Area coaches and ADs make Southern 500 predictions | Sports News

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DARLINGTONCS – Winning the checkered flag in the Cook Out Southern 500 is still one of NASCAR’s most sought after prizes – and the most elusive.

The 500-mile challenge at the “Track Too Tough to Tame” is a challenge for even the most experienced pilots – as evidenced by the fact that only six of the current full-time Cup Series pilots have tasted victory in the one of the crown jewels. sports events.

Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski are among a select group to find Victory Lane in the spotlight at Darlington, and each would likely top the list in terms of potential. winners of this year’s event.

Hamlin, the defending champion, now has the most Southern 500 wins with three. He won the Southern 500 in 2017 and the Southern 500 in 2010.

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Harvick is another multiple winner. He topped the 2020 Cook Out Southern 500 field and also picked up a win in the 2014 Southern 500.

The duo also had a knack for winning at Darlington Raceway in general. Hamlin has four career wins at Lady in Black while Harvick has three.

But while they’re the candidates most likely to cross the finish line first, they’re not the only ones.

2020 Cup Series champion and current points leader Chase Elliott would be a top pick along with current defending champion Kyle Larson.

Elliott has four top-5 finishes at Darlington, including May’s race, and won pole for the Southern 500 in 2020.

Larson was even closer. He has five top-3 finishes overall, including three consecutive second-place finishes. He started second in the May race, but finished 36th.

When picking a favorite, it’s easy to single out a Joe Gibbs Racing driver, as almost half of the winners since 2008 have come from JGR – seven to be exact.

More coaches and ADs were polled again, this time for the Southern 500 to see if anyone could correctly choose who will be etched in the record books this time:

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