Darlington Raceway

 Emily Horos, AP

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Baseball fans have Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field. Football fans have the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. NASCAR fans? They have Darlington Raceway.

Tucked in the northeast corner of South Carolina, it was the home of the Southern 500 for years. The reputations of racers such as David Pearson, Richard Petty and Bobby Allison were forged here. There is one NASCAR race at Darlington now, and it is once again the Southern 500, the 10th race of the year, on May 7.

Old-school fans who used to come to both races here now scramble to find a ticket for the annual event on the egg-shaped, 1.366-mile oval.

Because of its many idiosyncrasies, the track provides perhaps the ultimate litmus test on the circuit for the left-turn-only crowd.

Drivers must constantly work to save not only their tires but their paint jobs. Not too many escape a race here without the famous Darlington Stripe on the right side of their vehicles.


1301 Harry Byrd Highway

Darlington, SC 29532


More track news is available through jayski.com.

Notable Events:

NASCAR Weekend

Friday, May 6, 2011

"NNS final practice, 8:30 a.m.
NASCAR Nationwide Series
"NSCS practice and final practice, 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

"NNS qualifying, 3:35 p.m.
NASCAR Nationwide Series
"NSCS qualifying, 5:10 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

" Royal Purple 200, 7:30 p.m.

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Gates open at 9 a.m.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

" SHOWTIME Southern 500, 7:30 p.m.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Gates open at 2 p.m.


" Ticket office: 866-459-7223 (Frontstretch ticket office is located at Gate 16, behind the Tyler Tower grandstand; the main ticket office is located along the backstretch, on Highway 151, near the Museum/NMPA Hall of Fame.)
" Online: Buy tickets.

" Pit passes: Available through hospitality packages.
" Fan hospitality: Call the track ticket office for further information.
" Special packages: Call the track ticket office for further information.

Track Specs

" Track length: 1.366 miles

" Banking on frontstretch: 3 degrees

" Banking on backstretch: 2 degrees

" Frontstretch: 1,229 feet

" Backstretch: 1,229 feet

" Race length: 500 miles

" Grandstand seating capacity: 63,000

" Opened: 1950

Carry-In Items:

" Coolers: Allowed (one soft-sided bag limit of 14x14x14 inches; one clear, limit of 18x18x4; plastic bags may not contain ice).

" Glass containers: Not allowed.

" Alcoholic beverages: Allowed.

" Cameras/binoculars: Allowed, must be worn separately.

Souvenirs and Displays

" Merchandise: Driver and NASCAR merchandise haulers on-site.

" Scanners: Scanners available for rent on-site.

" Gift shop: Located at the speedway.


Check local newspapers and television or darlingtonraceway.com

Drivers rarely available on race day.

Pit Area Guidelines

Available through hospitality packages. Shirt and shoes required.


Reserved: Available; for more information or reserved tent or motor home spaces, contact the ticket office at 866-459-7223.

Getting There

Track is on Highway 151-34, two miles west of Darlington.
" From I-95, take Highway 52 to Darlington.

" From I-20, take 401 East to Darlington.


" Free parking: Available.

" Handicapped parking: Available; authorized, state-issued vehicle license or windshield tag is required.
" Motorcyle parking: Available.