NASCAR top series races at Darlington Raceway

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Darlington Raceway, South Carolina’s “Track Too Tough to Tame”, was the venue for all three NASCAR top series this past weekend. Heading into the first race of the 2020 Cup Series Playoffs, Denny Hamlin had six series wins. Although he had enough points to make the top 16 cut for the 2021 Playoffs, he had zero victories this season. Sunday night, Hamlin broke his winless streak and clinched a spot in the Round of 12 at Las Vegas later this month. The latest results and upcoming scheduled events for the NASCAR feeder series are also included below as well as details on all tracks mentioned in this column.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Sun, Sep 5, Cook Out Southern 500 - Darlington Raceway - 367 laps.
- No practice or qualifying. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for Sunday night’s event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Ryan Blaney (#12 Ford Mustang) P1 on the starting grid. Denny Hamlin (#11 Toyota Camry) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #1 Kurt Busch, #9 Chase Elliott, #48 Alex Bowman, #5 Kyle Larson, #8 Tyler Reddick, #20 Aric Almirola, #4 Kevin Harvick and #19 Martin Truex Jr. formed the rest of the top-10 in that order. Did not make the 40-car field: No one, only 37 entries.

- Denny Hamlin scored his 45th victory in 569 NCS races. This is his 1st victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2021. It is his 4th victory and 15th top-10 finish in 19 races at Darlington. Kyle Larson (2nd) posted his 7th top-10 finish in eight Darlington races and his 19th top-10 finish in 2021. Ross Chastain (3rd) posted his 1st top-10 finish in five races at Darlington. Chase Briscoe (19th) was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender (ROTY). Polesitter Ryan Blaney led 17 laps and finished in 22nd place.

- NCS points leader: Kyle Larson by 34 points over Denny Hamlin.

- NCS Playoffs - Round of 16: (G/L)
1. Kyle Larson
2. Denny Hamlin +5 (P)
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Kurt Busch +7
5. Ryan Blaney -3
6. Joey Logano +3
7. Kevin Harvick +9
8. Brad Keselowski +2
9. Christopher Bell +3
10. Chase Elliott -5
11. Aric Almirola +3
12. Tyler Reddick +3
-----------------------
13. Alex Bowman -7
14. Kyle Busch -10
15. William Byron -7
16. Michael McDowell -3
(P) Clinched a spot in the Round of 12.

- After the next 2 races (Richmond and Bristol), the bottom 4 will not advance to the NCS Playoffs Round of 12 that starts on September 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

- Next: Sat, Sep 11, Federated Auto Parts 400 - Richmond Raceway - 400 laps.

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

Sat, Sep 4, Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 - Darlington Raceway - 147 laps (+5 OT).
- No practice or qualifying sessions. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for this Saturday's event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Daniel Hemric (#18 Toyota Supra) P1 on the starting grid. AJ Allmendinger (#16 Chevrolet Camaro) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #11 Justin Haley, #7 Justin Allgaier, #10 Jeb Burton, #20 Harrison Burton, #98 Riley Herbst, #9 Noah Gragson, #2 Myatt Snider and #02 Brett Moffitt formed the rest of the top-10 in that order. 41 cars entered for the 40-car field: #13 Chad Finchum did not make the race.

- Noah Gragson (#9 Chevrolet Camaro) scored his 3rd victory in 93 NXS races. This is his 1st victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2021 and his 1st victory and 5th top-10 finish in five races at Darlington. Harrison Burton (2nd) posted his 3rd top-10 finish in four Darlington races and his 17th top-10 finish in 2021. Austin Cindric (3rd) posted his 3rd top-10 finish in six races at Darlington. Jade Buford (21st) was the highest finishing ROTY. Polesitter Daniel Hemric led 18 laps and finished in 24th place.

- NXS points leader: AJ Allmendinger by 1 point over Austin Cindric.

- TOP-12 NXS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. AJ Allmendinger
2. Austin Cindric
3. Justin Allgaier
4. Daniel Hemric
5. Harrison Burton
6. Justin Haley
7. Noah Gragson +1
8. Jeb Burton -1
9. Jeremy Clements +1
10. Brandon Jones -1
11. Riley Herbst
12. Myatt Snider

- Next: Sat, Sep 11, Go Bowling 250 - Richmond Raceway - 250 laps.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NTS)

Sun, Sep 5, In It to Win It 200 - Darlington Raceway - 147 laps.
- No practice or qualifying. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for Sunday’s event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Sheldon Creed (#2 Chevrolet Silverado) P1 on the starting grid. Matt Crafton (#88 Toyota Tundra) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #99 Ben Rhodes, #52 Stewart Friesen, #42 Carson Hocevar, #4 John Hunter Nemechek, #16 Austin Hill, #38 Todd Gilliland, #18 Chandler Smith and #21 Zane Smith formed the rest of the top-10 in that order. Did not make the 40-truck field: No one, only 38 trucks entered.

- Polesitter Sheldon Creed led a race-high 104 laps and scored his 8th victory in 70 NTS races. This is his 3rd victory and 9th top-10 finish in 2021. It is his 2nd victory and 2nd top-10 finish in three races at Darlington. Creed has won four of the last five NTS Playoff races (which includes the last three in 2020). He also assumed the lead in the Playoffs standings after this race. John Hunter Nemechek (2nd), the points leader heading into this race, posted his 2nd top-10 finish in two Darlington races and his 13th top-10 finish in 2021. Based on points after this race, Nemechek has clinched a spot in the Round of 8. Stewart Friesen (3rd) posted his 2nd top-10 finish in three races at Darlington. Chandler Smith (7th) was the highest finishing ROTY.

- NTS points leader: Sheldon Creed by 2 points over John Hunter Nemechek.

- NTS Playoffs - Round of 10:
1. Sheldon Creed +1 (P)
2. John Hunter Nemechek -1 (P)
3. Matt Crafton +1
4. Stewart Friesen +1
5. Ben Rhodes -2
6. Todd Gilliland +2
7. Carson Hocevar
8. Austin Hill -2
--------------------
9. Zane Smith
10. Chandler Smith
(P) Clinched a spot in the Round of 8.

- After the next race (Bristol), the bottom 2 will not advance to the NTS Playoffs Round of 8 that starts on September 24 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

- Next: Thu, Sep 16, UNOH 200 - Bristol Motor Speedway - 200 laps.

NASCAR Feeder Series

ARCA Menards Series:
Sun, Sep 5, Southern Illinois 100 - DuQuoin State Fairgrounds - 100 laps.
Winner: Landon Lewis - P1: Landon Lewis - Points Leader: Ty Gibbs
Next: Thu, Sep 16, * Bush’s Beans 200 - Bristol Motor Speedway - 200 laps.
* ARCA Menards Series (AMS), ARCA Menards East (AME) Combo

ARCA Menards East:
Sun, Aug 29, Sprecher 150 - Milwaukee Mile Speedway - 150 laps.
Winner: Ty Gibbs - P1: Ty Gibbs - Points Leader: Sammy Smith
Next: Thu, Sep 16, * Bush’s Beans 200 - Bristol Motor Speedway - 200 laps.
* ARCA Menards Series (AMS), ARCA Menards East (AME) Combo

ARCA Menards West:
Sat, Sat, Aug 21, NAPA Auto Parts 150 - Irwindale Speedway - 150 laps (+3 OT).
Winner: Jesse Love - P1: P.J. Pedroncelli - Points Leader: Jesse Love
NEXT: Sat, Sep 11, Portland 112 - Portland International Raceway - 57 laps.

Whelen Modified Tour:
Sat. Sep 4, Toyota Mod Classic 150 - Oswego Speedway - 150 laps.
Winner: Ron Silk - P1: Ron Silk - Points Leader: Justin Bonsignore
Next: Fri. Sep 10, Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150 - Richmond Raceway - 150 laps.

Pinty's Series: (Two race weekend)
Sat, Sep 4, Olymel 30 - Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - 30 laps.
Winner: LP Dumoulin - P1: Gary Klutt - Points Leader: LP Dumoulin
Sun, Sep 5, Clarington 200 - Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - 51 laps.
Winner: Marc-Antoine Camirand - P1: Kevin Lacroix - Points Leader: Alex Tagliani
Next: Sun, Sep 12, QwickWick 125 and Motomaster Batteries 125 at Flamboro Speedway.

Peak Mexico Series:
Sun, Aug 22, Canel's Grand Prix - Autodromo Potosino, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Winner: Abraham Calderon - Points Leader: Abraham Calderon
Next: Sun, Sep 5, TBA - Autodromo del Ecocentro de la Union Ganadera, Queretaro

Track Details

Autodromo del Ecocentro de la Union Ganadera - 0.79-mile oval - Queretaro
Autodromo Potosino - 0.5-mile oval - San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Bristol Motor Speedway - 0.533-mile concrete oval - Bristol, Tennessee
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - 2.459-mile road course near Bowmanville, Ontario
Darlington Raceway - 1.366-mile oval - Darlington, South Carolina
Daytona Int’l Speedway - 2.5-mile tri-oval - Daytona Beach, Florida
DuQuoin State Fairgrounds - 1-mile clay oval - DuQuoin, Illinois
Flamboro Speedway - 0.333-mile oval - Millgrove, Ontario
Irwindale Speedway - 0.5-mile oval - Irwindale, California
Las Vegas Motor Speedway - 1.5-mile tri-oval - Las Vegas, Nevada
Milwaukee Mile Speedway - 1-mile oval - West Allis, Wisconsin
Oswego Speedway - 0.625-mile oval - Oswego, New York
Portland Int’l Raceway - 1.967-mile road course - Portland, Oregon
Richmond Raceway - 0.75-mile oval - Richmond, Virginia