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Stock Car Racing

Drivers earn their stripes at Darlington Raceway

Nothing can really prepare an unsuspecting driver for the "Darlington stripe." Kurt Busch certainly didn't know what he was in for when he drove in the spring race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in 2001, his first full season on NASCAR's Sprint Cup circuit. "My first race and first stripe," said Busch, who finished 30th in that race. "That place chewed me up and spit me out. I think I wrecked 20 times, kept bouncing off walls. I wore out the tires but kept going. It really was an eye opener on how tough NASCAR was going to be." What's a Darlington stripe? It's unique to Darlington and its 1.37-mile, egg-shaped track, where the Southern...