Race Winner Statistics: Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway

Kyle Busch Celebrates Win of Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington RacewayAfter a racing incident between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch last week, Kyle has been the focus of much criticism from many fans who blame him for wrecking Dale Earnhardt Jr.. Many fans are split on whether Kyle purposefully took Jr. out or if it was “one of them racing deals.” [The correct answer is the latter.] However, the added attention and scrutiny didn’t seem to bother Kyle one bit as he extended his point lead to 79 over second place Jeff Burton. Kyle now is tied with Carl Edwards for 3 wins this season. With eleven races now in the books, Kyle also has 7 top fives and 8 top tens.

If you’re playing our Champs, Chumps & Sleepers fantasy game then you most certainly debated on whether to use Kyle on your Darlington Chumps roster or not. Prior to this past Saturday’s race, Kyle had an average running position of 13.2 and an average finish of 22.3 at Darlington Raceway. But as I predicted in my pre-race Chump rankings, Kyle would once again exceed expectations on the track, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. would not retaliate against Kyle. The fact that Jr. didn’t retaliate just shows me a few things about Jr.. First, he’s a better guy than that (and I already knew he was!). Second, he apparently believes what he himself said after the Richmond race (that he didn’t think Kyle did it on purpose). And third, that Jr. is focussed on the big picture of the championship. Kudos to Earnhardt Jr.!

James and CJ at Darlington 2008I took my son to the Darlington race and we camped out in Camp Darlington afterwards. This was my son’s very first NASCAR race, and maybe you can imagine the look on this 9 year olds face and the joy he expressed when his two favorite drivers finished 1st and 2nd. I have to say that this was my favorite race that I’ve ever attended. Not so much because of what happened on the track (after all, my drivers didn’t have great nights), but because it was a terrific bonding moment for my son and me. While my son was hoping Carl would get up there and be able to pass Kyle, he was happy for a 1-2 finish in the end. Here are the post-race Loop Data Statistics on how Kyle Busch tamed Darlington.

  • Starting Position = 6th
  • Mid Race Position = 9th
  • 37 Laps to Go = 1st
  • Lowest Position = 29th
  • Average Position = 5th
  • # of Fastest Laps = 56 (best of all drivers)
  • Laps in Top 15 = 349 out of 367.
  • % of Laps in Top 15 = 95.1%
  • Laps Led = 169 (most of all drivers)
  • % of Laps Led = 46.0% (highest of all drivers)
  • Final Driver Rating = 138.6