THE RACE: Bojangles' Southern 500
TRACK: Darlington Raceway
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race #25 of 36
Date: Sunday, September 3, 2017 in Darlington, SC
Title Sponsor: Bojangles
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 6:15 pm/et
NASCAR America Pre-Race Show: at 4:30pm/et on NBCSN
NASCAR Countdown to Green Pre-Race Show: at 6:00pm/et on NBCSN
Television Race Coverage: NBCSN, 6:30pm/et
Friday, September 1, 1:00 - 2:25 pm/et, TV-NBCSN;
Friday, September 1, 3:30 - 4:55 pm/et, TV-NBCSN
Qualifying for positions 1-40, Saturday, September 2 at 2:00 pm/et, TV-NBCSN;
re-air scheduled: none
In the Booth: Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte (Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett, Dale Jarrett for a portion)
Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Parker Kligerman, Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast
Pre/Post-Race and Hosts: Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett
Features Reporter: Rutledge Wood
Breaking News: Nate Ryan
Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
TV Listings, Links and Info:
see the TV Listings and Links page
Thursday, August 31
8:30 PM-10:30 PM MENCS HAULERS ENTER (EQUIPMENT UNLOAD)
Friday, September 1
10:30 AM-6:30 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
12:00 PM MENCS ROOKIE MEETING, SPOTTER MEETING, & RANDOM DRAWING
1:00 PM-2:25 PM MENCS 1ST PRACTICE
3:30 PM-4:55 PM MENCS FINAL PRACTICE
Saturday, September 2
9:00 AM-6:30 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
1:45 PM MENCS QUALIFYING (MULTI-VEHICLE / THREE ROUNDS)
Sunday, September 3
12:00 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
4:00 PM MENCS DRIVER / CREW CHIEF MEETING
5:20 PM MENCS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
6:00 PM MENCS RACE (367 LAPS, 501.3 MILES)
MENCS = Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
September 2016: see the Darlington Race Info page
Track/Race Length: 1.366 egg-shaped oval, 367 laps, 501.322 miles
Banking: Turns 1/2 - 25 degrees, width 79 ft; Turns 3/4 - 23 degrees, width 62 ft; Front - 3 degrees, Back - 2 degrees.
Frontstretch 1,229 ft long, 90 ft wide;
Backstretch - 1,229 ft long, 90 ft wide
Pit Road: Length: 2,025 feet, Width: 46 feet
Speed Limits: Pace Car - 50 mph, Pit Road - 45 mph
Track Last Repaved in early 2008
Grandstand Seating: 58,000 [was 60,000 and 68,000]
Grand Marshal: Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier, Robert Yates, Bojangles' CEO Clifton Rutledge
Command to start engines: Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier, Robert Yates, Bojangles' CEO Clifton Rutledge
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: TBA
Honorary Pace Car Driver: Bill Elliott
Color Guard: SC Air National Guard Color Guard
Invocation: "Mr. Darlington Raceway" Harold King
National Anthem: Oak Ridge Boys
Flyover: C-17 from Joint Base Charleston, SC
Sunday Darlington Notebook: Jamie McMurray: In terms of thrills for a driver, nothing tops Darlington; Fifth Third Bank renews sponsorship with Stenhouse Jr.; Is Jimmie Johnson playing 'possum again?
Saturday Darlington Notebook: Homestead-Miami will be an emotion-filled weekend for Earnhardt; Furniture Row Racing's 2018 alignment still an open question; Voting for Most Popular Driver Award opens Sunday.[More](9-2-2017)
Friday Darlington Notebook: Elliott or Byron-who's the next driver to win in the No. 24 car? These days, Mark Martin would rather watch than drive; Short Strokes.[More](9-1-2017)
What to Watch For: Darlington: The Bubble Situation With 2 to Go; Kyle Busch Getting Hot at the Right Time; Truex Looks to Defend Title; 11 Races, 11 Winners at Darlington[More](8-31-2017)
Darlington Weekend Preview: Bowyer hopes to capture playoff berth at Darlington; Sadler eyes Darlington repeat; Nemechek readies for repeat in Canada.[More](8-31-2017)
A look at many new, notes and story lines for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes -- Darlington
A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Darlington, see the stats on the Statistical Advance - Analyzing Darlington page
Denny Hamlin sweeps throwback weekend at Darlington with dramatic win: Denny Hamlin made a huge mistake on Sunday night. Then the driver of the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota made an even bigger comeback to win one of NASCAR's most prestigious races. Running down race leader Martin Truex Jr. from 20 seconds back after missing the entrance to pit road on Lap 313 of 367, Hamlin won the Bojangles' Southern 500 for the second time, finishing off a sweep of the throwback Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series/NASCAR XFINITY Series weekend at Darlington Raceway.[More](9-3-2017)
Denny Hamlin won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 2nd win of 2017, 2nd win at Darlington, and 31st career win.
#18-Busch finished 2nd. #41-Busch was third, followed by #3-Dillon, #77-Jones, #20-Kenseth, #31-Newman, #78-Truex, Jr., pole sitter #4-Harvick, and #1-McMurray.
#78-Truex, Jr. won the first and second stages and was leading with 2 laps to go when he cut down and tire and got into the outside wall. Hamlin had been closing on Truex for the lead after making his final pit stop later that most of the field and running on fresher tires.
#78-Truex Jr's. driver points lead increased to 107 points over #18-Busch. He has now clinched the regular season championship and will get an extra 15 playoff points for the start of the playoffs.
There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 38 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 132.761mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).
MENCS at Darlington Recap
- Denny Hamlin: passed Martin Truex Jr. with 3 laps to go after Truex Jr. had flat tire
- Hamlin: 31st career Cup Series win (2nd this season)
- Hamlin: 2nd career Darlington win (joins Jimmie Johnson (3) as active drivers with multiple Darlington wins
- Hamlin: also won yesterday's XFINITY Series race at Darlington; 2nd time sweeping NXS-MENCS races in a weekend (2010, also at Darlington)
- Martin Truex Jr.: finished 8th after blowing title while leading with 3 laps to go
- Truex Jr.: clinched regular season points title with 1 race remaining; will receive additional 15 points at start of 1st 3 playoff rounds
- Kyle Busch: finished 2nd; 20th 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing in Cup Series (2nd at Darlington)
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: finished 22nd in final MENCS race at Darlington
- Jimmie Johnson: finished 12th; has not finished better than 10th in last 12 races (longest top-5 drought of MENCS career)
- Kyle Larson: finished 14th, led 124 laps, winless in 4 career races when leading more than 120 laps
(ESPN Stats & Info)
Race Fast Facts - Darlington
This is his second victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2017.
This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 12 races at Darlington Raceway.
Kyle Busch (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 13 races at Darlington Raceway. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2017.
Kurt Busch (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 21 races at Darlington Raceway.
Erik Jones (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Martin Truex Jr. leads the point standings by 107 points over Kyle Busch.
This is the fourth NASCAR national series weekend sweep at Darlington Raceway - Dale Earnhardt (1987), Mark Martin (1993) and Denny Hamlin (2010 and 2017).
Martin Truex Jr. has clinched the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season championship.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(9-3-2017)
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Standings:
[after Darlington, race 25 of 36]
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr [4 wins], 1000
2) #18-Kyle Busch , 893, -107
3) #42-Kyle Larson , 884, -116
4) #4-Kevin Harvick , 867, -133
5) #11-Denny Hamlin , 810, -190
See full standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs:
[after Darlington, race 25 of 36, 1 more race until the playoffs]
drivers in with at least one win
1) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 4 wins
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3 wins
3) #42-Kyle Larson, 3 wins
4) #18-Kyle Busch, 2 wins
5) #2-Brad Keselowski, 2 wins
6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 2 wins
7) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2 wins
8) #4-Kevin Harvick, 1 win
9) #21-Ryan Blaney, 1 win
10) #41-Kurt Busch, 1 win
11) #31-Ryan Newman, 1 win
12) #5-Kasey Kahne, 1 win
13) #3-Austin Dillon, 1 win
currently in on points
14) #24-Chase Elliott, 737, +94 ahead of 17th
15) #20-Matt Kenseth, 735, +92
16) #1-Jamie McMurray, 734, +91
currently outside the playoffs
17) #14-Clint Bowyer, 643, -91 behind 16th
19) #77-Erik Jones, 611, -123
18) #22-Joey Logano, [1 win but can't be used for playoffs], 605, -129
Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 200) of the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway (lap 200/367):
#78-Truex, Jr., 10pts, 1 playoff point
Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 100) of the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway (lap 100/367):
#78-Truex, Jr., 10 pts, 1 playoff point
Lucky Dogs, drivers that got a lap during the cautions (and their finish):
Caution 1: #51-Ware, 37th
Caution 2: #15-Sorneson, 39th
Caution 3: #95-McDowell, 19th
Caution 4: #21-Blaney, 31st
Caution 5: #43-Almirola, 20th
Caution 6: #34-Cassill, 21st
Caution 7: None. #38-Ragan caused the caution
Caution 8: #37-Buescher, 17th
Darlington Saturday Pre-Race Schedule (ET):
6:00: Presentation of Colors by: SC Air National Guard Color Guard
6:00: Moment of Silence
6:00: Invocation by: "Mr. Darlington Raceway" Harold King
6:01: National Anthem by: Country Music Legends The Oak Ridge Boys
6:02: Flyover: C-17 from Joint Base Charleston, SC
6:07: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by: Clifton Rutledge, Bojangles' CEO, Ray Evernham, Robert Yates, Ron Hornaday, and Ken Squier
6:15: Green Flag - Bojangles' Southern 500 (367 laps, 501.3 miles)
See the starting lineup for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on the Starting Lineup Page (pdf).
To the back: none
NASCAR Overtime Race Procedure: Rule and notes on the NASCAR Overtime rules/news/stats page.
Wave Around: how the wave around rule works: All vehicles between the leader and the caution vehicle at the start/finish line when the "one to go" signal is given by the starter are considered "Wave Around" eligible. "Wave Around" vehicles will not be permitted to enter pit road at any time during this yellow flag/caution period. "Wave Around" vehicles must receive the green flag on the race track before being permitted to enter pit road without a penalty. Vehicles under a penalty and the "Free Pass" vehicle will not be eligible to receive a "Wave Around".
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway have been made.
With the field downsized to 40 cars, three pit stalls (14,28,43) have been eliminated, are not in play and don't count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
Pole sitter #4-Harvick chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #78-Truex, Jr. took pit stall 35, with an opening behind it.
#18-Busch, who starts 3rd, took the 2nd stall.
The final pit stall was taken by #20-Kenseth, who starts 11th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com's Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-2-2017)
Links to results, practices, qualifying PDF's: (will be added as available)
Official Race & Points Report
Cumlative Race Report
Happy Hour Practice Speeds
Practice 1 Speeds
Latest / Final Entry List
Preliminary Entry List
#4-Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light pole for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway with speed of 177.730mph for his 4th pole of 2017, 2nd at Darlington and 21st of his career. Harvick has won 5 times from the 20 previous poles.
#78-Truex, Jr. will start 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #42-Larson, #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #22-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #77-Jones, #20-Kenseth, and #21-Blaney.
#4-Harvick was fastest in all three rounds.
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 40 were entered for 40 spots
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(8-18-2017)
Kevin Harvick sweeps qualifying to earn second Darlington pole: Kevin Harvick ended Saturday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knockout qualifying session at Darlington Raceway with an excellent omen for Sunday night's Bojangles' Southern 500. Covering the 1.366-mile distance in 27.669 seconds (177.730 mph) in the final round, Harvick earned his second career pole at the Lady in Black. The first time Harvick was the top qualifier at Darlington was in 2014. He went on to win the Bojangles' Southern 500. After that he won the series championship.[More](9-2-2017)
Darlington Raceway - Qualifying Fast Facts:
Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 68th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500 with a lap of 27.669 seconds, 177.730 mph.
This is his 21st pole in 599 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his fourth pole and 16th top-10 start in 2017.
This is his second pole in 21 races at Darlington Raceway.
Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his 20th top-10 start of 2017 and his fifth in 12 races at Darlington Raceway.
Kyle Busch (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his 21st in 25 races this season.
Erik Jones (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
Second Round of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
the rest of the top 12: 2 11 41 78 22 21 20
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 3 17 43 14 31 48 19 24 27 88 5 6
First Round of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
#78-Truex, Jr. 176.854
the rest of the top 24: 3 17 77 22 18 24 42 2 31 21 11 43 48 5 27 14 19 88 6;
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 13 38 37 32 47 95 34 15 10 72 23 83 33 55 51 66
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 40 entered
Coverage of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 1:45pm/et.
Television (TV): NBCSN, 1:30pm/et
Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
• Round 1 -- All entries will have 20 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest).
• Round 2 -- The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
• Round 3 -- The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
There will be a seven-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.
Qualifying Order for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted.
The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #23-LaJoie.
The final driver lined up on pit road will be #2-Keselowski.
The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
After the first round, the cars lined up by speed.
For the qualifying order, see the Qualifying Order page (pdf).(8-11-2017)
Happy Hour (final) practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
#78-Truex, Jr. 172.729
slowest: #55-Cope 160.162 & #66-Logn 159.481
most laps run: #22-Logano, 59 laps.
best 10 consecutive lap avg (of 26 drivers): #42-Larson 168.923
notes: #18-Busch spun early but did not hit anything. #6-Bayne got a Darlington stripe.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (8-18-2017)
First practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five and notes:
#17-Stenhouse, Jr. 171.896
slowest: #55-Cope 161.705 & #51-Ware 156.966.
most laps run: #41-Busch, 61 laps.
Top 10 lap average (of 20 drivers): #11-Hamlin 169.098mph.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(8-18-2017)
Entry List for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying / qualifying races / rules book (owners attempts/points).
Some of the drivers entered include: #15-Sorenson, #23-LaJoie, #33-JEarnhardt, #51-Ware*, #55-Cope*, #66-Long*, #83-Gaulding*
Since only 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
See the full entry list on the Entry List (pdf)
For qualifying rules and formats, see the Qualifying Rules page
How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Darlington(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph
Set limits: Cup:
4 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 12 sets for the race;
Xfinity: 7 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4728; Right-side -- D-4742
Left-side -- 87.24 in. (2,216 mm); Right-side -- 88.58 in. (2,250 mm)
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 19 psi; Left Rear - 19 psi;
Right Front -- 52 psi; Right Rear -- 48 psi
Storyline - Tire Management Back in Play at Darlington: Before it was repaved for the 2008 season, the track surface at Darlington Raceway was one of the most abrasive on the NASCAR circuit. It has taken several years, but the high tire wear element of the track has returned. Fall off will be more than three seconds per lap over the course of a full fuel run. That means tire management will be a major factor in the race, and those drivers who are easy on their tires early in a run will make up for it later. That will mean more "comers" and "goers" throughout the field and lead to more exciting racing. It also means that with 12 race sets of tires and teams pitting almost every chance they get, the team element of the sport will come more into play as pit stops will directly impact track position and, ultimately, the finishing order.
"While Darlington has hosted 'throwback' weekends over the past several seasons, the track surface is becoming a bit of a throwback as well," said Greg Stucker. "Traditionally, Darlington was always known for having one of the most abrasive track surfaces on the circuit. After its repave in 2007, that feature went away, but has come back into play a little more each year. A track surface that wears tires always leads to good racing and, this weekend, tire management will be a key element in the race."
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Darlington this weekend . . . this is the first time either of these two Goodyear tire codes will be run . . . for the Cup cars, compared to last year, the primary change is to the right-side construction, which has been updated to align with what is run at other speedways . . . the Xfinity cars, which ran a multi-zone tread right-side at Darlington in 2016, are on a single zone right-side that features the same compound as the one run on the outboard 10 inches last year . . . in addition for Xfinity teams, this left-side features a compound change to give the cars more grip vs. what was run last season . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Darlington on July 18 . . . drivers that participated in that test were Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Ryan Newman . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Throwback Tires: In support of Darlington's throwback initiative, the tires run at this weekend's races will feature different sidewall markings . . . replacing the yellow Goodyear Eagle lettering that became standard in 1992 is a white, stencil-look design that harkens back to the 1980s.
Race and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship