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Bojangles Southern 500: Power Rankings

Ride the Denny Hamlin train

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Race Information

Race: Bojangles Southern 500
Laps: 367
Date: September 1st
Venue: Darlington Raceway
2018 Winner: Brad Keselowski (3:48:54)
Broadcast: NBCSN

Track

Darlington Raceway. “The Lady in Black” is a 1.4 mile egg shaped asphalt track that opened in 1950 by Harold Brasington. The turns are between 23 and 25 degrees and the straights are between 2-3 degrees. Crews struggle to make sure the car an handle the different turns between one of the race track and the other.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Power Rankings

The Favorites

Denny Hamlin (sixth selection this year) — Make that six consecutive top five finishes including two wins. Add to that he has top 10 finishes at Darlington each of the last three years.

Kevin Harvick (seventh selection this year) — Before his 39th place finish last week he had four consecutive top seven finishes. Add to that back to back top finishes at Darlington in 2017 and 2018.

High Risk / High Reward

Kyle Larson (third selection this year) — I’m always nervous with Kyle’s all or none racing style but he has four consecutive top 10 finishes coming into this race. He also has a two third place finishes at Darlington in the last three years here.

Erik Jones (fifth selection this year) — Erik finishes 5th here as a rookie and followed that up with an eighth place finish last season. He had a great stretch between Sonoma and the Glen finishing in the top 10 in all but one of those races. The last two however have been 18th and 22nd place finishes.

The Dark Horse

Austin Dillon (sixth selection this year) — He has been in the top 16 each of the last three years at Darlington. He comes into this week with finishes worse than 30 in five of his last seven races so hopefully a familiar racetrack triggers a better result.


2019 Results

Favorite: Avg Finish 12th (33rd Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 11th (29th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 18th (49th Percent)