Southern 500

Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing riding high after Darlington win

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Darlington
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<p> Reaction from NASCAR's weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Southern 500.</p>

The Southern 500, while no longer held on Labor Day is still looked at as one of NASCAR’s biggest races. Darlington remains the place where, in 1950, an egg-shaped, awkward-looking asphalt track gave birth to superspeedway competition. Thirty-five years later, a million-dollar Chase by a man named Awesome Bill was another notch in the sport’s belt that wrapped the racetrack into our national consciousness. Like golf’s Masters, purists regard it as one of the sport’s crown jewels.

Denny Hamlin makes NASCAR return at Darlington Raceway

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Darlington
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<p> Five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit heads to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500.</p>

1. Darlington celebrates a pair of 10-year milestones, good and bad
Darlington Raceway is the first place NASCAR ever raced on pavement, all the way back on Sept. 4, 1950. That event, the first Labor Day Weekend Southern 500, saw Johnny Mantz win his only NASCAR race as he beat Fireball Roberts and 73 other competitors by at least nine laps.

The Best NASCAR has to Offer

Richmond, Talladega, Darlington and Charlotte stretch unequalled on schedule
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Vito Pugliese notes that NASCAR's month of May — with races at Richmond, Talladega, Darlington and Charlotte — is the best of the season.</p>

Richmond, Talladega, Darlington and Charlotte stretch unequalled on Cup schedule

Much was made of the first five races of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule being run on diametrically diverse tracks. From the season opening restrictor plate Daytona 500, to the bumper-car bonanza that made up the closing laps at Martinsville, and the intermediate downforce contests in Las Vegas and Fontana.