Weekend schedule for Darlington Raceway

This weekend NASCAR travels to Darlington Raceway for a Labor Day celebration of racing. The Xfinity Series will take center stage Saturday afternoon and Sunday will feature a doubleheader with the Camping World Truck Series race at 1:30 p.m. followed by the Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at 6 p.m.

It’s the first of 10 races in the Cup Series Playoffs. Darlington starts off the Round of 16 as the drivers compete for the coveted championship title.

Sheldon Creed won the first race in Round 1 of the Truck Series Playoffs. The upcoming race at Darlington is the second post-season race and the final race of Round 1 will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway.

There are three races remaining in the Xfinity Series regular-season at Darlington Raceway, Richmond Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Their post-season begins on Sept. 25 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

All times are Eastern.

Saturday, September 4

3 p.m.: Xfinity Series Driver Intros
3:30 p.m.: Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200
Stages 45/90/147 Laps = 200.1 Miles
Pole: Daniel Hemric
NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Sunday, September 5

1 p.m.: Truck Series Driver Intros
1:30 p.m.: Truck Series In It To Win It 200
Stages 45/90/147 Laps = 200.1 Miles
Pole: Sheldon Creed
FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

5:30 p.m.: Cup Series Driver Intros
6 p.m.: Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500
Stages 115/230/367 Laps = 501.3 Miles
Pole: Ryan Blaney
NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Cup Series Playoff Grid – Round of 16 – Race 1 at Darlington

1.Kyle Larson2052
2.  Ryan Blaney2024
3.   Martin Truex Jr.2024
4.   Kyle Busch2022
5.   Chase Elliott2021
6.   Alex Bowman2015
7.   Denny Hamlin2015
8.  William Byron2014
9.   Joey Logano2013
10.Brad Keselowski2008
11.Kurt Busch2008
12.Michael McDowell2005
13.Christopher Bell2005
14.Aric Almirola2005
15.Tyler Reddick2003
16.Kevin Harvick2002

Truck Series Playoff Grid  – Round of 12 – Race 2 at Darlington

1.John H. Nemechek2073
2.Sheldon Creed 2071
3.Ben Rhodes2070
4.Matt Crafton2051
5.Stewart Friesen2049
6.Austin Hill2039
7.Carson Hocevar2031
8.Todd Gilliland2028
9.Zane Smith2018
10.Chandler Smith2010

(Sheldon Creed – One playoff win – World Wide Technology at Gateway)

Darlington Raceway Data

Season Race #: 27 of 36 (09-05-21)
Playoff Race #: 1 of 10
Track Size: 1.366-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 25 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 23 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 6 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 6 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  1,229 feet
Backstretch Length:  1,229 feet
Race Length: 367 laps / 501.3 miles
Stage 1 Length: 115 laps
Stage 2 Length: 115 laps
Final Stage Length: 137 laps

Top 12 Driver Ratings at Darlington

Kyle Larson ……………………….. 111.5
Denny Hamlin……………………… 107.3
Kevin Harvick……………………… 104.4
Martin Truex Jr……………………. 103.9
Kyle Busch…………………………. 103.1
Erik Jones………………………….. 100.0
Brad Keselowski……………………. 96.1
Joey Logano………………………… 91.1
Chase Elliott…………………………. 90.3
William Byron……………………….. 87.1
Ryan Newman………………………. 87.0
Kurt Busch…………………………… 86.4

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2021 races (19 total) among active drivers at Darlington Raceway.

Darlington Raceway Qualifying Data

2020 Darlington #1 pole winner: Brad Keselowski – Qualifying by Random Draw.
2020 Darlington #2 pole winner: Ryan Preece – Qualifying by Inverting Field.
2020 Southern 500 pole winner: Chase Elliott – Qualifying by Metric Qualifying.
Track qualifying record: Aric Almirola, Ford (184.145 mph, 26.705 secs.) on April, 11, 2014.

  • Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active series drivers in starts at Darlington with 27 each.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the series in average starting position at Darlington with a 8.778 in 18 starts.
  • Kurt Busch (2001, 2013) and Kevin Harvick (2014, 2017) lead all active drivers in poles at Darlington with two each.
  • The youngest Darlington pole winner is William Byron (09/01/2019 – 21 years, 9 months, 3 days).
  • Ford leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Darlington Raceway with 43 poles; followed by Chevrolet (22), Mercury (13), Pontiac (10), Dodge (8), Buick (3), Oldsmobile (3), Plymouth (3), Toyota (2), Chrysler (1), Hudson (1) and Studebaker (1).

Darlington Raceway Race Data

2020 Darlington #1 race winner: Kevin Harvick, Ford (115.815 mph, 03:27:21) on May 17, 2020.
2020 Darlington #2 race winner: Denny Hamlin, Toyota (104.984 mph, 02:42:23) on May 20, 2020.
2020 Southern 500 winner: Kevin Harvick, Ford (132.256 mph, 03:47:26) on Sept. 6, 2020.
Track race record (500 miles): Matt Kenseth, Toyota (141.383 mph, 03:32:45) on 05-11-13.

  • Denny Hamlin (2010, 2017, 2020-2) and Kevin Harvick (2014, 2020-1, 2020-3) lead all active drivers with three wins each.
  • The youngest series Darlington winner is Kyle Busch (5/10/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 8 days).
  • Kevin Harvick is the only active driver to win from the pole (2014) at Darlington.
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20 of 120, 16.667%) than any other starting position at Darlington.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins by an organization at Darlington in the NASCAR Cup Series with 14 victories.
  • A total of 11 different manufacturers have won in the series at Darlington; led by Chevrolet with 41 victories; followed by Ford (31), Mercury (10), Oldsmobile (six), Toyota (eight), Dodge (five), Pontiac (five), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Hudson (three) and American Motor Company (two).

From OddsChecker:

Kyle Larson is coming off one of his worst races of the season, but oddsmakers expect a bounce back performance from the Cup Series leader. In fact, they expect him to win the race.  Larson is given +325 odds, or an implied 23.5% chance to win the Cook Out Southern 500. Next best is Martin Truex Jr, who is given +600 odds to win the race. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are both given +700 odds.

COOK OUT SOUTHER 500 WINNER ODDS 

Driver Odds Implied chance 
Kyle Larson +325 23.5% 
Martin Truex Jr. +600 14.3% 
Denny Hamlin +700 12.5% 
Kyle Busch +700 12.5% 
Chase Elliot +1000 9.1% 
Kevin Harvick +1200 7.7% 
William Byron +1400 6.7% 
Joey Logano +1600 5.9% 
Brad Keslowski +1800 5.3% 
Alex Bowman +2000 4.8% 


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

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