THE RACE: Bojangles' Southern 500
TRACK: Darlington Raceway
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race #25 of 36
Date: Sunday, Septmeber 2, 2018 in Darlington, SC
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 6:15 pm/et
NASCAR America: 5:00pm/et on NBCSN
NASCAR Countdown to Green: 5:30pm/et on NBCSN
Television Race Coverage: NBCSN, 6:00pm/et
Friday, August 31, 2:05-2:55pm/et, TV-NBCSN;
Friday, August 31, 4:05-4:55pm/et, TV-NBCSN.
Qualifying for positions 1-40, Saturday, September 1 at 2:00 pm/et, TV-NBCSN;
re-air scheduled: None
In the Booth: Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Pre/Post-Race and Hosts: Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett
Pit Reporters: Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns
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 30
8:30 PM-10:30 PM MENCS HAULERS ENTER (EQUIPMENT UNLOAD)
Friday, August 31
11:00 AM-9:00 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
12:45 PM MENCS ROOKIE MEETING, SPOTTER MEETING, & RANDOM DRAWING
2:05 PM-2:55 PM MENCS 1ST PRACTICE
4:05 PM-4:55 PM MENCS FINAL PRACTICE
Saturday, September 1
10:00 AM -3:30 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
2:00 PM MENCS QUALIFYING IMPOUND (MULTI-VEHICLE / THREE ROUNDS)
Sunday, September 2
12:30 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
August 2017: see the Darlington Race Info page
Grand Marshal: Randy Poindexter, Sr. VP of Marketing Bojangles'
Command to start engines: Randy Poindexter, Sr. and Jack Roush
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Elizabeth Ingram, Events Coordinator Bojangles'
Honorary Pace Car Driver: TBA
Color Guard: SC Air National Guard Color Guard
Invocation: Dr. Bill Curtis, Cornerstone Baptist Church of Darlington
National Anthem: Hanson
Flyover: Bandit Flight Team
Sunday Darlington Notebook: NASCAR luminaries pace throwback Darlington field in six Camaros; Hendrick Motorsports shows uptick in speed at Darlington; Misfortune continues to follow No. 60 Roush Fenway Ford.[More](9-2-2018)
Saturday Darlington Notebook: Kurt Busch's teams takes a page from the driver's beloved Cubs; Denny Hamlin sports a shiner during Darlington presser; Christopher Bell thankful to be back on an oval track.[More](9-1-2018)
Friday Darlington Notebook: More than just winning, Kyle Larson wants to dominate; Matt Kenseth's 2019 plans are still up in the air; Justin Allgaier wants Cup redemption--under right circumstances.[More](8-31-2018)
Darlington Raceway Weekend Preview: Winless Hamlin looks to rebound at Darlington; Time to go for XFINITY.[More](8-30-2018)
What to Watch for: Darlington Raceway: On the Outside Looking In; Throwback Sunday; JGR loves Darlington; Who's Hot, Who's Not.[More](8-30-2018)
A look at many news, notes and story lines for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes -- Darlington Raceway
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 Raceway page
Flawless execution on pit road propels Brad Keselowski to Darlington win: By a matter of inches, Brad Keselowski won the race off pit road under the final caution in Sunday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. That narrow margin was all the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford needed to secure a stunning victory in one of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' marquee races.[More](9-2-2018)
Brad Keselowski won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. The win is his 1st of 2018, 1st win at Darlington and 25th career win. He also won the XFINITY race at Darlington on Saturday.
Keselowski's pit crew got him off pit road first during the final pit stop of the race and he was able to hold off teammate Joey Logano for a margin of victory of 1.224 second.
#42-Larson, who dominated most of the race leading 284 of the 367 laps and winning the first two stages, settled for 3rd, followed by #4-Harvick, #9-Elliott, #41-Busch, #18-Busch, #20-Jones, #1-McMurray, and pole winner #11-Hamlin.
The start of the race was delayed by nearly of an hour because of lightning in the area.
There were 7 lead changes among 5 drivers and 6 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 131.408mph.
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).
Race Fast Facts - Darlington
Brad Keselowski won the 69th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500, his 25th victory in 330 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his first victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2018.
This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in ten races at Darlington Raceway.
Joey Logano (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in ten races at Darlington Raceway. It is his 18th top-10 finish in 2018.
Kyle Larson (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in five races at Darlington Raceway.
Bubba Wallace (26th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 39 points over Kevin Harvick.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(9-2-2018)
2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Driver Playoff Standings:
[after Darlington, race 25 of 36] - 1 race until the playoffs.
The following drivers have clinched a playoff spot:
#18-Kyle Busch [6 wins], 1038
#4-Kevin Harvick [7 wins - 6 can be used for playoffs], 999
#78-Martin Truex Jr. [4 wins], 883
#41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 835
#14-Clint Bowyer [2 wins], 777
#22-Joey Logano [1 win], 818
#2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 785
#9-Chase Elliott [1 win], 737
#20-Erik Jones [1 win], 679
#3-Austin Dillon [1 win], 496
#42-Kyle Larson, 783, -255
#12-Ryan Blaney, 755, -283
#11-Denny Hamlin, 738, -300
#10-Aric Almirola, 681, -357
The following drivers have not clinched a playoff spot:
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 605, -433
#88-Alex Bowman, 586, -452
Johnson or Bowman can only miss the playoffs if a driver outside the top 16 wins at Indianapolis. Then the driver lower in points would miss the playoffs.
See 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).
Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 200) of the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway (lap 200/367):
#42-Larson, 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):
#42-Larson, 10pts, 1 playoff point
#78-Truex, Jr., 8pts
Lucky Dogs, drivers that got a lap back during the cautions (and their finish):
Caution 1: #37-Buescher, 13th
Caution 2: #1-McMurray, 9th
Caution 3: #3-Dillon, 16th
Caution 4: #4-Harvick, 4th
Caution 5: #41-Busch, 6th
Caution 6: #78-Truex, Jr., 11th
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 rear: #1-McMurray (engine change), #23-Gase (engine change) #48-Johnson (unapproved adjustments), #96-Earnhardt (backup car)
Sunday pre-race schedule (Eastern time):
5:25pm: Drivers Introductions with Busch Pole Award (NASCAR Special Awards read earlier in pre-race)
6:00pm: Intro Presentation of Colors by: SC Air National Guard Color Guard
6:00pm: Moment of Silence
6:00pm: Intro & Invocation by: Dr. Bill Curtis, Cornerstone Baptist Church of Darlington, South Carolina
6:01pm: National Anthem by: Pop music icons Hanson
6:03pm: Flyover by: Bandit Flight Team
6:07pm: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by: Randy Poindexter, Sr. VP of Marketing Bojangles' with 2019 NASCAR HOF Inductee Jack Roush and other members of the NASCAR HOF
6:15pm: Green Flag - Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500
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 40 cars running, pit stalls 14, 28, and 43 are not in use.
Pole winner #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole winner #42-Larson. took pit stall 8, with an opening in front of it.
#78-Truex, Jr, who starts 3rd, took the 35th stall, with an opening behind it.
The final pit stall was taken by #9-Elliott, 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.(9-1-2018)
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
Denny Hamlin edges Kyle Larson for Darlington pole: Denny Hamlin started his Bojangles' Southern 500 title defense in the best possible way, grabbing the pole position in the final round of Saturday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knockout qualifying at Darlington Raceway. Hustling his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota around the 1.366-mile track in 28.332 seconds (173.571 mph) in the money round, Hamlin edged Kyle Larson (173.411 mph) by .026 seconds to claim the top starting spot for Sunday's race.[More](9-1-2018)
Denny Hamlin won the Busch pole for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway with speed of 173.571mph for his 3rd pole of 2018, 1st at Darlington and 29th of his career. Hamlin has won 4 times from the 28 previous poles.
#42-Larson will start 2nd followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #88-Bowman, #18-Busch, #31-Newman, #20-Jones, #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #24-Byron, #9-Elliott, and #10-Almirola.
#88-Bowman was fastest in the second round with a speed of 174.624mph, will start 4th.
#42-Larson was quickest in the first round with a speed of 176.208mph, will start 2nd.
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).(9-1-2018)
Darlington Raceway - Qualifying Fast Facts:
Denny Hamlin won the Busch Pole Award for the 69th Annual Bojangles' Southern 500 with a lap of 28.332 seconds, 173.571 mph.
Kyle Larson (second) posted his 13th top-10 start of 2018 and his second in five races at Darlington Raceway.
Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his 17th in 25 races this season.
This is his 29th pole in 459 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his first pole in 13 races at Darlington Raceway.
This is his third pole and 17th top-10 start in 2018.
William Byron (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: 18 20 22 78 24 41 10
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 2 21 6 19 14 3 37 48 12 4 38 47
First Round of Qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 15 scheduled minutes.
the rest of the top 24: 41 11 31 12 22 21 18 4 6 14 2 38 47 19 78 10 3 20 37
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 17 34 43 13 95 32 1 52 15 72 00 66 51 99 23 96
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 1, 2018 at 2:00pm/et.
Television (TV): NBCSN, 2:00pm/et
Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
• Round 1 -- All entries will have 15 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 #17-Stenhouse, Jr.
The final driver lined up on pit road will be #42-Wallace.
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).(8-31-2018)
Happy Hour (final) practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
best 10 consecutive lap avg (of 24 drivers): #18-Busch 166.952
slowest: #51-McLeod 157.268 & #23-Gase 154.210
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (8-31-2018)
First practice for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over, after 55 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
most laps run: #31-Newman, 28 laps.
best 10 consecutive lap avg (of 9 drivers): #11-Hamlin, 168.715mph.
slowest: #51-McLeod 158.209 & #1-McMurray 126.339
notes: #1-McMurray lost an engine, which led to a lengthy track clean up. He will have to start the race Sunday from the rear of the field.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the First Practice speeds (pdf) (8-31-2018)
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.
Some of the drivers entered include: #6-Kenseth, #15-Chastain, #23-Gase, #51-McLeod, #52-Yeley, #66-Hill, #72-LaJoie, #96-Earnhardt, #99-Cope.
#7-Sorenson has withdrawn. With 40 cars entered, everyone 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 Darlington(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
Darlington Goodyear Tire Notes See complete tire information for the race weekend across all series on the [Goodyear Tire Notes - Darlington Raceway page.(8-27-2018)
Race and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship