2021 Cook Out Southern 500: NASCAR CUP Picks, Predictions, Odds, Longshots
Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Cook Out Southern 500
Sunday September 5 , 2021 6:00pm
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The NASCAR Cup Series will the Cook Out Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on Sunday evening, one of the crown jewel events of the sport. Darlington affectionately known at the “Track Too Tough To Tame”, is a 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval and Sunday’s race will consist of 367 laps to make up the 500 mile advertised distance. Darlington’s surface is very rough on the Goodyear tires, a 2-3 second per lap fall off can happen between pit stops and we can expect at least 10 pit stops on Sunday evening.
Here are a few drivers to consider for the Cook Out Southern 500.
Kyle Larson +300- Larson will roll off from the 6th position for Sunday’s Cup Series race at Darlington. Larson is the favorite for a reason, finishing 2nd here at Darlington in the Cup Race back in May this season and finishes of 3rd in 2018 and 2nd in 2019. Drivers that have a background in dirt racing typically excel at Darlington as the track changes and the tires wear down. Larson’s dirt racing experience is lethal here at Darlington and don’t be surprised if Kyle is in victory lane at the end of the day.
Martin Truex Jr. +500- Martin fires off from the 10th position for Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway. Truex has the 2nd best average driver rating of 114.0 in the last 6 Cup Series races at Darlington. Martin led 248 of the 293 total laps in May of 2021 at Darlington on the way to a victory. Darlington has been great to Truex as he has 9 top 10s in 18 career starts including 1 wins. Truex had the fastest car at the previous race in May and with a little patience should be heading forward to the front by the end of stage one.
Denny Hamlin +700- Hamlin will begin Sunday’s journey around the Darlington Raceway from the 2nd position after a 13th place finish at Daytona on Saturday night. Denny won the 2nd of 3 Cup Series races held at Darlington in 2020 and over the last 6 races at Darlington has 4 top 10s including 3 top 5 finishes with a victory in 2020. Denny finished 11th at Homestead and followed up with a 4th place finish at the first Atlanta Cup Race of 2021, both tracks compare best to Darlington. Hard to believe that Denny hasn’t recorded a victory yet in 2021 in the Cup Series, Darlington on Sunday will be another opportunity and will have a great chance.
William Byron +1200- Byron rolls off on row 7 from the 14th starting spot on Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway. Byron has 6 career Cup Series starts at Darlington and 2 top 5 finishes, both top 5 finishes over the last 2 Cup Series races held at Darlington. Bryon struggled in the Cup Series here at Darlington through the first 4 starts and that is reflective big time in a low driver rating of 87.1. Bryon had the 4th best average green flag speed in the Cup race at Darlington in May of this season and is a sign the team is doing way better at Darlington. William needs to be patient starting from the 14th spot and has a ton of laps to make way to the front.
Joey Logano +1500- Joey will begin Sunday’s Cup Series race at Darlington from the 11th starting spot. Logano has 15 career starts with 7 top 10 finishes including 4 top 5s. Joey has the 6th best average finish of 9.33 over the last 6 Cup Series races at Darlington. Joey had the 5th best average green flag speed in the May Darlington Cup Race earlier this season on the way to finishing 13th. Logano has failed to finish inside the top 20 over the last 4 races and a trip to Darlington is in order. Great value here on Logano.