The Cup playoffs begin at the Southern 500 on Sunday night.
Chase Elliott enters as the number one driver in the rankings after winning the regular season championship, but is only nine points away from fifth in the rankings. This is the closest we’ve come to the field since the current playoff format in 2017.
The opening rounds of the Cup Playoffs will be played in Darlington, Kansas and Bristol. Last year, nine of his 16 playoff drivers finished outside the top 15 of the Southern 500.
Learn more about Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway
start: At 6:09 p.m., commands are sent from Cook Out Jeremy Reaves, Max Reaves, and Rue Reaves. … the green flag will be waved at 6:19pm
distance: The race is 367 laps (501.32 miles) on a 1.366 mile speedway.
stage: Stage 1 ended after 115 laps. Stage 2 ended with 230 laps.
TV/Radio: USA Network will broadcast the race at 6pm. The USA Network will air a countdown to Green Broadcast at 5pm. .. The post-race show will air on the USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage will begin at 5pm and will also be streamed on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio provides MRN broadcasts.
forecast: According to wunderground.com, the forecast is for cloudy skies and a high of 84 degrees at the start of the race. The chance of rain is 11%.
last time: Joey Logano took the win in May by removing William Byron from the lead on the final lap. Tyler Reddick is second. Justin Haley finished third. Byron finished 13th.
Catch up on NBC sports coverage:
The Cup Championship: Where are the repeaters?
Friday 5: Trackhouse duo complete long trip to playoffs
Kyle Busch is nearing a decision about his future
Playoff Puzzles: The Key Questions for All 16 Cup Title Contenders
Dr. Diandra: 7 Habits of Winners
NASCAR extends repair time for damaged vehicles to 10 minutes
Drivers to watch in Darlington
Bubba Wallace changes jersey number to 45 for rest of season
Darlington’s difficult road marks breakthrough for Cup playoff
A Viewer’s Guide to Darlington Raceway