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Denny Hamlin leads the charge of past winners at Darlington

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – MAY 08: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads the field to the green flag to start he NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 08, 2022 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Sunday kicks off the 19th edition of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and the third straight season that Darlington Raceway will host the opener.

Of the 16 playoff drivers, only four are past Cup winners at the 1.366-mile speedway in South Carolina. Here is how each playoff driver has fared there:

Denny Hamlin (4 wins)

Photo by Cheri Eaton/The Racing Experts

Hamlin has the most Darlington wins – 4 – of any active Cup Series driver, including a win in the 2021 Southern 500 that was his first of the season.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also won at Darlington in May 2010, September 2017 and May 2020. He also has 15 top-10 finishes in 20 starts at the track.

Kevin Harvick (3 wins)

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TRE

All of Harvick’s Darlington wins happened with Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick first won at the track in 2014. Since then, he has won twice in 2020, including the sport’s first race back after a two-month reprieve amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harvick leads all active drivers with 813 laps led at Darlington.

Kyle Busch (1 win)

Photo by Jeff Ames/TRE

In 21 starts, Busch has one win (May 2008), six top-5 finishes and 13 top-10 finishes.

However, Busch has a DNF in his last two Darlington starts, as he crashed out of last year’s playoff opener and this year’s May race.

Joey Logano (1 win)

Photo: Feliz Vigil/TRE

Logano is the most recent winner at Darlington.

The 2018 champion’s stats at the track include five top-5 finishes and nine top-10 finishes in 17 races.

The rest of the playoff field (in order of seeding)
Chase Elliott, the regular season champion, has a best Darlington finish of fourth, in May 2020. Elliott has three top-5 finishes and five top-10 finishes in 11 starts.

In six starts, Ross Chastain’s best finish is third in last year’s playoff opener.

In nine starts, Kyle Larson has three runner-up finishes, five top-5 finishes, seven top-10 finishes and 686 laps led.

In eight races, William Byron has one pole, two Top-5 finishes and two Top-10 finishes. He finished 13th in the May race after getting bumped from the lead late.

Ryan Blaney has 11 starts at Darlington but only one top-10 finish – 8th in the May 2021 race.

Tyler Reddick has one top-5 finish and two top-10 finishes in six starts at the track. He finished second to Joey Logano in May.

In his six races, Christopher Bell has one top-10 finish – a sixth-place finish in May.

Chase Briscoe has three Darlington starts. His best Cup finish is 11th, which he earned in his track debut in May 2021.

Daniel Suarez has one top-10 finish in nine starts – a 10th-place finish in May.

Among the playoff drivers, Austin Cindric has the least amount of Cup starts at Darlington. He finished 18th in May, his only Cup start at the track, to date.

Alex Bowman has one top-5 finish and two top-10 finishes in 10 starts, with a best finish of second in the first Darlington race in 2020.

In 12 starts, Austin Dillon has finished inside the top 5 twice and the top 10 five times. His best finish was a second-place finish in the September 2020 race.

The Cook Out Southern 500 will be televised on NBC on Sunday, September 4.


Dominic Aragon View All

I am a co-owner and reporter for

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