Darlington. The Lady in Black. The Track Too Tough to Tame. All of them refer to this week’s host venue — Darlington Raceway. The South Carolina staple has been on the NASCAR schedule nearly since the sport’s inception. It’s been tough that entire time. Back in May, we got the first look at the track with the Next Gen car and it put on quite the show. That being said, a lot of the same characteristics we’ve come to know and, somewhat, love about Darlington were still on display. This time around, for the Southern 500, there’s quite a bit more at stake with the kickoff of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

NASCAR DFS Strategy for Southern 500

Darlington is known as a track position track, though that’s not wholly accurate. Drivers can move up here and have in the past. In fact, nearly 6.5 drivers a race move up double-digit spots. This will be a race where we’re likely to see a lot of shifting in the midfield but perhaps not much shifting around in the top-10 save for a couple of cars. Laps led will be a key factor this week. Over the last five races here there have been nearly 1.5 drivers a race to top 100 laps led and basically the same amount to top 50 laps led. With the possibility of a bunch of drivers moving up several spots in PD and 367 laps on the docket for the race, this will be a high-scoring money line in all likelihood so be prepared for that.

Practice to Qualifying Ranks

The idea of the table is to show which drivers ranked where in single-lap, five-lap, 10-lap, 15-lap, and even 20-lap average compared to their qualifying spots. It’s meant to show who might be in a good spot to move up potentially.

DriverDK$FD $Prac to QualQualComb. Prac5-Lap10-lap15-Lap20-Lap
Joey Logano$9,800$11,500-911912521
Christopher Bell$8,700$10,000-13298646
William Byron$8,900$9,0001314102620 
Tyler Reddick$10,500$12,0000445712 
Kyle Busch$10,200$12,500-185231112113
Austin Cindric$7,600$7,8005683237
Kyle Larson$11,400$13,000-1271020171512
Bubba Wallace$7,300$6,800-14852112
Ryan Blaney$9,200$9,500-12921149109
Michael McDowell$7,500$7,000-7102446 
Denny Hamlin$11,100$13,5002111591085
Ross Chastain$10,000$11,00041227231414 
Austin Dillon$7,800$7,200-1713127898
Justin Haley$6,200$5,200-121416131313 
Erik Jones$7,200$8,00012152430   
Alex Bowman$8,200$8,50041630252022 
Martin Truex Jr$9,500$10,50012171135 
Kevin Harvick$8,500$8,800-918171715  
Chase Briscoe$7,900$7,500-51922151174
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$6,500$5,80014203627  
Ty Gibbs$7,100$6,500-12213329191711
Aric Almirola$6,400$5,500922323123  
Chase Elliott$10,700$14,0009231819181610
Daniel Hemric$5,900$3,500-124618   
Brad Keselowski$6,700$6,00072513162821 
Landon Cassill$6,100$2,500-826262430  
Chris Buescher$6,900$6,200-527343525  
Harrison Burton$5,700$4,50017282522   
Ty Dillon$5,800$3,00092920261618 
Cole Custer$5,500$5,000233011332219 
Todd Gilliland$5,300$4,000-43172129  
Cody Ware$4,900$2,500132292721  
JJ Yeley$5,100$2,000533353431  
Corey Lajoie$5,400$3,0005342828   
BJ McLeod$5,000$2,000-13536    
Daniel Suarez$8,000$8,2002036313224  

Average Points By Starting Spot

The following tables are meant to show the strategy in place at Darlington for DFS and not necessarily a guaranteed point total for any one starting spot.