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NASCAR Pre-Race Primer: Bojangles' 500 From Darlington

Every week  Beyond The Flag will present the NASCAR Pre-Race Primer which will have a handful of fun factoids that will help you prepare for the upcoming race. This Saturday the circuit is heading to the Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ 500.

The race can be seen live on FOX with coverage beginning at 6:00 PM ET. The green flag is expected to wave at approximately 6:36 PM ET. Last season Matt Kenseth found his was to victory lane during this event. NASCAR has seen seven different winners through the first six races of 2014. Those winners do not include drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth or Jeff Gordon. Race fans will be tuning in to see if NASCAR will have its eighth different winner of the season in Darlington. Heading into this race Jeff Gordon is the current points leader (for the first time since 2009). Joey Logano was the winner of last weeks event in Texas.

Fun Factoids about Darlington Raceway:

  • Johnny Mantz won the first NASCAR race here back in 1950.
  • The first Saturday race under the lights was in 2005.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 33 starts, followed by Joe Nemechek with 27.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with Darlington victories, he has seven.
  • In 110 Darlington races, almost 1/3 of the winners have started on the front row of the starting grid.
  • Less than six percent of Darlington winners have started outside of the top-20.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in runner up finishes, top-five finishes and top-10 finishes at the track.
  • Denny Hamlin (5.35) and Jimmie Johnson (8.8) are the only drivers whose average finish at the track is within the top-10.
  • Joe Nemechek has never won at this track despite competing here 27 times.
  • Ricky Craven’s 2003 win here by .002 seconds is the closest margin of victory in NASCAR history, tied with the 2011 Talladega finish.
  • The last time a Darlington event was shortened due to weather was back in 2000.

Jeff Gordon might be the favorite heading into Saturday night. Gordon has had success here before and has been very close to winning multiple times this season already. That being said, so has Jimmie Johnson. Johnson has had some bad luck take away two potential wins from him this season. Also, keep an eye out for rookie Kyle Larson. Larson has impressed in the last few weeks and seems to be getting closer to his first win as well.

Be sure to check back with Beyond The Flag for Qualifying Results.

Christopher Olmstead is the Editor of BeyondTheFlag.com on the FanSided Network. Follow us on Twitter @Beyond_The_Flag and “Like” us on Facebook.

Tags: Bojangles 500 Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Kyle Larson Matt Kenseth NASCAR

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