Frankie Muniz on why the NASCAR playoffs are superior to the sport in general
Actor Frankie Muniz has dedicated the last years of his life to pursuing a career in auto racing and explains why he loves the current former NASCAR playoffs.
Sports seriously, USA Today
The NASCAR playoffs are here, and 16 drivers are ready to make their championship dreams come true.
to 10 weeksThe drivers will compete against the rest of the Cup Series stadiums until a champion is crowned on November 5 at Phoenix Raceway. But before the series reaches Phoenix, competitors will have to survive three eliminations as four drivers will be eliminated after races three, six and nine, leaving four drivers to battle for the title.
The first battle will take place in one of the most famous races in NASCAR history: the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, a track known simultaneously as “Too Tough to Tame” and “The Lady in Black.”
Seven of the 16 drivers have won at the South Carolina circuit, most notably Denny Hamlin, who has four wins at Darlington, including two in the Southern 500. Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who enters the playoffs as the No. 3 seed behind his teammate. Martin Truex Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron have finished in the top five at Darlington 55% of the races he has entered and in the top ten 73% of the time.
Will Hamlin climb to the top at Darlington again? Here’s all the info you need to get ready for the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday:
What time does the Darlington Cup race start?
The Cook Out Southern 500 starts at 6 p.m. ET at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.
What TV channel is the Darlington Cup race on?
USA Network broadcasts the Cook Out Southern 500 and has a pre-race show starting at 5:30 PM ET, while USA and Peacock will have a post-race show at 10:30 PM ET.
Will there be a live broadcast of the Cup race at Darlington?
The Cook Out Southern 500 can be streamed live at NBC Sports website and the NBC Sports app.
NASCAR Playoffs: Meet the 16 drivers who will compete for the 2023 championship
What is the order of the playoffs entering Darlington?
- William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports – 2,036 points
- *Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing – 2036 points
- Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing – 2025 points
- Chris Buescher, RFK Racing – 2021 points
- *Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing – 2019 points
- *Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports – 2017 points
- Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing – 2014 points
- Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing – 2011 points
- *Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing – 2010 points
- Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing – 2009 points
- *Joey Logano, Team Penske – 2008 points
- Ryan Blaney, Team Penske – 2008 points
- Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports – 2007 points
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr., GTG Daugherty Racing – 2005 points
- *Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing – 2004 points
- Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing – 2000 points
How many laps does the Darlington Cup Race have?
The Cook Out Southern 500 has 367 laps around the 1.366-mile oval for a total of 501.32 miles. The race will have three parts (laps per stage) – Stage 1: 115 laps; Stage 2: 115 laps; Third stage: 137 laps.
Who won the last races at Darlington?
William Byron led seven laps, including both laps in overtime, before edging Kevin Harvick by 0.781 seconds on May 14, 2023.
A year ago in the playoff race, Eric Jones, a non-climax driver, led the final 23 laps before edging Denny Hamlin by 0.252 seconds on Sept. 4, 2022.
What is the Cook Out Southern 500 lineup?
(vehicle number in brackets; P-playoff driver)
1. (20) Christopher Bell (F), Toyota
2. (11) Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota
3. (45) Tyler Reddick (P), Toyota
4. (12) Ryan Blaney (P), Ford
5. (6) Brad Keselowski (P), Ford
6. (22) Joey Logano (P), Ford
7. (4) Kevin Harvick (P), Ford
8. (17) Chris Bucher (F), Ford
9. (34) Michael McDowell (P), Ford
10. (10) Eric Almirola, Ford
11. (8) Kyle Busch (F), Chevrolet
12. (14) Chase Briscoe, Ford
13. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
14. (2) Austin Cindrick, Ford
15. (42) Carson Hocivar, Chevrolet
16. (16) AG Allmendinger, Chevrolet
17. (54) Ty Gibbs, Toyota
18. (5) Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet
19. (23) Bubba Wallace (P), Toyota
20. (43) Eric Jones, Chevrolet
21. (99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet
22. (7) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet
23. (24) William Byron (P), Chevrolet
24. (48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
25. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (P), Chevrolet
26. (77) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet
27. (1) Ross Chastain (P), Chevrolet
28. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
29. (31) Justin Haley, Chevrolet
30. (38) Todd Gilliland, Ford
31. (19) Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota
32. (21) Harrison Burton, Ford
33. (15) JJ Yelly, Ford
34. (41) Ryan Preece, Ford
35. (51) Ryan Newman, Ford
36. (78) PJ McLeod, Chevrolet