There have been a lot of different faces in Victory Lane through the first 11 races of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. Ten drivers have notched wins, with Martin Truex Jr. (who was victorious at Phoenix and Martinsville) being the only repeat winner.
Another fresh face could be heading to Victory Lane on Sunday as the Cup Series drivers compete in the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Last year, there were three races at The Track Too Tough to Tame, and the winners were Kevin Harvick (twice) and Denny Hamlin, neither of whom has a victory in 2021.
Although Hamlin hasn't recorded a win, he's leading the points standings, having finished in the top five in eight races. Perhaps this will be the week he breaks through and races to victory for the first time this season.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into Sunday's race at Darlington.
NASCAR at Darlington Information
Date: Sunday, May 9
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Live Stream: Fox Sports app
Top Odds to Win
Kyle Larson: +400 (bet $100 to win $400)
Denny Hamlin: +600
Kevin Harvick: +700
Kyle Busch: +800
Martin Truex Jr.: +800
Brad Keselowski: +900
Chase Elliott: +1000
Joey Logano: +1400
William Byron: +1600
Ryan Blaney: +2000
Alex Bowman: +2200
Christopher Bell: +2500
Kurt Busch: +3500
Matt DiBenedetto: +4000
Tyler Reddick: +4000
Austin Dillon: +5000
Complete list of odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kyle Busch finally went to Victory Lane for the first time this season last time out, racing to victory at Kansas. Now, the driver of the No. 18 Toyota will be looking for more success at Darlington, where he's fared well throughout his career.
Busch only has one victory at Darlington (which came in May 2008), but he's a consistently strong performer at the track. He's finished seventh or better in 10 of his past 13 races there, and he's also ended up 11th twice during that stretch.
After posting finishes of second and seventh in the past two races at Darlington last season, Busch will be starting third in Sunday's race behind the all-Ford front row of Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.
Harvick is a three-time winner at Darlington (he was victorious in 2014 in addition to twice last year), while Keselowski won at the track in 2018. Keselowski notched his first win of the season April 25 at Talladega and finished third at Kansas, so he'll be looking to keep his recent momentum going while starting from the pole position.
Like Harvick, Denny Hamlin and reigning Cup Series champion Chase Elliott haven't won a race in 2021. But they will both also be starting near the front of the field Sunday, with Elliott starting sixth and Hamlin in seventh.
Hamlin finished in the top five in eight of the first nine races of the season, but he ended up 32nd at Talladega and 12th at Kansas. The driver of the No. 11 Toyota will be looking to get back on track at Darlington, where he's won three times in his career.
"Darlington has always been one of my favorite tracks," Hamlin said, per Reid Spencer of the NASCAR Wire Service. "It's a special place, and we've had some good wins there. Obviously, the last couple of weeks haven't gone the way we've wanted them to, but Darlington is a place where we can bounce back and maybe even get into Victory Lane."
Elliott owns two second-place finishes this year, and he finished fifth at Kansas last time out. However, he hasn't been to Victory Lane since the final race of the 2020 season at Phoenix.
Although he has never won a Cup Series race at Darlington, the reigning champion won his first Xfinity Series start at the track in April 2014, when he was only 18. He's finished in the top five at Darlington twice in the Cup Series, but he finished 38th and 20th at the last two races there in 2020.
"We definitely can be better, but I was pleased with our speed last year," Elliott said, per Spencer. "We had some really good runs and were certainly solid, so we have something good to build off of."
However, none of these top drivers are the betting favorite for Sunday's race. Instead, it's Kyle Larson, who will be starting in 14th and is looking for his first career win at Darlington. He's finished third or better in three of his past four races at the track, but he didn't compete there in any of the three races in 2020 after he was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing.
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