2021 Cook Out Southern 500

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2021 Cook Out Southern 500
Race details[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Race 27 of 36 in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series
Darlington raceway.svg
Date September 5, 2021 (2021-09-05)
Location Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
Distance 367 laps, 501.322 mi (806.666 km)
Average speed 121.279 miles per hour (195.180 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Team Penske
Grid positions set by competition-based formula
Most laps led
Driver Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 156
Winner
No. 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
Television in the United States
Network NBCSN
Announcers Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty
Radio in the United States
Radio MRN
Booth Announcers Alex Hayden, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace
Turn Announcers Dave Moody (1 & 2) and Mike Bagley (3 & 4)

The 2021 Cook Out Southern 500, the 58th running of the event, was a NASCAR Cup Series race held on September 5, 2021 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Contested over 367 laps on the 1.366-mile (2.198 km) egg-shaped oval, it was the 27th race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, first race of the Playoffs, and the first race of the Round of 16. Denny Hamlin took his first victory of the season and clinched a spot in the round of 12.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Darlington Raceway where the race was held.
The 2021 Cook Out Southern 500 program cover.

Darlington Raceway is a race track built for NASCAR racing located near Darlington, South Carolina. It is nicknamed "The Lady in Black" and "The Track Too Tough to Tame" by many NASCAR fans and drivers and advertised as "A NASCAR Tradition." It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of very different configurations, a condition which supposedly arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that is effective at both ends.

Surface Issues[edit]

Darlington Raceway was last repaved following the May 2007 meeting (from 2005 to 2019, there was only one meeting; the second meeting was reinstated in 2020), and from 2008 to 2019, there was one night race. In 2020, a day race returned to the schedule, and instead of two races (one Xfinity and one Cup) during the entire year, the track hosted six races (three Cup, two Xfinity, and one Truck). The circuit kept repairing the circuit with patches during each summer before the annual Cup race in September. The circuit's narrow Turn 2 rapidly deteriorated with cracks in the tarmac allowing water to seep in the circuit. In July 2021, the circuit repaved a six hundred foot section at the entrance of Turn 2 and ending at the exit of the turn to repair the tarmac and resolve the issue for safety and to reduce the threat of weepers and surface issues in that section of the circuit.[7]

Entry list[edit]

  • (R) denotes rookie driver.
  • (i) denotes driver who are ineligible for series driver points.
No. Driver Team Manufacturer
00 Quin Houff StarCom Racing Chevrolet
1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford
7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford
14 Chase Briscoe (R) Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
15 Joey Gase (i) Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
17 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing Ford
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
21 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing Ford
22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota
24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford
37 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
38 Anthony Alfredo (R) Front Row Motorsports Ford
41 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
43 Erik Jones Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
51 Cody Ware (i) Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet
52 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Ford
53 James Davison Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
77 Justin Haley (i) Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
78 B. J. McLeod (i) Live Fast Motorsports Ford
99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet
Official entry list

Qualifying[edit]

Ryan Blaney was awarded the pole for the race as determined by competition-based formula.[4]

Starting Lineup[edit]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer
1 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford
2 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
3 1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
5 48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
7 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
8 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
9 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
10 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
11 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
12 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
13 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
14 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
15 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford
16 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
17 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota
18 37 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
19 6 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford
20 77 Justin Haley (i) Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
21 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
22 43 Erik Jones Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
23 42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
24 14 Chase Briscoe (R) Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
25 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
26 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet
27 78 B. J. McLeod (i) Live Fast Motorsports Ford
28 52 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Ford
29 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
30 21 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing Ford
31 41 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
32 38 Anthony Alfredo (R) Front Row Motorsports Ford
33 51 Cody Ware (i) Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet
34 17 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing Ford
35 15 Joey Gase (i) Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
36 53 James Davison Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
37 00 Quin Houff StarCom Racing Chevrolet
Official starting lineup

Race[edit]

Ryan Blaney started the race from the pole position. Early in the race, playoff driver Alex Bowman scraped the wall while playoff driver Michael McDowell was taken out of the race after hitting the wall. Denny Hamlin won the first stage of the race. In the second stage, Austin Dillon and playoff driver Kyle Busch made contact, with Busch hitting the wall and going to the garage, ending his night. Kyle Larson won the second stage of the race. Several other playoff drivers had trouble during the race including William Byron, who hit the wall after cutting a tire, Chase Elliott, who hit the wall after going three-wide with Bubba Wallace and Christopher Bell, and Blaney, who spun late in the race. In the closing laps, Hamlin was leading Larson. On the final lap, Larson tapped Hamlin, but Hamlin blocked the top line to win the race, his first win of the season, to move on to the next round of the playoffs.

Stage Results[edit]

Stage One Laps: 115

Pos No Driver Team Manufacturer Points
1 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 10
2 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 9
3 1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 8
4 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 7
5 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 6
6 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 5
7 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 4
8 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 3
9 42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 2
10 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 1
Official stage one results

Stage Two Laps: 115

Pos No Driver Team Manufacturer Points
1 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 10
2 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 9
3 42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 8
4 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 7
5 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 6
6 1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 5
7 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 4
8 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 3
9 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 2
10 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 1
Official stage two results

Final Stage Results[edit]

Stage Three Laps: 137

Pos Grid No Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 2 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 367 57
2 6 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 367 54
3 23 42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 367 44
4 10 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 367 38
5 9 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 367 44
6 3 1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 367 44
7 16 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 367 30
8 11 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 367 34
9 34 17 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing Ford 367 28
10 21 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 367 27
11 31 41 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 367 26
12 18 37 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 367 25
13 26 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 367 24
14 19 6 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 367 23
15 25 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 367 23
16 8 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 366 24
17 29 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 366 20
18 7 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 366 23
19 24 14 Chase Briscoe (R) Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 366 18
20 13 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 366 26
21 17 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota 366 16
22 1 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 366 24
23 30 21 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing Ford 365 14
24 32 38 Anthony Alfredo (R) Front Row Motorsports Ford 364 13
25 20 77 Justin Haley (i) Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 364 0
26 5 48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 363 11
27 27 78 B. J. McLeod (i) Live Fast Motorsports Ford 359 0
28 28 52 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Ford 359 9
29 35 15 Joey Gase (i) Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 357 0
30 37 00 Quin Houff StarCom Racing Chevrolet 355 7
31 4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 327 9
32 22 43 Erik Jones Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 264 5
33 33 51 Cody Ware (i) Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet 209 0
34 14 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 199 3
35 12 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 125 2
36 36 53 James Davison Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 50 1
37 15 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 30 1
Official race results

Race statistics[edit]

  • Lead changes: 18 among 10 different drivers
  • Cautions/Laps: 11 for 52
  • Red flags: 0
  • Time of race: 4 hours, 8 minutes and 1 second
  • Average speed: 121.279 miles per hour (195.180 km/h)

Media[edit]

Television[edit]

NBC Sports covered the race on the television side. Rick Allen, two–time Darlington winner Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte and Dale Earnhardt Jr. called Stages 1 and 3 of the race from the broadcast booth. Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty called Stage 2 of the race from the broadcast booth. Dave Burns, Parker Kligerman and Marty Snider handled the pit road duties from pit lane.

NBCSN
Booth announcers Pit reporters
Lap-by-lap: Rick Allen
Color-commentator: Jeff Burton
Color-commentator: Steve Letarte
Color-commentator: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Throwback commentator: Dale Jarrett
Throwback commentator: Kyle Petty
Dave Burns
Parker Kligerman
Marty Snider

Radio[edit]

MRN had the radio call for the race, which was also simulcast on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

MRN Radio
Booth announcers Turn announcers Pit reporters
Lead announcer: Alex Hayden
Announcer: Jeff Striegle
Announcer: Rusty Wallace
Turns 1 & 2: Dave Moody
Turns 3 & 4: Mike Bagley
Steve Post
Kim Coon

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2021 schedule". Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  2. ^ "Darlington Raceway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Archived from the original on April 30, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  3. ^ "Entry List" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. August 30, 2021. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Starting Lineup". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  5. ^ "Cook Out Southern 500 Results". NASCAR.com. NASCAR. September 5, 2021. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
  6. ^ "Points standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. September 5, 2021. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
  7. ^ Long, Dustin. "Darlington Raceway repaves Turn 2 ahead of Cook Out Southern 500". NBCSports.com. Comcast. Retrieved 2021-08-20.


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