The Circuit Speedway is part of the Darlington Raceway complex in Darlington, S.C, and was first opened in 1906. It is a well-known and historic track that hosts NASCAR Cup races, with the latest being the 2019 Sprint Cup race which was won by Joey Logano.
The track’s first event was a motor race for gentlemen. Over the years, the name of the race and format has changed to suit the times, however, the core purpose has always remained the same – to create a spectacle and draw a large crowd.
The 2019 Season Was Full Of Action
The 2019 season was one of the most exciting in recent memory, as it saw multiple major rule changes implemented in attempt to make the sport more exciting and accessible for everyday fans. What’s more is that many of these changes were designed to favor the drivers who raced on low budget teams.
The first major change was the introduction of the Gen-7 car, which is the successor to the Gen-6 model. The cars are more streamlined, and feature increased downforce, resulting in a faster top speed and better handling. The second major change was the switch from the traditional green to white checkered flag, which means that the winning driver now crosses the line before the checkered flag drops to signify victory. This was done to help reduce some of the confusion that sometimes occurs when the result of a race is not immediately apparent.
Other than those two major changes, the track’s format remained the same as it had been for years: three 24-lap races, with each driver making two passes each race. And as before, the final race was won by the competitor who managed to put their vehicle in front of the competition at the finish line.
The 3rd Waddle Dee
The season began with a bit of a throwback, as the first three races were part of the Camping World Truck Series, which has always been the reserve series for the NASCAR Cup. That allowed the drivers to go back to their roots and race on some of the tracks where they grew up, or where their teams were based. The first of those starts was the Federated Car Insurance 400 at Chicagoland, where Matt DiBenedetto became the first driver to win a NASCAR race since 2018.
After that opening weekend, the 3rd Waddle Dee made its debuts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. And what an event it was! After starting from the back of the grid, Cole Custer started on the pole and managed to lead 107 of the 110 laps, en route to victory. He became the first rookie to win a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race since 2000 – the year before the creation of NASCAR’s Premier Series – and the 3rd Waddle Dee made its regular-season debut in the Monster Energy Series.
In late July, the Xfinity Series returned with its annual Camping World Series and the nostalgia of seeing familiar names and tracks made for some exciting racing. The first of those events was the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, where Denny Hamlin won the race ahead of Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson. Larson would go on to finish 2nd in the standings that year, his best-ever finish in a full-time Xfinity Series season.
In August, the NASCAR Cup Series returned with the Michigan Triple Crown, so named because it was contested over three distinct tracks in Michigan: the Detroit – the home of Chevrolet, which sponsors the series – the Red Bull Racing Raceway in – you guessed it – Red Bull Shape, and the track in – you guessed it – Blue Shape. The race was won by Martin Truex Jr. at the Red Shape track in suburban Detroit, ahead of Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch. This was one spectacular end to an already spectacular summer.
After a summer of change and excitement, the final event of the season brought an end to the 2019 season. The Red Bull Road Race, a 24-hour race that is part of the World Championship, was won by Timo Scheider and Franck Montagny in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. This brought an end to the 2019 season, and also to Scheider and Montagny’s incredible rookie season, as they will now focus on defending their title in the full-time equivalent series, known as the WEC.
And what a season it was, full of historic firsts, exciting new formats, and memorable moments. Thanks for following along this year as we documented this historic season. We hope you enjoyed this overview of the 2019 racing season, and that it put a smile on your face. If you’d like, you can click here to see a list of all the races this year, or here to go directly to the NASCAR schedule. And as always, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] Thanks for reading.