CONCORD, N.C. – The Southern 500 awaits this weekend at Darlington Raceway.
And in in 55 events at the historic track, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 14 wins – the most all-time – in addition to seven pole positions, 44 top-five finishes and 74 top-10s.
Jimmie Johnson most recently won at the venue for the organization on May 12, 2012, to claim Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th NASCAR Cup Series victory. The organization also leads the Cup Series in many categories at the track since 2003, including wins (six), top-five finishes (21) and top-10s (30).
As Hendrick Motorsports makes its way to the Southern 500, here are some more of the organization’s key stats and figures at “The Lady in Black.”
- Darlington Raceway is one of 13 tracks where Hendrick Motorsports has accumulated 10 or more wins. Its 14 wins on the 1.366-mile oval are tied with Daytona and Atlanta for the organization's fourth-most at a track. The Darlington wins have come via six different drivers – Tim Richmond, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Johnson and Mark Martin. The six winners tie the organization for the most drivers to find Victory Lane at Darlington all-time.
- Chase Elliott has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last five races (New Hampshire, Pocono, Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol). His longest career top-10 streak came during his rookie season, spanning six races from Talladega (May) to Michigan (June). In addition to the top-10s, Elliott has garnered one win, three top-five finishes, three stage wins and 201 laps led over the past five races.
- With one win and three top-10 finishes, Elliott was a top performer in the month of August (Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol). The driver collected 26 stage points, six playoff points and a NASCAR Cup Series-leading 128 total points during that span.
- William Byron will make his second start at Darlington Raceway and his first in the NASCAR Cup Series. The 20-year-old raced on the 1.366-mile speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017, when he started sixth and finished fifth, following four Cup Series regulars to the checkered flag.
- For No. 24 team crew chief Darian Grubb, Darlington marks the site of his most recent Cup win as a crew chief. In 2015, Grubb led driver Carl Edwards to Victory Lane at the Darlington, South Carolina, track.
- Johnson ranks highest among all active drivers in Darlington wins with three. As far as all-time wins, Gordon has six wins at Darlington, with Johnson in a six-way tie for fourth with Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson, Buck Baker and Herb Thomas.
- Historically, over the course of his 83 wins, Johnson usually accumulates more wins in the fall. He has won 10 times in September, 14 times in October and 10 times in November. Two times over the course of his career, he has won his first race of the season at Darlington – March 21, 2004, and May 12, 2012.
- Alex Bowman is building a point lead while remaining on the bubble in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings. Over the last five races, the driver has continued to cushion his lead as the 16th-place competitor over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the 17th position. After New Hampshire, Bowman had a 28-point lead over 17th, and one race later after Pocono he was 56 markers ahead. The No. 88 team gained six points at Watkins Glen and maintained that lead through Michigan. At the conclusion of the Bristol event, Bowman had moved to 79 points above the cut-off line.
- Since the July Daytona event this season, Bowman has accumulated stage points in five events. The young driver captured points during both stages in the Daytona and Pocono races and during one stage each at Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol. As a team, Hendrick Motorsports ranks second on the list of most stage top-10s by an organization since the July Daytona race with 26 total.
- During the first 15 races this season, Bowman captured one top-five finish and four top-10s. The driver had an average start of 15.27 and an average finish of 15.87 during that span. In the last nine events, the No. 88 team has captured one top-five finish and five top-10s. The team’s average start improved to 13.44, with an average finish of 13.67. Bowman captured his career-best finish during the stint, when he finished third at Pocono Raceway in July.
- Elliott secured his 2018 NASCAR playoff berth with his win at Watkins Glen, and two of his teammates are currently in position to join him: Johnson and Bowman. The three teammates in playoff position are tied for the second-most among all teams in the NASCAR Cup Series.
- With Elliott earning his first Cup Series win at Watkins Glen, Hendrick Motorsports now holds the record for the most first-time Cup Series winners with nine. If Byron or Bowman wins at Darlington, it will extend the record to the 10th time a driver has recorded his first career Cup Series win while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.
- Ten active Cup Series drivers claimed Southern 500 top-10 finishes in their rookie season, with two doing so for Hendrick Motorsports –Johnson (ninth in 2002) and Elliott (10th in 2016). With a top-10 finish this weekend, Byron could become the 11th.