NASCAR’s original superspeedway will take center stage this weekend as Darlington Raceway hosts a tripleheader, featuring the NASCAR Craftsman Truck, NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Cup Series. Darlington has been on the stock car circuit since 1950 and Ford has had its share of success, posting 32 wins under the Blue Oval banner and 42 overall when including Mercury.


It comes as no surprise that the Wood Brothers are Ford’s all-time winningest team at Darlington Raceway, posting eight career victories. All but one of those triumphs came in a Mercury, which the team ran in the 1960’s and 70’s. David Pearson, who holds the record with 10 career Darlington Cup victories, led the way with six while Cale Yarborough captured the team’s first in 1968. The last Darlington win for Wood Brothers Racing came in 1981 when Neil Bonnett took the Southern 500 behind the wheel of a Ford.


Chris Buescher will look to bounce back from Sunday’s photo finish by building on his recent success at Darlington Raceway. Buescher, who got nipped by 0.001 seconds in the closest finish in NASCAR history at Kansas Speedway, had top-10 runs in both Darlington races a year ago, finishing 10th in the spring and third in the Southern 500. Overall, he has nine starts with RFK racing since returning to the organization in 2020 and has four top-10 runs at The Lady in Black. He currently sits 11th in the series point standings after his second runner-up finish of the season and is the second-highest Ford driver behind Ryan Blaney.


Joey Logano passed William Byron with two laps to go to win the Goodyear 400 in 2022 for his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season and first at Darlington Raceway. Logano dominated the Throwback Weekend, capturing the pole on Saturday and then winning the first stage before green flag pit stops and race strategy took over. He ended up leading eight times for 107 laps, most among all drivers, and dueled with Byron for the win over the final 26 laps.


Brad Keselowski was at the forefront of consecutive 1-2 Ford finishes when he swept the NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Cup Series fall Darlington weekend in 2018. Keselowski led the final 33 laps and won Saturday’s NXS event after Ross Chastain and Kevin Harvick made contact while battling for the lead. Cole Custer finished second to Keselowski, who registered his first win at Darlington. One night later Keselowski got his second after the No. 2 pit crew got him the lead on the final round of stops. Keselowski took off on the restart and beat Penske teammate Joey Logano to the finish line for Ford’s first Cup win at Darlington since Greg Biffle in 2006.


David Pearson holds the record for most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Darlington Raceway with 10 and eight of those came in Ford Motor Co. products. He won six times driving the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Mercury (1972,’74,’76-2,’77), winning the Southern 500 twice in that span (1976-77), and two more times in a Holman-Moody Ford (1968 and ’70). Pearson won three Southern 500 titles overall.


The first time Ford won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway was when Curtis Turner took the Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 1956. Unlike today, where the field is set at a maximum of 40 cars, there were 70 vehicles in the race that saw Turner lead 224 of the 400 laps. He beat Speedy Thompson to the finish line by more than two laps, and did it in record fashion with an average race speed of 95.167 mph.


Cole Custer will try to extend a pair of streaks this weekend at Darlington Raceway. The defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion has reeled off eighth straight top-10 finishes after starting the season with runs of 13th (Daytona) and 16th (Atlanta). He’s coming off a fifth-place showing at Dover Motor Speedway two weeks ago in which he led a race-high 95 laps. The other streak he’ll try to keep intact is at Darlington itself, where he has one career victory (2019) and finished in the top-10 in all five series starts.


Mark Martin is Darlington’s all-time winningest driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, having won eight times during his Hall of Fame career. He won 8-of-15 series races from 1993-2000, which included a pair of three-race winning streaks (1993-94, 1999-2000) and consecutive triumphs in 1995-96. Overall, Ford has won 19 times at the Track Too Tough to Tame, including a stretch where Martin (3), Jeff Burton (3) and Jeff Green (1) combined to win seven straight.


Ford currently has two drivers in the Top-10 of the series point standings with Ty Majeski leading the way in fourth and Matt Crafton eighth. Crafton is coming off a 10th-place effort last weekend at Kansas Speedway while Majeski qualified second but hit the wall and was forced to the garage early after getting a flat tire on lap 11. That resulted in a 33rd-place finish and a one spot drop in the standings.


Ford has one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Darlington and it came when Ben Rhodes won the South Carolina Education Lottery 200 on Sept. 6, 2020. Even though he led only four laps, Rhodes took advantage of a late-race caution that resulted in an overtime finish. Running fourth at the time, he stayed out on the track while the top three trucks pitted for tires. Despite being on old tires, Rhodes was able to hold off Dennis Kraus on the final lap and snapped a 48-race winless streak.

Ford Performance PR