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Staff picks for Southern 500

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 Practice

DARLINGTON, SC - AUGUST 31: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Throwback Toyota, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on August 31, 2018 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Here’s who NBC’s writers think will triumph tonight in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (6 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

Dustin Long

Denny Hamlin breaks through with his first victory of the season.

Nate Ryan

Martin Truex Jr. He has a consistent car, and no driver and team are better at working through outside distractions.

Daniel McFadin

Denny Hamlin wins from the pole to grab back-to-back Southern 500 victories.

Dan Beaver

Denny Hamlin makes it back-to-back wins for someone other than the Big 3.