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Preview: 2021 Cook Out Southern 500

If you love dirt and gasoline, if you are a true red-blooded American, then Round of 16 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs may be just what you need for a great Sunday. The upcoming race at Darlington Raceway promises to be full of emotion as Kyle Larson takes the lead in the oddsmakers’ calculations once again.


Larson is currently sitting at 2052 points, ahead with some 30 points from the second and third best, R. Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. While Jr. could potentially give Larson a good run for his money, Blaney is not featured in the ten racers most likely to win this weekend.


Odds to Win 2021 Cook Out Southern 500 Odds

Driver    Odds

Kyle Larson         +300

Martin Truex Jr. +500

Kyle Busch           +600

Denny Hamlin    +700

Chase Elliott        +800

Kevin Harvick     +1000

William Byron    +1200

Joey Logano       +1400

Alex Bowman    +1600

Brad Keselowski               +1800

Where and When to Watch Cook Out Southern 500

Date: Sunday, September 5, 2021

Time:  6 pm EST

Venue: Darlington Raceway

Watch: FOX

The 2021 Cook Out Southern 500 will take place at 6 pm EST on Sunday, September 5 at the Darlington Raceway and will be available to watch on FOX.


What to Expect from 2021 Cook Out Southern 500?

This year’s edition of the race is taking place at Darlington Raceway, the 2.5-mile motor speedway that will put all participants to a test. It will be a particularly important race for Larson who is at the top of oddsmakers’ preferences but still had a rather inglorious exit from Daytona when he crashed on the last lap.


Larson is given +300 to succeed this time around, which is not the slimmest odds, meaning that he is still a bit of a wild card, but his track record this season definitely makes him a worthy candidate for a win.


Where does this leave the rest of the lot? Well, you have Martin Truex Jr. who has been doing well this season. He still has a 30-point difference to close in with Larson, but things do look up for him.


Larson has a great car as well and he has led around 31% of the laps in his last three appearances, meaning that the Darlington track will probably be not much different. Looking back to the last five editions of the race, Larson didn’t really win any, with Harvick, Keselowski, and Hamlin, securing a win each.


Truex Jr. managed to drive first through the raceway in 2016 so Larson should be aware that this is also a possibility this time around as well.


How about Ryan Blaney and the Other Underdogs?

Ryan Blaney is practically neck-and-neck with Truex Jr. which means that he should be given a fair shot. Yet, he doesn’t make the cut in the first ten drivers for this race and that brings up the question of why.


Well, it has to do with the driver’s history at Darlington after he had the pole position in 2020 but was quickly pushed out of the race after he faced a slew of mechanical and performance problems. He is also racing in pole position, and there has been a single Darlington winner since 1997 that started in the pole.



Battle-hardened, Blaney is coming back, but the odds don’t seem to favor him by too much. Still, he is second in the current Playoffs Standings so ignoring him would really make no sense. With only 16 drivers left, though, NASCAR is no longer a matter of dozens of cars racing one another with little room in between.


It’s down to drivers’ polished skills to maintain high speeds, save fuel and outpace their opponents. While Blaney posts a good chance of succeeding in the Sunday race it may be worth keeping an eye out for Kyle Busch. He has five top-ten finishes in six races on this track that is his last ones, so it makes a lot of sense to keep your eyes peeled for the lad.


Hamlin, though, has both the track record as well as a win in the speedway, so he seems to be the best medium-priced and moderate-risk driver to back for this one. If you are looking for clear drivers to back, we recommend trying Larson (+300) for the favorite, and then Hamlin (+700) for a better ROI. Blaney is posted (+2000) for this race and we would like to say that his odds are.

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