Eight Ford Drivers Begin Championship Run at Darlington

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The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin this weekend with a manufacturer-high eight Ford drivers in contention for this year’s championship.  Every team representing Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske are in the field, along with the famed Wood Brothers.  Here’s a look at Ford’s regular season success, along with a look at past Darlington highlights.

This Week’s Schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 5 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Sept. 6 – NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series, 2 p.m. (FS1)

Sunday, Sept. 6 – NASCAR Cup Series, 6 p.m. (NBCSN)

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT DARLINGTON

·         Ford has 30 all-time series wins at Darlington.

·         NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner won Ford’s first race at Darlington in 1966.

·         Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are the only active Ford drivers with Darlington Cup wins.

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT DARLINGTON

·         Ford has 20 series wins at Darlington.

·         Mark Martin holds the record for most series wins at Darlington with eight.

·         Jack Roush leads all owners with 15 Darlington series wins.

FORD IN THE NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS SERIES AT DARLINGTON

·         Ford is still seeking its first series win at Darlington.

·         Matt Crafton won the inaugural series pole at Darlington in 2009.

·         Johnny Sauter has one career series win at Darlington (2017).

EIGHT FORD CUP DRIVERS IN PLAYOFFS

Ford goes into this weekend’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway with half of the 16-driver playoff field.  Kevin Harvick, Cole Custer, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto all qualified for the 10-race postseason event.  Custer and DiBenedetto will be making their playoff debuts while the other six made it together as a group for the third straight year.

HARVICK STARTS PLAYOFFS AS TOP SEED

Kevin Harvick’s series-best seven wins and 17 top-five finishes allowed him to clinch the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship one race before the finale last week at Daytona.  As a result, Harvick takes 57 bonus points into the post season and starts with a 10-point lead over second-place Denny Hamlin and a 28-point advantage over third-place Brad Keselowski.

FORD WINNING AT OVER 50% CLIP

Since NASCAR returned to action on May 17 at Darlington Raceway, Ford has won 12 of the 22 Cup points races (55%) and 10 of the 18 XFINITY events (56%).  Kevin Harvick leads the way with seven Cup victories during that stretch while Austin Cindric has vaulted to the top of the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings with six wins.  Overall, Ford leads each series in total wins (14 in Cup and 11 in XFINITY), and also tops both in the manufacturers’ standings.

FORD PLAYOFF STATISTICS

Ford comes into the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with 43 all-time post-season victories.  Joey Logano leads all Blue Oval drivers with nine wins while Carl Edwards is second with eight.  Ford’s best playoff performance came in 2018 when five drivers combined for six wins, including Logano, who won twice and claimed his first series championship.  From a track perspective, Talladega Superspeedway has been Ford’s most successful playoff facility having won nine times, including the last six years in a row.

BRISCOE GOING FOR DARLINGTON NXS SWEEP

Chase Briscoe will be going for a Darlington season sweep this weekend after he won the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener after the sport returned to racing.  Briscoe and Kyle Busch engaged in a memorable battle over the final two laps that saw Busch take the lead on the white flag lap after Briscoe brushed the wall coming out of turn four.  Busch stayed on the inside in turn one while Briscoe charged along the outside wall and made the winning pass coming off turn two.  The win marked Briscoe’s second win of the 2020 season and puts him in position to become the first Ford driver to win both Darlington NXS races since Jeff Burton in 2002.

FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE WINNERS AT DARLINGTON

1956 – Curtis Turner

1960 – Joe Weatherly (1)

1961 – Fred Lorenzen and Nelson Stacy

1962 – Nelson Stacy and Larry Frank

1963 – Fireball Roberts (2)

1964 – Fred Lorenzen (1)

1965 – Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett

1968 – David Pearson (1)

1969 – Lee Roy Yarbrough (2)

1970 – David Pearson (1)

1981 – Neil Bonnett (2)

1982 – Dale Earnhardt (1)

1985 – Bill Elliott (Sweep)

1988 – Bill Elliott (2)

1992 – Bill Elliott (1)

1993 – Mark Martin (2)

1994 – Bill Elliott (2)

1997 – Dale Jarrett (1)

1998 – Dale Jarrett (1)

1999 – Jeff Burton (Sweep)

2001 – Dale Jarrett (1)

2005 – Greg Biffle

2006 – Greg Biffle

2018 – Brad Keselowski

2020 – Kevin Harvick (1)

FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES RACE WINNERS AT DARLINGTON

1993 – Mark Martin (2)

1994 – Mark Martin (Sweep)

1995 – Mark Martin (2)

1996 – Mark Martin (1) and Terry Labonte (2)

1997 – Jeff Burton (2)

1999 – Mark Martin (2)

2000 – Mark Martin (Sweep)

2001 – Jeff Green (1) and Jeff Burton (2)

2002 – Jeff Burton (Sweep)

2004 – Greg Biffle

2005 – Matt Kenseth

2009 – Matt Kenseth

2018 – Brad Keselowski

2019 – Cole Custer

2020 – Chase Briscoe (1)

Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance

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