Fans Choose Record-Setting Finish In 2003 As Top Darlington Moment


DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 7, 2009) – The fans of Darlington Raceway have spoken and the results for the most memorable moment at the track “Too Tough to Tame” have been determined.

Voting began in February and over 5,000 fans visited to vote for their favorite moment.

Fans selected the 2003 win by Ricky Craven as the most memorable in Darlington Raceway history. Craven battled Kurt Busch to the finish line by .002 second to win the race. This small margin of victory set a NASCAR record that still stands.

“Moments like these keep race fans coming back to Darlington Raceway year after year,” said track President Chris Browning. “The racing at Darlington is exciting and unpredictable and fans know that any race at Darlington could be the one that’s talked about for years to come.”

Bill Elliott’s win in the 1985 Southern 500 that netted him the first-ever Winston Million bonus finished second, Jeff Gordon’s first career win at Darlington in the 1995 Southern 500 ranked third.

The poll, posted on, gave fans 12 different historic moments in Darlington Raceway history to choose from.

The top moments that fans could choose from included:

 1950, Inaugural Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway
 1965, Ned Jarrett wins Southern 500 by largest margin in NASCAR history, 14 laps
 1967, Richard Petty records his 55th career Sprint Cup victory in the Rebel 400
 1968, David Pearson and Cale Yarborough record their first Darlington victories
 1977, Darrell Waltrip wins his first Superspeedway race in dramatic fashion
 1980, David Pearson wins his 10th and final race at Darlington Raceway
 1982, Dale Earnhardt breaks his 39 race winless streak and wins the Rebel 500
 1985, Bill Elliott wins the first ever Winston Million in the Southern 500
 1995, Jeff Gordon wins his first race at Darlington Raceway in the Southern 500
 1999, Jeff Burton wins the historic 50th running of the Southern 500
 2003, Ricky Craven beats Kurt Busch by .002 second- setting a NASCAR record
 2005-2006, Greg Biffle wins back-to-back events at the Lady in Black

Darlington Raceway or the track “Too Tough to Tame” as it is known to many, is where the purest of NASCAR competition meets true southern hospitality. A NASCAR staple since 1950, Darlington Raceway has seen some of motorsports most talented drivers thunder to Victory Lane. In 2009, a NASCAR tradition, the Southern 500® presented by, will return as Darlington Raceway celebrates 60 Seasons of Racing.

Be a part of history when Darlington Raceway celebrates 60 years of racing in 2009. Tickets to the 2009 Southern 500® presented by, as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 are on-sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at

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