 437 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 159.673 mph, sixth-fastest

· 215 Quality Passes, ninth-most

 

Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook. Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner

Tags: Darlington Raceway NASCAR Southern 500

comments powered by Disqus