After racing at a track born within the current century last week, the NASCAR Cup Series is now set to return to the sport’s roots. Sunday afternoon’s Goodyear 400 will culminate a loaded weekend of racing at the historic Darlington Raceway. The South Carolina track is not an easy one to handle, making NASCAR betting trends all the more important for handicapping this race.
The following breaks down several stats and facts of note for the Goodyear 400, part of 2021’s NASCAR Throwback Weekend.
NASCAR Betting Trends for the Goodyear 400
It’s nearly impossible to nail car setup for Darlington Raceway, thanks to the two ends of the track being drastically different. Add in the rough surface and inevitable tire wear and this place is a beast. They don’t call it “The Track too Tough to Tame” for nothing!
Refer to our Darlington Raceway overview article for more on this historic track!
The following sections break down several different types of trends specific to the Goodyear 400. These trends can be useful when making NASCAR betting picks on this weekend’s race.
NASCAR Betting Driver Trends
Although Darlington Raceway is one of the oldest and most historic tracks on the NASCAR circuit, recent driver data when it comes to the Goodyear 400 is somewhat sporadic. This is thanks to the track not hosting a spring race from 2004-19. It wasn’t until last year that the NASCAR Cup Series held multiple races at “The Lady in Black”. In fact, Darlington hosted two spring races in 2020 thanks to the mass rescheduling that took place.
Two drivers who are yet to win a race in 2021 were the winners of the two spring races last year. Kevin Harvick took Race I while Denny Hamlin captured Race II, which was run on a Wednesday night. Harvick also won last fall’s Southern 500 race at Darlington. Both he and Hamlin are tied for the lead among active drivers in wins at the track with three apiece.
NASCAR Betting Team Trends
Thanks to Darlington Raceway’s advanced age and the fact that the majority of spring races were run prior to the turn of the century, we see an interesting all-time leader in team victories. Holman-Moody Racing’s seven wins are the most ever in the Goodyear 400. Among active race teams, Richard Childress Racing leads the way with five Goodyear 400 victories. However, the most recent came all the way back in 1994, courtesy of the late Dale Earnhardt.
NASCAR Betting Manufacturer Trends
Ford leads all manufacturers with 18 total victories in the Goodyear 400. Chevrolet is a close second at 15. Denny Hamlin’s win last year was the first for Toyota in the Darlington spring race.
Darlington Raceway Driver Statistics
The tables below contain NASCAR betting driver statistics specific to recent races at Darlington Raceway.
Average Finish at Darlington Raceway
Note: Data is taken from the ten most recent Darlington races
|Rank||Driver||Starts||Best Finish||Average Finish|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.||10||1||17.4|
Driver Rating at Darlington
Note: Ratings reflect the average of the five most recent Darlington races
|Rank||Driver||Starts||Car Number||Average Driver Rating|
|1||Martin Truex Jr.||6||19||114.4|
|13||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||6||47||85.3|
Rich History and Southern Tradition | “Rebel” 400
Buckle up NASCAR history buffs! There’s a reason why the sport celebrates its annual Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway. Although it usually comes in the fall with the crown-jewel race known as the Southern 500, the decision to move it to the spring this year makes it a great opportunity to look back on the history of the race presently known as the Goodyear 400.
The very first edition of this race was held back in 1952, although that specific race’s name is unknown. Dick Rathmann emerged victorious in a feature that only consisted of 80 total laps. The spring race at Darlington Raceway would not be run again until 1957 in what was a 219-lap event. Starting with that ‘57 race and lasting up through 1962, only convertibles were allowed to participate.
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The other inevitable discussion point concerning the history of the Goodyear 400 is the race’s former name. From 1957-1978, the spring Darlington race went by the name “Rebel”. Although it included a handful of different distances, the Rebel 400 nickname still sticks to this day despite the title sponsorship clouding it a bit.
Like Darlington Raceway, the Rebel 400 race is deeply rooted in Southern tradition. For several years, the race was held on or around Confederate Memorial Day, an official state holiday in 11 Southern U.S. states that commemorates more than 250,000 Confederate soldiers who died in service during the Civil War. Although the day of celebration varies by state, South Carolina observes Confederate Memorial Day annually on May 10. Thus, the Rebel 400 is truly returning to its roots as part of NASCAR Throwback Weekend this year.