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Darlington Raceway Overview, Stats and Weekend Racing Schedule

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are now upon us. To kick off the chase for the 2021 championship this week, the drivers and teams will visit the track “Too Tough to Tame”. Darlington Raceway will host the last NASCAR Crown Jewel event of 2021, the Southern 500. There is a ton of storied history behind this race. All three NASCAR national series will take to the track on this Labor Day Weekend to provide fans with an action-packed two days.

NASCAR Cup Series Darlington Raceway Southern 500 weekend schedule playoffs
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Darlington Raceway Overview

Darlington Raceway, otherwise known as the “Track Too Tough to Tame”, opened in 1950. When it was built, there was a little minnow pond that they had to avoid because the minnow pond’s owner refused to allow the track to be built on his land. As a result, the track has two drastically different ends. People have described the shape of Darlington Raceway as that of an egg because of the differences in the ends.

The first NASCAR Cup Series event held at Darlington Raceway was the 1950 edition of the Southern 500. Back then, the drivers drove on the flat of the track and the banking was simply there to keep them inside the ring. But it didn’t take long for the drivers to figure out that they could drive faster on the banking, and they began using it to their advantage. Regarding said banking, Darlington Raceway is banked at 25 degrees in Turns One and Two and 23 degrees in Turns Three and Four. The “Lady in Black” is 1.366 miles in total length.

Darlington Raceway is also known for being extremely tough on tires. The track’s surface is very abrasive and is comparable currently to Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. You will see the race teams from all three NASCAR national series working hard to manage the tire situation and avoid sudden flats and cording this weekend.

The Famous Darlington Raceway Stripe

You can always tell when a car has just run at Darlington Raceway thanks to the inevitable phenomenon known as the “Darlington Stripe”. As one might imagine, it’s hard to nail a setup that will be sufficient for each of the two different ends of the track at the same time. As a result, the cars will sometimes hit the wall, putting a black mark on the sides and rubbing some paint off in the process. This is something that you will see a lot during the course of every race this weekend.

NASCAR Cup Series Spring Results

The NASCAR Cup Series celebrated Throwback Weekend the first time they ran at Darlington Raceway this year. Martin Truex Jr. dominated the field in the Goodyear 400. He held off a hard-charging Kyle Larson down the stretch to claim the victory. Truex has not won a race since while Larson went on to lead all drivers with five wins this season. The No. 19 team will look to complete a season sweep this Sunday in the Southern 500.

Darlington Raceway NASCAR Cup Series Southern 500 Playoffs weekend schedule
Credit: NASCAR

NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway | Weekend Racing Schedule

Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200

Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Saturday, September 4, 2021
Start Time: 3:30 P.M. EST
Coverage: NBCSN
Distance: 200 miles
Laps: 147

In It To Win It 200

Series: NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series
Date: Sunday, September 5, 2021
Start Time: 1:30 P.M. EST
Coverage: FS1
Distance: 200 miles
Laps: 147

Southern 500

Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Date: Sunday, September 5, 2021
Start Time: 6 P.M. EST
Coverage: NBCSN
Distance: 501 miles
Laps: 367


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