The wealthy southern history of NASCAR will be renewed this weekend with throwback paint schemes, particular memorabilia and nostalgia as the circuit heads to historic Darlington Raceway for the famous Southern 500, unofficially among NASCAR’s four major races.

Sunday night’s race marks the second-to-last race of the season before the 16-driver playoffs begin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-79 points out of cutoff), Ryan Newman (-91), Daniel Suarez (-93) and Paul Menard (-99) are drivers now with a slender chance to make the playoffs with no win while the remainder of the area requires a success at Darlington or Indianapolis to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

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With»The Lady in Black» ready to paint a Darlington stripe on anyone who gets too close to her wall, drivers will need to be at their best as the track changes when the sexy South Carolina sun begins to set at the 1.366-mile asphalt track. One of the most unique tracks in NASCAR features 25 levels of banking in Turns 1 and 2, and 23 degrees in Turns 3 and 4 as the trail narrows by 17 ft as the vehicle rounds the oblong oblong.

There’s no additional track like Darlington making it tough to handicap but the monitor is very abrasive like similar tracks in length in Atlanta and Chicagoland. Sunday’s race-favorite Kevin Harvick will use his winning Atlanta chassis that led 181 of 325 laps in February while Kyle Busch expects another 50+ lap-leading win at Darlington like he’d at Chicago this summer. The last member of the»Big 3,» Martin Truex Jr. is your 2016 Darlington winner who has a series of three top-10 finishes at the monitor.

Entering Sunday’s race with all the fourth-shortest chances is a driver that has mastered Darlington and still needs a good showing to secure a place in the playoffs: Denny Hamlin.

The No. 11 Toyota driver is a two-time Darlington winner and defending race champion. Hamlin boasts the top driver rating (110.3 — well over the upcoming statistical finest of Kyle Busch at 105.1), the best average running position (7.8) and tops the list of fastest laps run (272) in this race. Hamlin also has 10 top-10 endings in 12 career starts including seven.

Odds to acquire Southern 500

Kevin Harvick 5/2
Kyle Busch 7/2
Martin Truex Jr 7/2
Denny Hamlin 6/1
Kyle Larson 6/1
Erik Jones 18/1
Ryan Blaney 18/1
Brad Keselowski 18/1
Kurt Busch 18/1
Clint Bowyer 18/1
Chase Elliott 25/1
Joey Logano 25/1
Aric Almirola 50/1
Jimmie Johnson 100/1
Ryan Newman 100/1
Daniel Suarez 100/1
Alex Bowman 100/1
Austin Dillon 200/1
Jamie McMurray 200/1
Paul Menard 200/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr 300/1
Matt Kenseth 300/1
William Byron 300/1
Kasey Kahne 1000/1
Chris Buescher 1000/1
Darrell Wallace Jr 1000/1
AJ Allmendinger 1000/1
Ty Dillon 5000/1
Michael McDowell 5000/1
Field (All Others) 1000/1

Notable Southern 500 betting matchups

Kyle Busch -110
Martin Truex Jr. -110

Denny Hamlin -110
Kyle Larson -110

Kevin Harvick -145
Martin Truex Jr. +125

Erik Jones -110
Brad Keselowski -110

Brad Keselowski -110
Clint Bowyer -110

Kyle Busch -115
Denny Hamlin +135

Chase Elliott -110
Joey Logano -110

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