Wright here: Darlington Racemethod, aka The woman in Black, a 1.366-mile oval in Darlington, South Carolina
Starting Lineup: Ryan Blaney wunproperly lead The sector to inexperienced beneath the lights, accompanied by Denny Hamlin on entrance row. See The complete lineup
Green flag: 6:18:40 p.m. ET
Tv/Radio: NBCSN/NBC Sports activities App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Forecast: Partly cloudy, with a low round 70, Based mostly on NOAA.gov
Grand Marshal: Consultant of Put together dinner Out, Katie Yonchuk
Race Distance: 367 laps, 501.322 miles
Levels: 115 | 230 | 367
Pit-road velocity: 45 mph
Warning automotive velocity: 50 mph
Darlington 101: Get The complete lowdown
Entry itemizing: See who’s Inside The sector
Pit-stall assignments: See Who’s pitting wright here | Professional breaks down pit-road decisions
5 To watch
Listed right here are five huge story strains we’ll be following at Daytona:
1. We’re right here — the 2021 NASCAR Cup Collection Playoffs. Simply 10 races separate 16 reprimarying drivers from the eternally glory of being topped a NASCAR champion, and The sector Might Even be deeper than ever earlier than. First up: the Spherical of 16, starting with Sunday’s Put together dinner Out Southern 500. Win that And also you advance to the Spherical of 12, Collectively with staking declare in Definitely one of NASCAR’s most prized races. Win-win. The common season held no scarcity of story strains proper from the leap, seeing Michael McDoproperly shock the world Inside the Daytona 500, Chrisprimeher Bell Discover your self to be The primary Joe Gibbs Racing driver to lock in Every week Afterward the road course On the World Center of Racing, Wunproperlyiam Byron Discover your self to be elite appearingly in a single day and Kyle Larson flex on The sector in strategies Harking again to Ancompletely different guys who used to drive for Hfinishrick Motorsports and know a factor or two about championships. However one factor’s for assembleive: we’re just getting warmed up, and the 2021 Playoffs are assembleive to sizzle.
2. Maybe The Most very important question as we get rolling right here: wunproperly Larson’s dominance automotivery over into the postseason? All indicators level to sure, However it does really feel probably that JGR’s biggest days of 2021 are stunproperly forward of the Toyota group, Group Penske probably gained’t go winless The Reprimaryder of The biggest method given Ryan Blaney is coming off two straight wins, Kevin Harvick could stunproperly Uncover a path to Victory Lane and oh, by The biggest method, all three of his teammates have been fantastic this yr as properly and are furtherly vying for a championship. With solely 10 race trophies left To collect, it doesn’t depart a lot room on the plate for Larson to feast, but he’s Even been completely differentworldly. He’s stunproperly Extra probably to make the Championship 4 and presently stands As a Outcome of the title favourite, but his road to the Bunproperly France Cup appears A great deal bumpier than it did all by way of his summer time peak.
3. And the method Regarding the beneathdogs? Given the season-prolonged power of The very Greater of The sector and relative consistency The very biggest 10 teams have proven, these drivers on or Throughout the bubble certainly have an uphunproperly battle forward of them. Daytona darling McDoproperly is Aware of his team wants “to have the three biggest races of our automotiveeers” Simply to make the Spherical of 12, so any expectations for development previous That time is a Little bit of wishful considering. Tyler Reddick seems to be catching hearth On The biggest time And will make a run, Bell is in prime-tier gear and has had almost a full season To rearrange for the playoffs and Aric Almirola models up properly to have a productive Spherical of 16 and probably construct some momentum. After which, Really, is Harvick, who enters As a Outcome of the No. 16 seed after final yr’s prime seeding — he’s An complete wild automotived, And will be fascinating To watch.
4. Come playoff time, any Sort of understandd benefit Want to be explored, and Darlington Is not any exception. The winner wunproperly advance to the daunting Spherical 12, which opens at Las Vegas Motor Speedmethod, takes A go to to Talladega Supervelocitymethod and wraps up On the Charlotte Motor Speedmethod Roval. Every one of many dozen eligible drivers at That time wunproperly be clamoring to win at Vegas and primarytain away from the stress of the mercurial Talladega and Roval. What would Are out tright here useful Inside The search to win at Vegas? The further two weeks of preparation that come Collectively with a Southern 500 victory and the peace of thoughts understanding you’re already locked into the Spherical of 12.
5. Lest we overlook that completely different, non-playoff drivers make up The Reprimaryder of Sunday’s area of 37 automotives And in addition would Want to be topped a Southern 500 champion. Erik Jones is a former winner, and has six prime 10s tright here in his seven starts, albeit in better gear. Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Wooden Brcompletely differents group stunproperly Appear to be a team That would sneak in a win earlier than they half strategies On The prime of the yr, and one On this race would do gainedders for his future prospects. Ryan Newman has seen success at this monitor earlier than, is coming off his biggest finish of the season and was Tenth right here Inside the spring. Austin Dunproperlyon is current off just lacking the playoffs and was runner-up On this race final yr. It’s more probably a playoff driver wins, but these guys certainly gained’t make it straightforward on them.
Our largest gadgets of the week — get coated for race day from all angles.
• Power Rankings: Tyler Reddick might just be getting started | Scope the ranks
• Paint Scheme Preview: Shining bproper beneath the lights | See the schemes
• Meet The sector: Analyzing the 16-driver 2021 playoffs | Study more
• Bubble Watch: Who’s already In peril at Darlington? | Study more
• Track-by-monitor: Analyzing every race Inside the Spherical of 16| Study more
• Predict this: NASCAR.com staff playoff predictions | Study more
• Fantasy Quicklane: See who To make the most of, primarytain away from | Full Fantasy suggestion | Set your roster
• Preview Current: Jonathan Merryman and Alex Weaver preview the race | Watch the show
• Pretty a assortment: Multi-time winners of the Put together dinner Out Southern 500 | See the itemizing
• Darlington stars: All-time Southern 500 winners | See the itemizing
Get in on the movement
Assume You understand NASCAR? Put your mettle to the look at with gaming, fantasy.
• Guess on it: Guessting odds for Darlington | See The possibilities
• NASCAR betting: Professional handicappers debate wright here To Search out worth | Study more
• Go All of the biggest method: Odds for 2021 Cup Collection championship | See The possibilities
• Talking playoffs: How Fantasy Stay recreation works for the postseason | Study more
• On the grid: How the Cup Collection Playoffs Grid Problem works | Study more
• No hazard, huge reward: Take a shot at worthwhile money prizes with the free-to-play Jackpot Races app | Hit the jackpot
• Play it LIVE: Full information to 2021 NASCAR Fantasy Stay recreation | Get the FAQ
Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Pictures
Exhausting-hitting, race-related statistics, Delivered to you by the speciaitemizings at Racing Insights.
• Denny Hamlin has A imply working place Inside The very biggest 10 in 13 of the final 14 races at Darlington.
• Kevin Harvick has led 1,000 fewer laps this season in contrast So far in 2020.
• Ryan Blaney owns a series-biggest 6.6 common finish the final 9 races in 2021.
• Joey Logano has accomplished outfacet The very biggest 20 Inside the final 4 races— his worst streak since May/June 2017.
• Kyle Larson owns One of the biggest common finish (6.00) at Darlington all-time amongst drivers with Greater than two starts.
Catch the pack
Study up on all the headstrains from the week main As a lot as Saturday’s race.
• Playoff momentum: Blaney rounding into roles as team chief, title contfinisher | Study more
• Group power: Kyle Busch, Bell eye strong runs at 2021 Cup Collection title | Study more
• Wunproperly or gained’t: @nasautomotivecasm on each driver’s title hopes | Study more
• Yes, hard emovements: Distaste for Hamlin wunproperly ‘utterly’ automotivery over in playoffs, says Logano | Study more
• No having fun with favourites: Larson enters 2021 playoffs as heavy favourite — but is he? | See particulars
• ‘We now have to crush it’: Underdogs aiming to claw, advance | Study more
• Debate: Is Ryan Blaney Championship 4-caliber? | Watch the video
• Testing, look ating: Eight teams To look at Subsequent Gen at Daytona | Study more
• Ripple end outcomes: Infacet the dynamics of 23XI’s progress | Study more
• Radio silence: Chrisprimeher Bell on relationship with Kyle Larson: ‘We now haven’t communicated’ | Study more
The biggest quotes from huge names Inside The sport heading into this weekfinish’s race.
• “I Be Snug with our team. I really feel our team has carried out An excellent job with the circumstances we’ve been launched with And that i really feel the final 4 or five weeks our automotives have run Tons better. We’ve stunproperly acquired some work to do with some factors on the stability facet of the automotive To start out these races, but, In The Long time period, our team has carried out An excellent job And completely different people numbers Might have been Tons better if it weren’t For 3 or 4 unproperly-timed accidents On The prime Of A pair of of the races. You clearly Want to win, but some yrs just don’t go precisely The way you’d like them to go And that i really feel these are the yrs That you merely’ve acquired to dig down and do the factors that our guys have carried out this yr, so acquiredta be in it to win it and we’ve given ourselves An alternative and see wright here All of it falls In The Long time period.” — Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
• “We’re undoubtedly excited to be going to Darlington To start out the Playoffs this weekfinish. It’s A spot we have A lot of confidence at – and actually this complete first round, we really feel actually good about. I’m Unassembleive anyone is Aware of precisely What to anticipate with the repaved space in flip two So as that wunproperly be a challenge For everyone. I felt like that was Definitely one of our stronger parts of the monitor As a Outcome of the bumps had developed, but we’ll do Our grealook at to plan for the change and hopefully proceed To assemble on how strong we have ran the previous few events at Darlington to get the Playoffs started strong.” — Martin Truex Jr. driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
• “We’re super excited for Darlington this weekfinish. These next three weeks are thrilling races. Three, I really feel like, actually cool racemonitors with nice environments for us. It’s Attending to be That level of yr. Fall is an thrilling time of yr For lots of factors round sports and our season is getting Right down to it, as properly. We’re just excited to get going. It’s hard To think about we are 26 weeks in. It doesn’t actually appear Choose it, but right here we are starting ancompletely different playoffs and heading into The final 10 of the yr. It goes by fast, but over two months of racing is stunproperly A very Very prolonged time. They wunproperly click on off And also you’ll get in sure moments That you merely might like, some You will not like, and we’ll Revenue from All of them.” — Chase Elliott, driver of the No.9 Hfinishrick Motorsports Chevrolet
• “The very Very first factor I Confacetr with kicking off the Playoffs at Darlington, is that It is a crown jewel event. That is the proper stage that we could have start the 2021 Playoffs, and we are starting it at One of many coolest monitors. We’re furtherly going into some unknowns with the repaved or repaired floor in flip two. It is actually going To reinstrain the lap events with the grip diploma. Turn two is wright here your lap time is made and Do you have to get by way of tright here good, it’s actually going To assist with that. Now with the further grip, Tright here’s going to be a ton of velocity down the again straightamethod, into flip three, and tright here Might be A question if we are up in the direction of the rev chip. So, you Could have to again off the throttle to protect the engine. With this being the second lengthsuret race of the yr, that Might be An limitless problem On The prime of the race So far as sturdiness. However for In all probability the most half it’s stunproperly The identical previous Darlington. Tright here is a ton of stuff thOn The driving strain has to comhalfmentalize at Darlington, plus the emovements of kicking off the Playoffs. A lot of factors that we have to juggle As quickly as we get tright here.” — Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet