GM Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Bullet Points--Southern 500, Darlington Raceway. Race: Mountain Dew Southern 500 Distance: 367 Laps Date: Sunday, August 31, 2003 Television: NBC (live coverage starting at 1 p.m.
GM Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Bullet Points--Southern 500, Darlington Raceway.
Race: Mountain Dew Southern 500
Distance: 367 Laps
Date: Sunday, August 31, 2003
Television: NBC (live coverage starting at 1 p.m. EDT)
End of an Era
Sunday's 54th running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500 will be the last on Labor Day weekend. The race has been a Labor Day tradition since Darlington Raceway opened as NASCAR's first superspeedway in 1950.
--Ricky Craven won the spring race here at Darlington in the closest finish in NASCAR history (.002 seconds over Kurt Busch). He has high hopes of repeating, and his eighth-place starting spot is much better than where he started in March (31st).
--Mike Skinner led five laps last week at Bristol, the first five laps led by a Pontiac on a short track this season.
--Four of the five Pontiacs were among the top 36 qualifiers on Friday. Craven was eighth, Johnny Benson 11th, Skinner 16th and Jason Leffler 36th. Kevin Lepage, making his return to the No. 4 Kodak Pontiac, was 41st and used a provisional starting spot.
--In 63 races at Darlington Raceway since the modern era of NASCAR began in 1972, Chevrolet has won 29 of them. If you add all the GM brands together (Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick in addition to Chevrolet), that total climbs to 40. For those of you scoring at home, that's a .635 winning percentage for GM Racing.
--Jeff Gordon has been king of Labor Day in recent years, winning four straight Southern 500s from 1995-98. He leads all active drivers with six Darlington victories. He is also the defending Southern 500 champion.
--Best bet for at least a top-10 finish at Darlington? Try Tony Stewart. He's finished six of his nine races at Darlington 10th or better.
Darlington Quick Shots
--When Michael Waltrip crashed out of the Sharpie 500 last weekend, it ended a string of 33 consecutive races without a DNF. Terry Labonte inherits the lead in that category with 30 straight races entering the Southern 500.
--Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson are the only drivers to have been in the top 10 in points all season.
--If Jeff Gordon wins on Sunday, he will break the record of five Southern 500 victories he currently shares with the legendary Cale Yarborough.
--Seven of Chevrolet's 11 victories this season have come on superspeedways.
--When Pontiacs swept both Darlington races in 2000, it marked the first time the marque had won here since 1963.