The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin at Darlington Raceway on Sunday with the Cook Out Southern 500.
Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin enter the postseason with a sizable points lead, and the duo split this year’s regular-season races at Darlington in May. But even they cannot let up over next three races, when the top 16 drivers will be trimmed down to 12 and rivals try to cut their advantage over the pack.
Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto are outside of the top 12 right now and fighting to move upward and stay alive.
Sports Grind Entertainment is tracking live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Darlington. Follow below for complete results from the Cook Out Southern 500.
NASCAR at Darlington live updates, highlights from Southern 500
3 p.m.: Pre-race penalties have been given out.
NASCAR sends more to the rear tonight: Austin Dillon and Gase (unapproved adjustments). Chastain (driver change) and Blaney (inspection failure) also starting at the back.
— Alex Andrejev (@AndrejevAlex) September 6, 2020
NASCAR race start time today
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington will wave shortly after 6 p.m. ET, assuming there are no rain delays as there have been so often since NASCAR returned to live racing in May.
This start time typically creates a unique challenge for drivers at Darlington. The late-summer South Carolina heat makes for a slick race track that evolves as the day turns into night and the conditions get cooler. Mid-race adjustments will be key for that reason.
Darlington Raceway obviously has lights, so a weather delay could push the race into the late hours of Sunday and early hours of Monday.
Sunday night’s race is is one of the longest time-wise of the Cup Series season. It is scheduled for 367 laps (501.3 miles) and needs to reach the halfway point to be considered official in the event of weather issues.
NASCAR starting lineup at Darlington
Here’s the complete starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Darlington:
|1||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4||Alex Bowman||88||Hendrick Motorsports|
|5||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|6||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|8||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|9||Clint Bowyer||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|10||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|11||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|12||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|13||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|14||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|16||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|17||Bubba Wallace||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|18||John Hunter Nemechek||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|19||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|20||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|21||Christopher Bell||95||Leavine Family Racing|
|22||Jimmie Johnson||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|23||Brennan Poole||15||Premium Motorsports|
|24||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|25||Ty Dillon||13||Germain Racing|
|26||Matt Kenseth||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|27||Corey LaJoie||32||GoFas Racing|
|28||Daniel Suarez||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|29||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|30||Erik Jones||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|31||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|32||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|33||Timmy Hill||66||Motorsports Business Management|
|34||Ross Chastain*||77||Spire Motorsports|
|35||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|36||James Davison||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||JJ Yeley||27||Rick Ware Racing|
|38||Josh Bilicki||7||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|39||Joey Gase||51||Petty Ware Racing|