Darlington vs Indy: How the champions measure up
Trophies from Darlington Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are two of
the most coveted prizes in racing. Lists of winners from these two historic
racing facilities turn up other similarities, as well.
The familiar sentiment regarding America's largest city set forth in the song "New York, New York," is often used when describing NASCAR's original superspeedway - if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Is this true? How do Darlington¿s winners really measure up at other prestigious venues?
As the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series heads to Indianapolis, it is interesting to consider how the relatively short list of winners at The Brickyard has performed in comparison to former champions at the track "Too Tough To Tame."
Dale Earnhardt (Winner at Indy in 1995)
Darlington victories: 9 (Spring 1982, spring 1986, both races 1987, fall 1989, both races 1990, spring 1993, spring 1994)
Second on the all-time win list
Still holds the track race record for a 500-mile event at Darlington, with an average speed of 139.958 mph in 1993.
Jeff Gordon (Winner at Indy in 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2004)
Darlington victories: 6 (Fall 1995, both races 1996, fall 1997, fall 1998, fall 2002)
Most Darlington wins among active drivers
Gordon is third on the all-time win list and is the only driver in history to win four consecutive Southern 500s
Dale Jarrett (Winner at Indy in1996)
Darlington victories: 3 (1997, 1998, 2001)
Tied for third on the all-time win list
All three victories came in 400-mile spring events
Ricky Rudd (Winner at Indy in 1997)
Darlington victories: 1 (1991)
Rudd¿s only win at the track ¿Too Tough To Tame came in 1991, when the spring race was a 500-miler
Bobby Labonte (Winner at Indy in 2000)
Darlington victories: 1
Labonte won the Southern 500, also in the year 2000. The two victories helped earn him the series championship that year.
Bill Elliott (Winner at Indy in 2002)
Darlington victories: 5 (Both races in 1985, fall 1988, spring 1992, fall 1994)
Tied for fourth on the all-time win list
Won the first-ever Winston Million bonus with his victory in the 1985 Southern 500
Has the most top-10 finishes of any driver
Kevin Harvick (Winner at Indy 2003)
Darlington victories: 0
Although Harvick is one of only two Brickyard 400 winners to have never won a Cup Series race at Darlington, he has earned two top five and four top ten finishes in 10 starts
Tony Stewart (Winner at Indy 2005)
Darlington victories: 0
Like Harvick, the reigning NEXTEL Cup Series champion has never won at Darlington. Stewart has posted two top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 14 starts.