Relive the final laps of the 1997 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway as Jeff Gordon holds off Jeff Burton to win one million dollars.
Kyle Busch will lead off the start of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
RELATED: Updated standings " Chase grid Only two races remain before the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set. Here are the scenarios for clinching a Chase berth at Darlington Raceway : Below is the complete list of drivers currently in the Chase Grid. Drivers with wins who have clinched a spot in the Chase as long as they attempt to qualify for the remaining two races: 1. Jimmie Johnson 3. Joey Logano 4. Matt Kenseth 5. Kevin Harvick 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr . 7. Kurt Busch 8. Brad Keselowski 9. Martin Truex Jr . 10. Denny Hamlin 11. Carl Edwards Note: Kyle Busch is currently second in the Chase Grid, but has not clinched a spot in the top 30 of the points standings. Drivers currently in the top 16: 12. Jamie McMurray 13. Ryan Newman 14. Paul Menard 15. Jeff Gordon 16. Clint Bowyer At Darlington, a winless driver can clinch a spot in the Chase. If a repeat driver wins at Darlington, a winless driver would need to have a 45 point lead on the fifth-highest of the winless drivers (or 44 points, depending on tie-breakers). If there is a new winner, a winless driver would need to lead the fourth-highest winless driver by 45 points (or, again, 44, depending on tie-breakers)
SHR team innovates on throwback weekend; display will be mandatory in 2016 MORE: See all the throwback paint schemes for Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. -- NASCAR and its teams may be turning back the clock this weekend with Darlington Raceway 's "throwback" initiative and the return of the Bojangles' Southern 500 to the Labor Day holiday weekend, but both groups remain focused on the future as well. Case in point -- the Stewart-Haas Racing team with driver Kurt Busch . While the No. 41 Chevrolet is one of more than 30 entries featuring a retro paint scheme here this weekend, it is the only Sprint Cup entry featuring the new digital display (dashboard). Teams were allowed to begin using the new technology in August; however this is the first time a team has had the new piece in place for a race weekend. The digital dash display will be mandatory in all Sprint Cup entries beginning in 2016. "With digital dash, you get the same information everyone else does," Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition for SHR, said Friday morning at Darlington. "Obviously … the digital dash offers an awful lot of data … just a ton of stuff depending on what kind of channels they allow us to use in the future." That additional data won't be available this weekend – the system will provide only the readings available through current analog gauges. "It takes a little bit different (wiring) harness, a different dashboard," Zipadelli said. "(Kurt) was willing to run it. It allowed a group of our guys at the shop to just basically jump on it; we're just trying to be a little bit ahead for next year and get some feedback, how does it work, what does he like about it, let the other drivers see it. RELATED: How has Kurt fared at Darlington? "That's really the only reason for us. We've got to do it next year, we don't have a choice, so we felt like we would embrace it and try … I don't want to try to figure it out at Daytona or Phoenix next year." There is a slight weight difference, he said, noting that the digital display is heavier. "So we worked a little bit harder on the surroundings of it to try and get it back to being equal." Earlier this year, Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development, said the amount "of information we share and what we share will be somewhat dependent on the ability to telematically send information." " The teams will be getting the same information they get currently; and they do have the ability to reconfigure the dash to their liking. "We are also working on a tire-pressure monitoring system that will feed to the digital dash. The digital dash already has the receiver built into it; we're working on the technology from the tires to talk to the dash. We will then be able to log the tire pressures during a race and take those post-race. The question is can we have real-time pressure monitoring?" Current configurations inside the cars feature individual analog gauges for oil and water pressures, tachometer, fuel pressure and voltage. The digital dashboard will display similar information, but also has the ability to provide additional feedback such as the tire pressures mentioned by Stefanyshyn, lap times and even relevant pit stop information. Jamie McMurray , driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 1 Chevrolet, previewed the digital technology earlier this year during a Goodyear tire test at Kentucky. By flipping a switch, McMurray noted, the new dash also has the ability to revert to a screen that displays the information in a more conventional manner. Same dash just changed the page by hitting a switch. WAY different than what we have been using. pic.twitter.com/NNBdNRaYKs — Jamie McMurray (@jamiemcmurray) April 13, 2015 In addition to providing more information to teams and drivers, officials have said it is hoped that the information can also be provided to fans to enhance the viewing experience. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Terry Labonte reflects back to his final win of his career at Darlington Raceway in the 2003 Southern 500.
Presenting NASCAR content from around the web Editor's note: On Wednesday at noon ET, "High 5" will present some of the best NASCAR-related content from around the web. 1. The forgotten few Fans, drivers and most everyone in the NASCAR industry is looking forward to this weekend's Sprint Cup showdown at Darlington Raceway . With the Southern 500 returning to its iconic Labor Day weekend time slot and teams rolling out awesome throwback schemes every week, the anticipation for an old-school weekend of racing is growing each day. RELATED: See all Darlington's throwback paint schemes But what schemes did drivers leave out? In an article on ESPN.com, Ryan McGee selects the top 11 schemes that would have been brilliant choices for this weekend. Among them? The pink No. K-2 of Dale Earnhardt and Bobby Labonte 's No. 18 rides that featured assortments of bad movies. Takes a strong man to pull that color off! Click here to read the entire list of forgotten schemes. 2. We all scream -- or dance -- for ice cream! People get real serious about their dessert. Especially these football players from Rutgers University. In the team's final preseason training camp session, the offensive and defensive players competed against once another in an epic dance-off for .... ice cream. Hey, who doesn't like their sweet treats? Kyle Busch would probably agree with that. 3. Spongebob hits the stage Coming to a Broadway theater near you: The Spongebob Musicial . Who lives in a pineapple under the sea — and soon, on Broadway? http://t.co/2SoNeQxEPm — Mashable (@mashable) September 1, 2015 Yup, Mr. Squarepants himself is leaving the comforts of Bikini Bottom for " The Great White Way." And he's in good company, too. The musical production incorporates the talents of several big-name artists, including John Legend, Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper and David Bowie. It's a good thing NASCAR nabbed some time with Spongebob & Co. prior to his rising stardom. 4. Who let the dogs out? The El Paso Chihuahuas, Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, had a bit of a hairy situation on Saturday during the team's Wiener Schnitzel race (Yes, that's a thing -- and no, it wasn't with chihuahuas for whatever reason). One of the canine contestants escaped from the confines of the competition and took a Victory Lap around the field. Read the entire story on the dog's awesome adventure here . Once the laughter died down, we couldn't help but notice the similarities between this pup's "Freedom!" moment and a certain rabbit situation that took place at Bristol Motor Speedway not too long ago. RELATED: Truck practice red-flagged for rabbit on track 5. Most valuable players NASCAR is a team sport. It takes an entire race shop to build, perfect and send race cars to the track each week -- and a heck of a driver/crew combination to take the checkered. But in an article from Sport's Illustrated's "Beyond the Flag," Christopher Olmstead looks at the stars of race teams -- the drivers -- and chooses the Most Valuable Players from each squad this season. And it's some tough competition: Dale Earnhardt Jr ., while the fan favorite, doesn't even make the cut. Click here to see all the picks.
RELATED: Darlington's throwback paint schemes In keeping with NASCAR's throwback-themed Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, here's a nod to Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Budweiser Chevy team's historic run this season. You have to go back to the days of lava lamps, bell-bottoms and the GMC Gremlin to find the last time a NASCAR Cup driver (Bobby Allison, 1972) has reeled off double-digit runner-up finishes as Harvick now has. The reigning Sprint Cup Series champ's two wins -- back-to-back trophies at Las Vegas and Phoenix -- punched his title defense ticket into the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . But it's his 10 second-place efforts and career-high 17 top-fives that keep him a favorite for his second Cup championship. It's the kind of superior consistency that creates confidence, maintains momentum and ultimately makes the team more likely to deliver in the clutch. There's two ways this many near-misses can be viewed -- either as encouraging "almosts" or discouraging "not-enoughs" -- but Harvick and his crew chief Rodney Childers are glass-half-full kind of guys. "It's a really fine balance and getting yourself frustrated over the success we're having would be really, really silly,'' Harvick offered with a smile as he waited out a rain delay during a test at Homestead-Miami Speedway last week. "I'm proud of what we've done and what we've accomplished. "We're all really confident with the way the year has gone. I think if you look at on a piece of paper it's definitely the best year I've ever had from a career standpoint. "I've been around this deal long enough to know those 10 second-place finishes could have swung to wins just as easily and they could have swung to 25th-place finishes just as easily. I'm really proud of the things we've done and feel like we're a better team than we were last year and having better results up to this point." The second-place finishes have contributed to a series-best 7.5 average finish through the first 24 races -- better than three-time winner Joey Logano (9.0 average finish) and four-time winners Jimmie Johnson (12.0) and Kyle Busch (12.5). So while Harvick may not have been visiting Victory Lane as often as those others, no one's been in close proximity more often -- heartening news for his Stewart-Haas Racing team and worrisome for everyone else. " The whole point of coming here (to SHR) was to have a chance of winning races week in and week out and we've done that; you can't force winning, when things are going your way they are and when they aren't, they're not,'' Harvick said. "It's a lot of fun to be a part of it and see the intensity and enthusiasm this team brings week in and week out because it's such a calm confidence around here. " The way we've run I think we could win the championship with everything we've done so far. I don't think we need to do anything any different because the cars are running great and we know what we're up against when the Chase starts and the grind of what that is. And I think we'll do that better than we did last year. " The best for us is in front of us." Runner-up finishes in a season Number Driver Year 18 David Pearson 1969 15 Bobby Allison 1970 14 Richard Petty 1964 13 Ned Jarrett 1965 12 Bobby Allison 1972 12 David Pearson 1968 12 Joe Weatherly 1962 12 Dick Rathmann 1953 10 Kevin Harvick 2015 10 Buck Baker 1958
Kyle Larson, Kyle Petty and Chris Heroy really try to embody the spirit of the throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway.
Take a look inside Kurt Busch’s car as he uses a digital dashboard for the first time at Darlington Raceway.
Fans take the pledge for their favorite drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in this promotional video.