Tha Sports Junkies 101

Bojangles’ Southern 500 At Darlington Raceway Preview


This weekend, NASCAR’s finest head to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. This is the 25th race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. In last years running, Carl Edwards beat out Brad Keselowski for his 2nd win of the season.

Back To The Throwback: For the second straight year, NASCAR and Darlington Raceway are partnering for a NASCAR Throwback themed race weekend. This year’s throwback platform will focus on the 1975-84 era of the sport, but some teams have opted to pay tribute from the late 80’s-90’s. Initiatives of the celebration include, but are not limited to, drivers sporting retro paint schemes, Cale Yarborough acting as the honorary pace car driver, 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Mark Martin serving as grand marshals and throwback food options. On the broadcast front, Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Dale Jarrett will once again call part of the race from the NBC booth.

Two Race Warning: Only two races remain until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and next week’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Brad Keselowski (4 wins), Kyle Busch (4 wins), Kevin Harvick (2 wins), Carl Edwards (2 wins), Denny Hamlin (2 wins), Jimmie Johnson (2 wins), Matt Kenseth (2 wins), Kurt Busch (1 win), Joey Logano (1 win), Martin Truex Jr. (1 win), Kyle Larson (1 win), Tony Stewart (1 win), and Chris Buescher (1 win) all have skin in the game with at least one win. Chase Elliott (27 points above Ryan Newman on the cutoff line), Austin Dillon (+21) and Jamie McMurray (+15) all stand without wins, but within the top 16. The first four out are Ryan Newman (15 points behind Jamie McMurray on the cutoff line), Kasey Kahne (-52), Trevor Bayne (-58) and Ryan Blaney (-71).

JGR Dominance At Darlington And Season: All four of Joe Gibbs Racing’s drivers have won at least one race at Darlington. It is the only team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that can make the claim. Also, Kyle Busch (4 wins), Denny Hamlin (2), Carl Edwards (2) and Matt Kenseth (2) all have multiple wins this year. They also have the only claim of four cars locked into the Chase.

Larson Breaks Through: Last weeks win for Kyle Larson was a major breakthrough 2 seasons in the making. Now, with the pressure off both win and Chase wise he can hang loose. He has every right to as well, considering Darlington is one of Kyle’s strongest tracks. In two prior Sprint Cup starts at the track, he has banked two top 10 finishes.

Below is some NASCAR Fantasy advice for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 and the drivers to consider and to avoid:

Drivers To Consider: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle

Drivers To Avoid: Trevor Bayne, Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch

Potential Sleepers: Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, and Aric Almirola

When and Where to Watch: The Bojangles’ Southern 500 At Darlington Raceway starts Sunday at 6PM EST on NBC