NASCAR at Darlington 2020: May 17 Odds, TV Schedule, Live Stream and Drivers

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

Brad Keselowski (2) makes his way down pit road during a practice session for a NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

NASCAR's two-month layoff ends Sunday with the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Sunday's race is the first of two over a four-day span at the South Carolina track, and it kicks off a 10-day stretch with a quartet of competitions at Darlington and Charlotte. 

Darlington was selected to host the first race since the season was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic in part because of its proximity to the race shops in the Charlotte area. 

As part of the sport's health and safety plan, teams will follow social distancing guidelines and only spend Sunday at the track.

Brad Keselowski, who won at Darlington in 2018, was drawn into the pole position and Alex Bowman will start alongside him on the front row.


NASCAR at Darlington Information

Date: Sunday, May 17

Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Live Stream: FoxSports.com or Fox Sports app


Starting Lineup

Jayski.com @jayski

Darlington starting lineup: https://t.co/AoXALdoZqK https://t.co/pA0uCVtBMD


Race Odds

Kyle Busch (+550; bet $100 to win $550)

Denny Hamlin (+600)

Martin Truex Jr. (+650) 

Kevin Harvick (+700)

Chase Elliott (+800)

Joey Logano (+900)

Brad Keselowski (+1000) 

Full list of odds can be found at Caesars Palace



Sunday's 400-mile competition will last 293 laps and is broken up into three stages, which is the format typically used for NASCAR races. 

The first stage will consist of 90 laps and the second stage is set to conclude at Lap 185, which makes the final stage 108 laps.

In addition to being chosen for its proximity to race shops, Darlington is a similar track to Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was supposed to be the next site on the schedule before the season was put on hold. 

The similarities allowed the teams to use intermediate-track cars that were already prepared in March.

The drivers at the front of the field should have an advantage since the previous seven champions at Darlington have started in the top 15.

Keselowski could remain in front for long stretches. He ranks fourth in laps led through four races, and the first stage may serve as an adjustment process for drivers on track for the first time in two months. 

A handful of drivers have participated in iRacing events, but Sunday marks the first time they will be inside a car since March.

Keselowski and Joey Logano, who has two victories in 2020, could have the best betting value among the pre-race favorites at +900 and +1000, respectively.

Logano starts ninth and captured first place at Las Vegas and Phoenix. He is looking for his first triumph at Darlington. 

Kyle Busch has not won at Darlington since 2008, but he led the most laps at the Southern 500 in 2019. The pre-race favorite could carve a path to the front right away from the second row.

Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. have won at Darlington in the last four years, but neither will start as high up as the driver of the No. 18 car. 

Defending champion Erik Jones faces a steep climb from the 20th starting position. He has a single top-10 finish in 2020.

The returns of Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth will also be worth watching Sunday.

Newman is back inside the No. 6 car for the first time since his horrific wreck at the Daytona 500.

Kenseth is making his first start since the 2018 season finale in the No. 42 car as a replacement for Kyle Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing for using a racial slur during an iRacing competition in April.

Kenseth could be a dark horse candidate to win, as he starts 10th and is a previous champion at Darlington from 2013.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from NASCAR.com