Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game: Southern 500


Laps led by Jamie McMurray in the season’s first 25 races. McMurray, 14th at Darlington currently holds the last playoff spot in NASCAR’s 16-driver Chase for the championship.


Driver inside the top 10 in points from Hendrick Motorsports. Chase Elliott (10th) is the only one heading into the sport’s regular season finale at Richmond Saturday night.


Straight top-5 finishes for Kyle Larson for the first time in his Sprint Cup career. Larson was third at Darlington after winning Michigan the week before.


Straight top-15 finishes for Jeff Gordon in his substitute role for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Gordon, 14th at Darlington will race at Richmond Saturday night before giving up the seat to Alex Bowman for much of the season’s final 11 races.


Wins for Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch this season. That leaves them tied for the top Chase seed headed into the Richmond regular season finale this weekend.


DNFs for Greg Biffle this season after his wreck Sunday night in Darlington. Only Matt DiBenedetto (eight) has more this season on the Cup level.


Top-10 finishes for Jimmie Johnson in the season’s first 25 races. His career low in that department is 20, meaning to avoid it he will need to run 10th or better in every remaining Cup event of 2016.


Straight top-20 finishes for Denny Hamlin at Darlington. Hamlin has never finished lower than 19th in the Southern 500 since he first ran the race in 2006.


Lead changes at Darlington Sunday night, the second-lowest total for the track since it got cut down to one series date beginning with the 2005 season. (The 2013 Southern 500 had nine lead changes).


Spots in total lost by Kevin Harvick over the final five pit stops of the race at Darlington. Harvick wound up second after leading a race-high 214 laps.


Average finish of Danica Patrick over the last six Sprint Cup races, just a tick above her season average of 22.5 (a career best). Patrick has finished between 21st and 24th in each of the last half-dozen Cup races.


Finishing position of Trevor Bayne Sunday night after blowing his engine. Bayne, who failed to finish had completed more laps than anyone in the Cup Series this season entering the race.

About the author

Tom Bowles
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The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.

You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.

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