The NASCAR playoffs start on Sunday evening and the Cook Out Southern 500 is the first of 10 races where 16 drivers will compete for the Cup Series Championship. Kyle Larson won the regular-season Cup Series Championship, but will that momentum carry over into the postseason? The Cook Out Southern 500, which takes place at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, starts at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
As mentioned, Larson looks to continue his dominance after being suspended for the majority of the 2020 season. The 29-year-old NASCAR star won four races during the regular season and finished third in two of the final three events. Larson knows he has a golden opportunity to do something really special this year.
The time is now.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 5, 2021
“I feel like I’m a much more mature person on and off the race track. I think through all the experience of growing up made me ultimately just better all around,” Larson said this week, per Motorsport.com. “I think getting to race as much as I did last year and contend – I raced 96 times, something like that, and won 46. Probably was in position to chase a win in 80 races or more.”
Chase Elliott, the defending Cup Series Champion, is on track to win it all again. He is fifth in the playoff standings and finished in the top 10 in the final four regular-season races. PopCulture.com recently spoke to Elliott who revealed how he can win back-to-back Cup Series Champion.
“We just have to peak at the right time,” Elliott said. “That was really what we did best last year, was we really peaked at the right time and got hot for a stretch of races that was perfect timing. And unfortunately, you can’t always draw that up. That’s not just something that you can just snap your fingers and make happen. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of effort. And it comes from everyone at our race shop, everyone on the road. Myself, our off-track help. Everything has to just really be clicking at the right time.” The 16 drivers will compete in three races before four are eliminated for the round of 12, which starts on Sept. 26. The championship race will take place on Nov. 7.