The Cup Series was back to its regular schedule this week. The teams had 20 minutes of practice to dial in their cars and then they qualified for the Southern 500. The cars are impounded after qualifying, so the speed the cars had in practice is the speed they will start the race with Sunday night. The race this week is 500 miles and that means the drivers will have plenty of time to make adjustments to the car. Practice speeds do not mean as much this week as they do at other tracks because the drivers who are the best at searching the track for grip typically finish up front.
Here is my starting lineup for the race at Darlington…
GROUP A DRIVER
KYLE LARSON (4): Larson has had a lot of success at Darlington and he should be a threat to win again Sunday night. Larson finished second in both races at Darlington last year and he finished second and third in the races in 2019. The No. 5 team brought another fast car to the track. Larson posted the fifth-fastest long-run speed in practice and qualified seventh for the race. He should run up front, score a lot of Stage Points with a great chance to finish in the top-five.
GROUP B DRIVERS
JOEY LOGANO (3): Logano was in my starting lineup in the first race at Darlington and he will be in my lineup again Sunday night. Logano led 107 laps, scored 18 Stage Points and went to Victory Lane in May at Darlington. His performance scored me 128 Driver Group Game points. Logano wasn’t the fastest driver in practice but he used the notes from Austin Cindric (Cindric had the fastest car in practice) and Logano went out and won the pole. Logano won from the pole in May and I will pick the No. 22 car to do it again Sunday night.
TYLER REDDICK (4): I map out my allocations with Reddick before the season starts. I start with the tracks with high tire wear and where the fastest way around the track is up against the wall. Darlington is one of these tracks. Reddick posted the seventh-fastest long-run speed in practice and qualified fourth for the race. This is a great race to use an allocation with Reddick.
GROUP C DRIVER
ERIC JONES (3): I had Jones penciled in for this race before the season began. Darlington is by far his best track. Jones posted the third-fastest speed in practice and qualified 14th for the race. Jones should run near the top-10 with a good chance to finish in the top-10 Sunday night.
Good Luck Sunday!
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