The 2021 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins its playoffs at the toughest track on the schedule at Darlington Raceway.
Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick secured the final spot in the playoffs at Daytona last week but all eyes are on Kyle Larson having been the standout driver for much of the season so far.
Closest to challenging Larson through much of the regular season was Denny Hamlin and he has a great chance to start his playoffs in style, starting on the front row for Joe Gibbs Racing alongside pole sitter Ryan Blaney of Team Penske.
A win for any of the 16 playoff drivers will see them advance to the Round of 12 and those who only just snuck into the picture will need that to keep their championship hopes alive.
How to Watch NASCAR Playoffs in the USA
NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race which starts at 18:00 ET on Sunday, September 5 although pre-race coverage will be provided on NBCSN from 17:30 ET. The NBC Sports website will also provide streaming services for those who sign in with their provider.
You can also listen to live radio coverage of the Cook Out Southern 500 on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and Motor Racing Network which will start at 18:00 ET.
The 2021 Cook Out Southern 500 Starting Lineup
The 16 playoff drivers were drawn on the first eight rows with those not in contention starting from 17th on back.
|1||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||12|
|2||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||11|
|3||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||1|
|4||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||9|
|5||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||48|
|6||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports||5|
|7||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||8|
|8||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||10|
|9||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||4|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||19|
|11||Joey Logano||Team Penske||22|
|12||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||18|
|13||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||20|
|14||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||24|
|15||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||34|
|16||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||2|
|17||Bubba Wallace||23XI Racing||23|
|18||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||37|
|19||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||6|
|20||Justin Haley||Spire Motorsports||77|
|21||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||3|
|22||Erik Jones||Richard Petty Motorsports||43|
|23||Ross Chastain||Chip Ganassi Racing||42|
|24||Chase Briscoe||Stewart-Haas Racing||14|
|25||Corey LaJoie||Spire Motorsports||7|
|26||Daniel Suarez||Trackhouse Racing Team||99|
|27||B.J McLeod||Live Fast Motorsports||78|
|28||Josh Bilicki||Rick Ware Racing||52|
|29||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||47|
|30||Matt DiBenedetto||Wood Brothers Racing||21|
|31||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||41|
|32||Anthony Alfredo||Front Row Motorsports||38|
|33||Cody Ware||Petty Ware Racing||51|
|34||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||17|
|35||Joey Gase||Rick Ware Racing||15|
|36||James Davison||Rick Ware Racing||53|
|37||Quin Houff||StarCom Racing||00|