Southern 500 at Darlington: Info and Predictions

Rob RhodesContributor IMay 7, 2009

DARLINGTON, SC - APRIL 22:  NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano drive during a promotional event for the Southern 500 on April 22, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for Darlington Raceway)

Qualifying

Forty-six teams will be attempting to qualify for the Southern 500. Since there is no past champion outside the top 35 in owner points, 11 drivers will be attempting to qualify for eight available spots. Those drivers are listed below. Drivers in bold are the ones I predict will not make it into the field.

No. 09-Sterling Marlin
No. 13-Max Papis
No. 25-Brad Keselowski
No. 36-Scott Riggs
No. 41-Jeremy Mayfield
No. 64-Todd Bodine
No. 66-Dave Blaney
No. 71-David Gilliland
No. 78-Regan Smith
No. 82-Scott Speed
No. 87-Joe Nemechek

 

Race Predictions

Winner

The three drivers that have the best chances of winning this week are Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, and Carl Edwards. But, since there can only be one winner, I have to go with Kyle Busch.

 

Dark Horse

I was going to go with Tony Stewart or Ryan Newman here, but I have decided to go way, way out on a limb and say Dale Earnhardt Jr. You can laugh if you like, but Jr. has an average finish of 6.3 at Darlington, and has finished well there the last few years. Could this be the week for Little E?

 

Track & Race Info: Jayski's Race Rundown & Track Info