Darlington 400: NASCAR CUP Series Picks, Predictions, and Matchups

Darlington 400: NASCAR CUP Series Picks, Predictions, and Matchups Photo by Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

May 17, 2020 3:30pm

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Welcome back everyone, I am super excited for some real racing at Darlington Raceway this weekend. Darlington is a 1.33 mile egg shaped oval, and this place is the highest tire wear track we visit on the circuit.. We are up .88 unit after the previous race at Phoenix. Time to get back in the swing of the NASCAR season.

Here are a few matchups to consider for the Darlington 400 on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick -115 vs. Joey Logano -115

Harvick has finished ahead of Joey in 2 of the last 3 races at Darlington. Essentially, both Joey and Kevin have the same driver rating over the last 3 races at around 103. I feel this matchup will be very close, but I like Harvick just a touch more. Kevin typically manages his equipment more conservatively than Logano, and I am giving Kevin the nod.

Jeff’s Pick: Kevin Harvick -115


Austin Dillon -115 vs. Cole Custer -115

Custer and Austin Dillon have not faced each other at Darlington in the Cup Series. This year, in the few Cup races that have completed, Austin is just ahead of Custer in overall driver rating. At most tracks, I wouldn’t go near this matchup between Dillon and Custer, but I really like Dillon to prevail. Austin steps it up at Darlington time and time again, and I think he has what it takes to finish ahead of Custer.

Jeff’s Pick: Austin Dillon -115


Jimmie Johnson 100 vs. Kurt Busch -134

Kurt has won this matchup all 3 times against Johnson at Darlington in the past 3 years. Kurt’s price of -134 reflects his success against Johnson no doubt. I do not like eating the chalk much, but the matchup between Kurt and Jimmie looks to be one sided. As long as Kurt doesn’t experience any issues, expect Kurt to improve that average driver rating of 109.5 in the last 2 races upward, and ultimately finish ahead of Johnson.

Jeff’s Pick: Kurt Busch -134


Martin Truex Jr. -125 vs. Brad Keslowski -106

Brad has won this matchup against Martin 2-1 in the last 3 races. Both Brad and Martin know how to take care of equipment and tires well. Brad won this race in 2018 and finished ahead of Martin in 2019. Brad has outperformed Martin this year in average finishing position of 14.5 compared to 17.67. I think Brad is the better play over Martin this weekend, and we get Brad at -106.

Jeff’s Pick: Brad Keslowski -106


The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Pick Dawgz site consensus.