Tuesday, May 24

Ford Performance NASCAR: Darlington Advance

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: DARLINGTON NOTES

Darlington Raceway is set to host its annual Throwback Weekend as all three of the sport’s top series will be competing on the egg-shaped oval.  Ford has combined to win 52 times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck, NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington.

This Week’s Schedule:

Friday, May 6 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

Saturday, May 7 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 1:30 p.m. (FS1)

Sunday, May 8 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT DARLINGTON

  • Ford has 31 all-time series wins at Darlington.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner won Ford’s first race at Darlington in 1966.
  • Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are the only active Ford drivers with Darlington Cup wins.

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT DARLINGTON

  • Ford has 20 series wins at Darlington.
  • Mark Martin holds the record for most series wins at Darlington with eight.
  • Jack Roush leads all owners with 15 Darlington series wins.

FORD IN THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT DARLINGTON

  • Ford has 1 series wins at Darlington in 8 starts
  • Ben Rhodes registered that win in 2020.

HARVICK CELEBRATES RETURN TO RACING IN STYLE

Nobody enjoyed a return to Darlington in 2020 more than Kevin Harvick, who celebrated the sport’s return to competition by winning his 50th career series race in what turned out to be the first of three NASCAR Cup Series races held at the track dubbed ‘Too Tough to Tame.’  Harvick led 159-of-293 laps and once he passed fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski on lap 216, he never trailed again.  That marked the first of two Darlington wins on the season for Harvick, who captured the annual Southern 500 in the fall.

KESELOWSKI SPARKS BACK-TO-BACK 1-2 FINISHES

Brad Keselowski was at the forefront of consecutive 1-2 Ford finishes when he swept the NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Cup Series fall Darlington weekend in 2018.  Keselowski led the final 33 laps and won Saturday’s NXS event after Ross Chastain and Kevin Harvick made contact while battling for the lead.  Cole Custer finished second to Keselowski, who registered his first win at Darlington.  One night later Keselowski got his second after the No. 2 pit crew got him the lead on the final round of stops.  Keselowski took off on the restart and beat Penske teammate Joey Logano to the finish line for Ford’s first Cup win at Darlington since Greg Biffle in 2006.

WOOD BROTHERS LEAD THE WAY

It comes as no surprise that the Wood Brothers are Ford’s all-time winningest team at Darlington Raceway, posting eight career victories.  All but one of those triumphs came in a Mercury, which the team ran in the 1960’s and 70’s.  David Pearson, who holds the record with 10 career Darlington Cup victories, led the way with six while Cale Yarborough captured the team’s first in 1968.  The last Darlington win for Wood Brothers Racing came in 1981 when Neil Bonnett took the Southern 500 in 1981 behind the wheel of a Ford.

DARLINGTON MASTER

David Pearson holds the record for most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Darlington Raceway with 10 and eight of those came in Ford Motor Co. products.  He won six times driving the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Mercury (1972,’74,’76-2,’77), winning the Southern 500 twice in that span (1976-77), and two more times in a Holman-Moody Ford (1968 and ’70).  Pearson won three Southern 500 titles overall, capturing his third in 1979.

FIELD OF 70

The first time Ford won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway was when Curtis Turner took the Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 1956.  Unlike today, where the field is set at a maximum of 40 cars, there were 70 vehicles in the race that saw Turner lead 224 of the 400 laps.  He beat Speedy Thompson to the finish line by more than two laps, and did it in record fashion with an average race speed of 95.167 mph.

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