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Sunday Darlington Cup race: Start time, TV info, weather

Matt Kenseth never could have dreamed his career would lead to the Hall of Fame, as he reflects on the people he's been blessed to work with and shares how competition drives him on and off the track.

The main event of NASCAR Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway comes Sunday, as the NASCAR Cup Series faces “The Lady in Black” in a 400-miler.

Chase Elliott virtually guaranteed himself a Cup Playoff berth with his first win of the season last week at Dover Motor Speedway.

With Elliott’s win, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers have scored at least one victory through the season’s first 11 races.

However, while HMS has a record 14 wins at Darlington, its last win there was in May 2012 (Jimmie Johnson). According to Racing Insights, the organization has earned 85 wins on 26 different tracks since then.

For more key storylines to follow Sunday, check out our Darlington viewer’s guide.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Darlington Raceway

(All Times Eastern)

START: Rich Kramer, CEO of Goodyear, will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 2:55 p.m. … Kim Burton, mother of NASCAR Cup Series driver Harrison Burton and wife of NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … TSgt. Katie Edelman, U.S. Air Force Band, will perform the National Anthem at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 293 laps (400.2 miles) on the 1.366-mile speedway.


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

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy skies, high of 62 degrees, dry conditions at start of the race

TO THE REAR: Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick each did not make a qualifying attempt after incidents in practice. BJ McLeod also did not make an attempt in qualifying and will start at the rear. Denny Hamlin will go to the rear after damaging the diffuser in his qualifying lap and having that replaced.

STARTING LINEUP: Darlington Cup starting lineup

LAST TIME: In the opening race of the 2021 Cup Playoffs, Denny Hamlin narrowly held off eventual series champion Kyle Larson to claim his third career Southern 500 win. The race saw many playoff contenders bitten by mistakes and misfortune. Seven of the 16 playoff drivers finished 20th or worse, with four finishing outside the top 30.


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