Post-Race Reactions: Showtime Southern 500
Edwards, Keselowski, Kahne and others congrat Regan Smith and comment on their race in Darlington.
The Southern 500 through an 8mm camera lens
Take a look back at the 2016 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway through the lens of a 1970s 8mm film camera.
NBC Sports throws it back at Darlington with Southern 500 coverage
STAMFORD, Conn. -- August 31, 2016 -- NBC Sports gears up for a throwback weekend of racing from Darlington highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on NBC and the XFINITY Series race Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC Sports joins Darlington Raceway in celebrating the sights and sounds of the 1975-1984 era with throwback themes integrated into this weekend's coverage. In addition to traditional graphics and historic logos, NASCAR on NBC's on-air team will dress in their best time period apparel. Throughout the weekend, NASCAR on NBC's pre-race set will be flanked by a series of old school cars from the decade. Music and footage from the era will also bring viewers in and out of commercial breaks. Race day coverage kicks off with a revamped version of Blake Shelton's NASCAR on NBC "Bringing Back the Sunshine" Open, full of racing moments spanning the track's incredible history. Legendary NASCAR broadcasters Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett return to the booth, alongside Dale Jarrett, to call a portion of the race. Squier adds his voice to a special pre-race feature on the storied Raceway. Pre-race coverage also includes a special three-car on-track preview of Darlington Raceway . In addition to Jeff Burton in the Toyota Camry on-track car, Kyle Petty will drive his father's famed 1979 No. 43 Championship race car alongside Dale Jarrett in fellow Hall of Famer Benny Parsons' No. 72 car. NBC SPORTS PRESENTS NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACING FROM DARLINGTON SUNDAY AT 6 P.M. ET NBC Sports begins its Sprint Cup coverage from "The Lady in Black" Friday with practice at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by final practice at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. An on-site edition of "NASCAR America" wraps up the day at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Saturday's coverage from Darlington Raceway includes "NASCAR America" at 1 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Sunday's race day coverage kicks off on NBCSN with NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET. NBC's coverage begins with "Countdown to Green" at 5:30 p.m. ET followed by race coverage at 6 p.m. ET. "NASCAR Victory Lap" at 11 p.m. ET wraps up the day. Race announcer Rick Allen calls this weekend's action alongside analysts Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton . Pre- and post-race coverage is handled by host Krista Voda, and analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns and Kelli Stavast report from pit road. Rutledge Wood, fresh off his journey to the Olympic Games in Rio, returns to bring viewers closer to the sights and sounds of the original paved superspeedway. XFINITY SERIES RACING RETURNS TO NBC SATURDAY AT 3:30 P.M. ET NBC Sports XFINITY coverage from "The Track Too Tough To Tame" begins Friday with practice at 12 p.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by final practice at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Race day coverage begins with qualifying on 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC's XFINITY coverage begins with Countdown to Green at 3 p.m. ET followed by race coverage at 3:30 p.m. ET. NBC SPORTS PRESENTS " SOUTHERN SPEED: THE LEGEND OF DARLINGTON" TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. ET ON NBCSN Leading up to this weekend's live NASCAR action from Darlington Raceway , NBC Sports presents a new one-hour special created to take fans inside the storied history of "The Track Too Tough To Tame." Produced in partnership with NASCAR productions, " Southern Speed: The Legend of Darlington" premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN, following a special 8 p.m. ET presentation of "NASCAR America." This morning's release previewing the special is available here . ARIC ALMIROLA & "THE KING" STAR IN THIS WEEK'S "PHONE A FAN" SOCIAL WEB VIDEO Aric Almirola and Richard Petty star in this week's new NASCAR on NBC "Phone a Fan" web video, where unsuspecting fans receive calls from their favorite NASCAR drivers. In the video released today on the NASCAR on NBC Facebook page and Twitter accounts, Barry from Egg Harbor, N.J., grills Almirola and Petty on when the No. 43 is going to make its way back Victory Lane. Check out the full video here . Ben Kennedy joins Ryan on this week's NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his first Camping World Truck Series victory at Bristol Motor Speedway and the outpouring of support he received from some NASCAR luminaries. Available on NASCAR Talk, iTunes, AudioBoom, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and podcasting apps, the NASCAR on NBC podcast discusses the latest NASCAR news each week with the major players in the sport. UPCOMING NASCAR PROGRAMMING Date Coverage Time (ET) Network Wed., Aug. 31 NASCAR America 8:00 PM NBCSN Southern Speed: The Legend of Darlington 9:00 PM NBCSN Thurs., Sept. 1 NASCAR America 6:00 PM NBCSN NASCAR Whelen Modified Series – Riverhead 7:00 PM NBCSN Fri., Sept. 2 NASCAR XFINITY Series Practice – Darlington 12:00 PM NBCSN NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice – Darlington 1:30 PM NBCSN NASCAR XFINITY Series Final Practice – Darlington 2:30 PM NBCSN NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice – Darlington 3:30 PM NBCSN NASCAR America 5:00 PM NBCSN NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – Douglas County 7:00 PM NBCSN Sat., Sept. 3 NASCAR XFINITY Series Qualifying – Darlington 11:30 AM NBCSN NASCAR America 1:00 PM NBCSN NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Darlington 1:30 PM NBCSN NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green 3:00 PM NBC NASCAR XFINITY Series Racing – Darlington 3:30 PM NBC Sun., Sept. 4 NASCAR America Sunday 5:00 PM NBCSN NASCAR Sprint Cup Countdown to Green 5:30 PM NBCSN NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing – Darlington 6:00 PM NBC NASCAR Victory Lap 11:00 PM NBCSN All of NBC Sports Group's NASCAR coverage is available to stream on NBCSports.com and via the NBC Sports app. The NBC Sports app is powered by Playmaker Media, and is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. NASCARTalk on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on NASCAR drivers, teams and industry news. For all the latest NASCAR content socially, fans can follow @NASCARonNBC and @NASCARTalkNBC on twitter and like the NASCAR on NBC Facebook page. For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com .
Truex eager for Daytona 500 after 2016 near miss
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! " 2016 Daytona race recap TAMPA -- Maybe it was appropriate that Martin Truex Jr . made a preseason appearance to promote the upcoming Daytona 500 at a National Hockey League game this week between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings. The oh-so-slight 0.010-second margin of victory between Truex and the 2016 Daytona 500 trophy is kind of like losing a hockey game on a final-second slap shot. That fast. That close. But when Truex arrived in Florida on Tuesday night he said he is more energized than ever about his chances to hoist NASCAR's most famous race trophy in the Feb. 26 Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.) Truth be told, the Furniture Row Racing driver has been thinking about the Daytona green flag since October of last year, when an engine failure at Talladega cost him a shot at the 2016 championship. RELATED: Truex picks up offseason internship at FOX "I always look forward to coming down here," Truex said. "When you get to Florida, you're like, 'This is nice.' " Thank you from @MartinTruex_Jr for following along today on this stop of the #ROADTODAYTONA500 at the @TBLightning game! pic.twitter.com/n4eDllcBH0 — Daytona IntlSpeedway (@DISupdates) February 8, 2017 As for the Daytona 500 , Truex remains as much encouraged as disappointed about last year's near-miss. Truex has collected two of his three top-10 Daytona 500 showings in just the last two years while driving for Furniture Row. Last year's runner-up finish to fellow Toyota driver Denny Hamlin was the closest margin of victory since the race began using electronic timing and scoring -- and it came in Truex's Furniture Row Racing team's debut with Toyota and its first year of a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing . "I don't think I've raced it any differently, really," Truex said." Two years ago I would say, I probably raced it like I had in the past, but this past year I definitely had more teammates than I've had before. "That made things a lot different. It's something I'll have to get used to, but we really worked together well in that race. "It's just one of those things where everything -- all the cards -- fell in our favor in last year's Daytona 500 . We raced well together, made good decisions to help each other. It just all worked out for us. It'll be hard to repeat that for sure." Any growing pains or natural concerns about the manufacturer shift were quickly shelved following Truex's impressive Daytona showing. What learning curve? He was driving and succeeding as if he and the team had been competing with Toyota horsepower for years. Truex reeled off a top 10 the next week at Atlanta (seventh) and an 11th at Phoenix the week after that. The team established itself as a frontrunner at the start of the 2016 season. And it ultimately proved to be a legitimate championship contender. "I think we weren't real sure and thought it might take a while for the transition and to get everything running smoothly," Truex said of the 2016 manufacturer change. "And then right out of the box we were strong and that really continued as we went to Atlanta, Phoenix, Vegas all those places. It was definitely an eye-opener for me, just to see the job the team did and how awesome it was working out already. "It definitely got me fired up for the season and feeling good about what we were going to have for the rest of the year." WATCH: Truex Jr. says of Daytona, 'It hurts a little bit' With good reason. Truex scored his first victory of the year in a historic performance in the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May. After winning the pole position, Truex led 392 of the 400 laps – the most dominant showing in the storied history of the Memorial Day weekend event. He answered that with victory in another of the sport's most tradition-rich races, the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway during Labor Day weekend. He won two more times (at Chicago and Dover) in the next four races – playoff events, no less. "Daytona does set the tone for the season," Truex said. "You can obviously overcome a bad Daytona but you know, just to have that confidence in what you did and what you worked on all winter long as a group and have it pay off right out of the gate was very rewarding and a template we can continue to use." An engine problem at Talladega –- after winning the pole position –- came three weeks after Truex's Dover victory, however. It ultimately ended the team's robust championship hopes and eliminated him from further Chase contention. As the No. 78 Toyota sat in the Talladega garage that sunny afternoon -- parked only 41 laps into the 192-lap race -- Truex made peace with the misfortune. It had been the winningest season in his 11-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career and gave him and the sport's only Colorado-based team great confidence going forward. But Truex did concede this week that since that disappointing October afternoon, he has thought often about taking the first green flag of the 2017 season. "We knew our season was over at that point," Truex said. "We had a chance to win some races after that but didn't, so that was disappointing. Since then, it's been like, 'All right, didn't happen that year, so we'll have to get after it the next year.' And here we are, just a couple weeks away and everyone's ready to go." RELATED: Full schedule for Daytona Speedweeks For Truex and his team, that first Daytona 500 win feels a mere photo-finish away. "Daytona is just a tough place," Truex said. "It's one of those races where anything can happen, as a restrictor plate race. I've had some unfortunate things happen over the years. The last two years we've really had fast race cars and that's helped us stay out of trouble and stay up towards the front. And that's really where you want to be. "It's kind of right place, right time and having fast race cars and hopefully we'll be able to do that again this year. "We'll see if we can improve one spot from last year; that's the plan." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Denny Hamlin's Daytona 500 -winning car right at home
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin will never forget winning the 2016 Daytona 500 . And how could he, with that winning car residing in his living room?
Dillon recalls chance meeting with Indy 500 champ
Austin Dillon walks through his chance meeting with 2017 Indianapolis 500 champion, Takuma Sato, while in New York celebrating Austin's Coca-Cola 600 victory.
Best in-car audio from the Bojangles' Southern 500
Check out the best in-car audio from the Bojangles' Southern 500 as Martin Truex Jr. grabs his second win of the year at the historic Darlington Raceway.
Terry Labonte to be Southern 500 grand marshal
MORE: Buy tickets for Darlington " SHOP: Darlington gear Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte will serve as grand marshal for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 6 (7 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio). Labonte is a sentimental favorite for the honor, as he is the series' last driver to win the Southern 500 when it was held on Labor Day weekend -- Aug. 31, 2003. It was the Class of 2016 Hall of Fame driver's final victory in Sprint Cup . "Darlington is where I won my first race and my last, and I'm honored to serve as grand marshal for the first time at the Bojangles' Southern 500 ," Labonte said in a press release Thursday. "I love the Labor Day tradition, and Darlington always brings back special memories for me. I look forward to being part of such a historic weekend for NASCAR." RELATED: Darlington's throwback paint schemes Labonte will give the command to drivers to start their engines accompanied by Bojangles' CEO Clifton Rutledge. Bojangles' has had the naming rights to the Southern 500 since 2012 and extended the partnership through 2019. " Darlington Raceway has such a rich history in NASCAR and the State of South Carolina, and it is truly a privilege for Bojangles' to have our brand aligned with such a memorable event," Rutledge said. "The Bojangles' Southern 500 is returning to Labor Day weekend where it belongs and that is a big deal to everyone, including all of us at Bojangles'. For me, being a part of giving the command to start engines with a NASCAR legend like Terry Labonte is a huge thrill." Labonte's two wins at Darlington in 1980 and 2003 were landmarks in a career marked by 22 wins, 182 top-five finishes and 27 poles in 890 starts from 1978 to 2014. His 361 top-10 finishes ranks 10th all time. Known as both the "Iceman" and the sport's "Iron Man," he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2016 along with Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. In 1998, Labonte was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, a perfect fit to participate in Darlington's throwback celebration that features remembrances of numerous NASCAR legends. MORE: Cale Yarborough throwback scheme " Bowyer's Baker tribute car Labonte won his first championship in 1984 driving the No. 44 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet owned by Billy Hagan with Hall of Fame crew chief Dale Inman. Labonte's second series championship came in 1996 driving the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Darlington releases throwback ticket design for Southern 500
RELATED: 2015 Darlington throwback paint schemes " Buy tickets Darlington Raceway on Thursday released its commemorative ticket design for the 2016 Southern 500 throwback weekend over the Labor Day holiday, Sept. 2-4. This year's commemorative ticket will hearken back to the ticket from the 1978 Southern 500 , featuring South Carolina native and Darlington Raceway legend David Pearson. It will be used for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Bojangles' Southern 500 and the NASCAR XFINITY Series' VFW Wport Clips Help a Hero 200 races. The design gives nods to the present and more recent past, as well, honoring the 2015 Souther 500 winner, Carl Edwards , and featuring more photos spanning the track's history. "The retro-style ticket was one of many touchpoints fans enjoyed during last season's throwback festivities," track President Chip Wile said. "We felt that it was important to continue to honor our rich history with a tremendous champion like David Pearson, while also celebrating last year's winner Carl Edwards , on the ticket." The 2015 throwback event was so popular that Darlington Raceway won the NMPA's Myers Brothers Award for the event. The 2016 theme focuses on the 1975-1984 era in NASCAR. MORE: Best photos from Darlington's throwback weekend
NASCAR.com's Southern 500 predictions
RELATED: Complete Sunday schedule " Kes takes Darlington pole Members of the NASCAR.com editorial team make their predictions for one of the most prestigious races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series calendar: the Bojangles' Southern 500 (7 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Zack Albert Kyle Busch : The tradition returns? Kyle Busch leading piles of laps at Darlington has some heritage, too. Kenny Bruce Jeff Gordon : A five-time Southern 500 winner, Gordon secures a spot in the Chase in his final Darlington appearance. Holly Cain Kevin Harvick : Coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes in the previous two races, it's time Harvick re-visits victory lane for a proper Chase send-off and his second straight Darlington win. MORE: Darlington throwback paint schemes Brad Norman Kurt Busch : The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has three career poles, but no wins at Darlington. That changes Sunday as the No. 41 notches a momentum-building win with the Chase looming. George Winkler Kevin Harvick : Fans looking for a surprise winner to shake up the Chase won't get it because Harvick has been just too good all season and is in prime position (third in lineup) for a repeat performance at Darlington. Pat DeCola Martin Truex Jr . : Sure, Truex started the season with 13 top-10s in his first 15 races and only has two in the nine events since, but it's hard to picture the No. 78 team not regaining its strength as we roll into the Chase. With a low-downforce package at Darlington that would seem to favor Truex -- a vocal proponent of as little downforce as possible -- a Southern 500 win for the Furniture Row Racing driver seems like more than just a dark horse pick. RJ Kraft Kevin Harvick : No Cup driver has repeated at Darlington since Greg Biffle did in 2006, and Harvick will as he also sees his string of oh-so-close calls for a third 2015 victory come to an end at the “Lady in Black." Jessica Ruffin Brad Keselowski : Pole-sitter Keselowski's speed during practice and qualifying at "The Lady in Black," coupled with his strength with the low downforce rules package at Kentucky tells me he is going to be a force to be reckoned with on Sunday night. Kathy Sheldon Joey Logano : He loved the low downforce package at Kentucky, finishing second with it. He's on a roll with two wins in the last three races. And he found some speed in practice at Darlington, breaking into the top 10 in early practice.
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