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After the final off week of the season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) heads to Darlington Raceway in South Carolina for one of my favorite race weekends of the year.
Darlington is an old-school track with a rough surface that shreds tires, putting more emphasis on mechanical grip than aero. With little grip later in runs, cars are very hard to drive, making this a driverâs racetrack.
In addition, the Southern 500 is the official throwback race of the season, meaning teams will be honoring paint schemes from the past. Sundayâs race will focus on 1990-94.
Because Darlington is so unique, Iâll look at recent Southern 500s to make my NASCAR Props Challenge picks in order to pinpoint drivers with the ability to properly manage tires early in runs to therefore have speed toward the end.
Hamlin is among seven (!) drivers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook with odds of 6-1 or shorter to win Sundayâs race.
Heâs clearly one of the favorites, but expecting a top-five finish is a little too rich for my blood.
These drivers are very evenly-matched over the past three Darlington races. While Truex has run more fast laps (109) than Harvick (82), Kevin has the better average finish and average running position, and has led considerably more laps (236 vs. 134).
Similar to my answer to question No. 1, there are simply too many variables at play to be able to bank on a top-four finish in both stages.
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