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Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington: Start time, lineup and more

When a racetrack goes quiet, it's notable, and the thrill of competition is sometimes stricken by unforeseen tragedy, but the isolation of our time won't outrun the enduring affection for sport and the people it grounds.

Racing is back!

After a 10-week break because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR returns with the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.

There will be no fans. Teams will be limited to essential personnel and must adhere to NASCAR’s guidelines, which includes wearing a mask.

But racing is back today.

Here’s all the info for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Healthcare workers across the country will give the command to start engines at 3:42. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:53 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 7:30 a.m. (teams are assigned specific times). Engine prime and final adjustments at 1:30 p.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 2 p.m. and can be seen on Drivers report to their cars at 3:20 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3:35 p.m. by Rev. Sam Turbeville from McLeod Regional Medical Center. The National Anthem will be performed at 3:36 p.m. by three-time Grammy winner Darius Rucker.

DISTANCE: The race is 293 laps (400 miles) around the 1.366-mile oval.

PACE LAPS: At the direction of race control, drivers will have the opportunity to run one pace lap down pit road before the green flag for a pit road speed check. If you stop in your box for any reason, pull over or slow down, you will start at the rear of the field.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 90. Stage 2 ends on Lap 185.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 30. The field will be frozen at the caution. When pit road is open, only the top 20 cars will be allowed to pit. Each car that pits must beat the pace car off pit road to retain its position. On the next lap, the other 20 cars will pit. Each car that pits must beat the pace car off pit road to retain its position. Then, the top 20 cars will be allowed to pit a second time. On the next lap, the other 20 cars will be allowed to pit again. After the second cycle for each team is completed, the lineup will be set and the race will resume.

TV/RADIO: Fox will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3. Motor Racing Network’s coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. and can also be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 85 degrees and 15% chance of rain at the race’s start.

LAST RACE: Joey Logano won at Phoenix on March 8 in the last Cup race before the season was suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was Logano’s second win in the season’s first four races. Kevin Harvick was second. Kyle Busch placed third.

LAST RACE AT DARLINGTON: Erik Jones won last September’s Southern 500. Kyle Larson was second. Kyle Busch placed third.

LINEUP (set by owner points and random draw): Darlington Cup starting lineup

TO THE REAR: Kyle Busch (car failed pre-race inspection twice)


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