Darlington Raceway (1.366 miles, Intermediate, Egg-shaped) in Darlington, South Carolina
The Darlington Raceway breathes pure tradition, for it is after the Martinsville Speedway, the track, which could yet hold the second longest in the NASCAR calendar. The very unusual oval in South Carolina was built from 1949 to 1950 and held since then at least one Cup race per year. The unusual egg shape goes back to the ownership of the surrounding country whose owner wanted to keep his fish ponds rather than to make a circuit court. Originally a layout similar to that of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was planned, but one side of the oval then had to be built narrower. Thus, the Darlington Raceway received two different turns, which also differ in the bends.
The track is 1.366 miles long and contain more than 65,000 spectators, the expansion of capacity (other than time) severely restricted and an adjacent highway because lying next to ponds. Turn 1 and 2 have a banking of 25 ° and a turning radius of 183 m, while Turn 3 and 4 23 ° are steep and have a radius of only 160m. The two straight lines with a length of 375 meters, although exactly the same length, but have a different and extremely low banking with 3 ° (finish line) and 2 ° (back straight) on. The Oval in the South still holds also a few records: First, the very first 500-mile race in the NASCAR took place here in 1950, nine years before the first Daytona 500. On the other hand, it was held on the first completely paved oval.
The different curves make a good setup similar to Pocono difficult either the car is tidy or just in the other two turns in Turn 1 and 2. The transition to the straight line of more than 20 ° to almost 0 ° and makes the corner exit also like to have some wall contacts because the only fast line also results in Darlington exactly along the wall and to the car just can not perfectly to all curves , This touches here far more often rather than elsewhere, so the resulting "paint damage" as a unique feature are sometimes called "Darlington Stripes". The long-drawn black lines on the outside wall to hear the same name and make the oval to the "Lady in Black".
The legendary first 500-mile race took place from 1950 to 2004 traditionally held on Labor Day and had the name "Southern 500". Since 1957, there was even a second annual race at Darlington, which has been stretched in the distance gradually from 300 to 500 miles also. In the course of a calendar change in 2005 in favor of a second Texas race, the Southern 500 fell through and below the May date was the only event of the year. Since the former sponsor Dodge 2009 took his hat, the race could at least take place again as Southern 500, though not in its usual date. Two more Darlington facts: First, target and back straight were swapped in a previous conversion and other 2007 he got the route a new strip of asphalt. This GPS technology was used in order not to change the original character as possible - which is also a success, according to driver opinions.
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