Drivers to watch at Darlington Raceway

Although Hendrick Motorsports is one of the most successful organizations in NASCAR history, the Chevrolet team hasn’t scored a win at Darlington Raceway, one of the sport’s most famous tracks, since Jimmie Johnson won there in May 2012.

Hendrick drivers have won 95 times on 26 different tracks since Johnson scored that victory at Darlington.

MORE: William Byron sits atop NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

Despite the recent drought, Hendrick owns a record 14 Cup wins, including seven by Jeff Gordon and three by Johnson, at Darlington.

Here’s a look at drivers to watch Sunday at Darlington:


Kevin Harvick

  • Points position: 5th

  • Best seasonal finish: 5th (Auto Club, Phoenix 1, Richmond 1)

  • Past at Darlington: Three-time winner

Darlington could open the door for Harvick’s first win in what he says will be his final season. He owns wins at the track in 2014 and 2020. He has led laps in 12 of his last 17 races at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin

  • Points position: 4th

  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (Kansas 1)

  • Past at Darlington: Four-time winner

Hamlin’s numbers at Darlington are excellent. He has the best average finish — 7.4 (his best average at ovals) — all-time at the track. His four wins are the most by an active driver (the late David Pearson had 10). He has led laps in 15 of his 21 Darlington starts.

Tyler Reddick

  • Points position: 6th

  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (COTA)

  • Past at Darlington: Second and third in the track’s two races last year

Reddick is on a good run — he has six top-10 finishes in the past nine races, including a ninth Sunday at Kansas. He was within the shadows of the Darlington winners last year, finishing second and third.


Ross Chastain

  • Points position: 1st

  • Best seasonal finish: 2nd (Dover)

  • Past at Darlington: Best career finish is 3rd

Can Chastain solve Darlington (and avoid running into other people in the process)? The series point leader hasn’t found the groove at NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway, scoring six finishes of 15th or worse in his seven career starts. He finished 30th and 20th in the track’s two races last year.

Austin Dillon

  • Points position: 30th

  • Best seasonal finish: 3rd (Bristol 1)

  • Past at Darlington: Best career finish is 2nd

Dillon finished 10th Sunday at Kansas and rides into Darlington with a bit of momentum. He has three top 10s in the track’s past five races, including a ninth last May.

Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 8th

  • Best seasonal finish: 1st (Richmond 1, Martinsville 1)

  • Past at Darlington: Three second-place runs

Can Larson finally break through at Darlington? He finished second at the track in September 2019 and in both 2021 races and will make another try at Victory Lane Sunday.

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