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Bojangles Southern 500
Darlington Raceway
Sun, Sep 6 2015
7:20pm EDT - NBC

Race Data

Race #: 25 of 36
Event: Bojangles Southern 500
Location: Darlington
Track Size: 1.366 Miles
Track Type: Egg-Oval
Total Laps: 367
Total Miles: 501.3
2014 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Pit Speed: 45 mph

Previous Winners

(Active Drivers)
7 Jeff Gordon 95/96/96/97/98/02/07
3 Jimmie Johnson 04/04/12
2 Greg Biffle 05/06
1 Kyle Busch 08
1 Denny Hamlin 10
1 Regan Smith 11
1 Matt Kenseth 13
1 Kevin Harvick 14


25 team Parlay at BetOnline

Other News

It's back to the original rules once the Chase gets under way

NASCAR is sticking with its original 2015 rules package for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, announced the decision Friday after a meeting with drivers at Michigan International Speedway. This choice comes after NASCAR put track-specific packages in place for a handful of races recently, including this weekend.

But when the 10-race Chase begins Sept. 20 at Chicagoland, the original rules will be used.

"We've seen some good things with that package," O'Donnell said. "A lot of work has been done by the race teams already, leading up to the final 10 races. Feel like that's the best decision for the sport."

A special high-drag aerodynamic package was used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month and will be in place again this weekend, and it received some criticism from drivers. A low-downforce package put in place at Kentucky was more popular, and it will be used again at Darlington next month.

"A ton of positives we saw from Kentucky, but we've got to take the time to dial those things in and make sure that everybody's on the same page, we've got the best package to put forth, especially as we look to '16," O'Donnell said.

Joe Gibbs Racing recently won four consecutive races - three by Kyle Busch and one by Matt Kenseth. Busch's wins came at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis, meaning he won under three sets of rules.

That left Kenseth confident about his team's ability to adapt.

"Our cars have been really fast in all three configurations," Kenseth said. "We've been up front in all three of them, on speed and in the races and in qualifying, so from that aspect, I feel OK about no matter what they bring."

Kenseth did say his personal preference was for the low downforce.

NASCAR will have another chance to observe the high-drag package this weekend, and there's plenty of uncertainty surrounding Sunday's race. Drivers complained it was too hot with the high-drag rules package, which reduces airflow under the car, trapping heat in the cockpit.

This week, NASCAR mandated a dual outlet duct be used on the right-side window to help with ventilation.

What everyone is waiting to see is how the cars will handle in traffic.

"I don't think anybody's really going to be able to answer that until Sunday night after the race is over," Kenseth said.

New Parlay Odds at BetOnline

...Game open for Darlington...
...No race this weekend...

NASCAR National Series News & Notes

Courtesy of NASCAR Media


Logano Wins Bristol Night Race For Second Straight Year
The No. 22 Team Penske driver successfully defended his August 2014 Bristol Motor Speedway win, leading 176 laps on his way to Victory Lane in Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race at "The Last Great Colosseum."

Logano seems to have Bristol figured out. In addition to his two wins at the Tennessee short track, he produced a dominant NASCAR XFINITY Series victory there in March when he led all 300 laps and logged a perfect 150.0 driver rating.

Logano's win on Sunday was his third of the season and second in three weeks. He is third on the Chase Grid and ranks second to Kevin Harvick in top fives (14) and top 10s (18).

Parallels can be drawn from Logano's performance right now to the same period of time last year. In 2014, he logged four consecutive top-six finishes going into his win at Bristol and took the momentum into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup where he won two races and posted a 6.4 average finish on his way to a Championship 4 Round final showing. This season, the 25-year-old Middletown, Connecticut native registered four top-five results in six races prior to his win at Bristol, a stretch that included two runner-ups and a win.

Harvick First Driver Since 1972 With Double-Digit Runner-Up Finishes
As the great Rickie Bobby once said, "If you ain't first, you're last."

Hopefully Kevin Harvick doesn't agree with the fictitious Wonder Bread car driver's logic.

The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing driver overcame two pit road penalties to log his 10th runner-up showing of the year. It is only the 10th time a driver amassed double-digit runner-up finishes in a season and the first since Bobby Allison in 1972.

Harvick ranks tied for fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with two wins, but has dominated every other statistical category. He leads the NSCS in top fives (17) top 10s (21), driver rating (119.7), laps led (1,406/21.4%), average running position (7.5) and average finish (7.5).

Last season, Harvick topped the list in nearly every statistical category except wins entering the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Once in NASCAR's playoffs, he turned his statistical production into victories, winning three races - including the last two events - to walk off with his first career NSCS championship.

2 To Go Until Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers have just two races left to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - Darlington and Richmond.

As of now, 11 drivers are qualified for NASCAR's playoffs with wins as long as they start the next two races and remain in the top 30 in points: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards.

The five remaining drivers on the Chase Grid have to either visit Victory Lane or stay high enough in the points standings where they don't get bumped by a new winner outside the top 16.

These drivers are Jamie McMurray (76 points above the cutoff line), Ryan Newman (+63), Paul Menard (+54), Jeff Gordon (+52) and Clint Bowyer (+35).

The winless drivers who have won at Darlington in the past and have yet to earn Chase berths this season are Gordon and Greg Biffle.

The winless drivers who have won at Richmond in the past and have yet to earn Chase berths this season are Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.

For the first time, a winless CAN clinch a spot in the Chase. If a repeat driver wins at Darlington, a winless driver would need to have a 45 point lead on the fifth-highest of the winless drivers (or 44 points, depending on tie-breakers). If there is a new winner, a winless driver would need to lead the fourth-highest winless driver by 45 points (or 44, depending on tie-breakers).

Loop Mania: A Sampling Of The Recent Statistical Leaders
Dating back to Kentucky Speedway in July, Joe Gibbs Racing has won five of the last seven races. The other two were won by Team Penske's Joey Logano. While the JGR drivers (Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin), Logano and Kevin Harvick have been getting the majority of the hype lately, a closer look at the stats shows that Logano's Team Penske shopmate Brad Keselowski might be ready to break out.

Laps Led
1. Kyle Busch | 502
2. Joey Logano | 337
3. Brad Keselowski | 213
4. Kevin Harvick | 181
5. Matt Kenseth |150

Driver Rating
1. Kyle Busch | 122.3
2. Joey Logano | 121.0
3. Brad Keselowski | 110.8
4. Kevin Harvick | 110.6
5. Carl Edwards | 107.5

Average Finish
1. Joey Logano | 5.3
2. Brad Keselowski | 6.0
3. Kyle Busch | 6.4
4. Carl Edwards | 7.9
5. Kevin Harvick | 9.0

While he only ranks 14th in points gained all season (666), Carl Edwards looks to be gaining momentum as well.

Hamlin Heating Up At Right Time?
With top-five finishes in his last two starts, Denny Hamlin could be on the verge of a strong run.

The No. 11 Toyota driver proved his ability to navigate through the new Chase format by making the Championship 4 Round last season. Also, he has a track in every round at which he is historically strong. Hamlin has two wins at Loudon (Challenger Round), owns a win at Talladega (Challenger Round) along with the sixth-best driver rating among active drivers at Superspeedways (92.7), boasts five victories at Martinsville (Eliminator 8 Round) and claims two checkered flags at Homestead (Championship 4 Round).