Live updates, group results, starting grid from Darlington

The NASCAR Cup Sequence playoffs start this weekend with one of many conventional jewels of the calendar, the Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina.

Common-season champion Martin Truex Jr. enters the 10-week chase for the championship because the betting favourite, having been the mannequin of consistency all through the 2023 marketing campaign, sporting three wins and 15 top-10s and finishing 99.7% of all laps run. Truex begins the Spherical of 16 tied with William Byron — who received 5 races within the common season — with 2,036 factors, 11 forward of Denny Hamlin and 15 in entrance of immediately surging Chris Buescher.

Right here’s what else to know forward of the Southern 500:

Southern 500 TV/streaming schedule

All instances Japanese

Saturday
12:30-1:20 p.m.: Apply (USA, NBC Sports activities app)
1:20-2:30 p.m.: Qualifying (USA, NBC Sports activities app)

Sunday
5:30-6 p.m.: Pre-race present (USA, NBC Sports activities app)
6-10:30 p.m.: Southern 500 (USA, NBC Sports activities app)

Southern 500 race particulars

Observe: Darlington Raceway (1.366-mile egg-shaped oval), Darlington, South Carolina
Size: 367 laps for 501.322 miles
Banking: Entrance straight – 3 levels | Turns 1-2 – 25 levels | Again straight – 2 levels | Turns 3-4 – 23 levels
Stage lengths: Stage 1 – 115 laps | Stage 2 – 115 laps | Stage 3 – 137 laps
2022 winner: Joey Logano

Opened in 1950, the observe they’ve dubbed “too robust to tame” is among the oldest on the circuit and one in every of its most celebrated. The distinctive, egg-shaped, 1.366-mile oval options extensive, sweeping Turns 1 and a couple of however has tighter third and fourth turns to protect the pond that the unique proprietor of the farmland stipulated should keep in place when the speedway was constructed. On the observe well-known for a number of racing grooves, drivers get pleasure from discovering what works for them on lengthy runs, and in-race changes are essential.

Prime drivers and greatest bets for the Southern 500

Along with being the betting favourite to assert the championship, Truex enters the Southern 500 weekend with the perfect odds to win the race (+500), in accordance with BetMGM. Byron (+750) and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson (+525) are sandwiched between Truex and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin (+800).

In all, the highest eight drivers with the perfect odds are all playoff drivers, and 14 of the highest 15 are within the postseason.

Greatest odds to win
Martin Truex Jr. +500
Kyle Larson +525
William Byron +750
Denny Hamlin +800
Christopher Bell +1100
Kyle Busch +1100
Ross Chastain +1100

Yahoo Sports activities’ Nick Bromberg wrote earlier within the week on the betting panorama for the race and suggests discovering good midtier worth in defending collection champion Joey Logano (+1800) and Buescher (+2200), who has received three of the previous 5 races. Bromberg additionally recommends taking a flier on Erik Jones, who enters at 40-to-1 odds, regardless of two wins on this very occasion, together with final 12 months.

Denny Hamlin has by far the perfect common Darlington ending place of any driver within the subject, at 7.7. (Picture by Jared East/Getty Photographs)

Playoff standings coming into Southern 500

1. Martin Truex Jr. – 2,036
2. William Byron – 2,036
3. Denny Hamlin – 2,025
4. Chris Buescher – 2,021
5. Kyle Busch – 2,019
6. Kyle Larson – 2,017
7. Christopher Bell – 2,104
8. Ross Chastain – 2,011
9. Brad Keselowski – 2,010
10. Tyler Reddick – 2,009
11. Joey Logano – 2,008
12. Ryan Blaney – 2,008
____________________ Minimize line
13. Michael McDowell – 2,007
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 2,005
15. Kevin Harvick – 2,004
16. Bubba Wallace – 2,000

Southern 500 entry checklist

Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
Austin Cindric (2), Group Penske Ford
Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford
Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney (12), Group Penske Ford
Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
J.J. Yeley (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford
A.J. Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford
Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Harrison Burton (21), Wooden Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano (22), Group Penske Ford
Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota
William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Michael McDowell (34), Entrance Row Motorsports Ford
Todd Gilliland (38), Entrance Row Motorsports Ford
Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Carson Hocevar (42), Legacy Motor Membership Chevrolet
Erik Jones (43), Legacy Motor Membership Chevrolet
Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Ryan Newman (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford
Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ty Dillon (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
BJ McLeod (78), Reside Quick Motorsports Ford
Daniel Suárez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

Southern 500 climate

The forecast requires heat temperatures within the decrease 80s for Saturday’s follow and qualifying, whereas race day shall be sizzling, with a excessive of 89 levels. With the race working in twilight and nighttime circumstances, that forecasted excessive shouldn’t have as large an influence on tire degradation because the race wears on, however the load that goes by right-side tires — significantly within the lengthy, sweeping Turns 1-2 — makes for some attention-grabbing pit methods.

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