NASCAR: The Eckel 3 pick "Throwback Night" at Darlington Raceway and are deciding between Hamlin, Truex, Larson and Keselowski
Denny Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. Hamlin was stripped of his win after he failed post-race inspection. Cole Custer was declared the winner. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)Associated Press

NASCAR: The Eckel 3 pick "Throwback Night" at Darlington Raceway and are deciding between Hamlin, Truex, Larson and Keselowski

The race is at 6 pm EDT.

Bojangles Southern 500, Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C., 6 p.m.

NASCAR heads to the oldest super speedway in the country for “Throwback Night’’ in Darlington, Sunday.

Drivers and their cars will look like it’s 1994 when they take the track in the next-to-last race before the playoffs begin.

It all started at Darlington in 1950 when Johnny Mantz took the checkered flag. Jeff Gordon has the most wins here, with six. That’s the same amount of current drivers who have won a race at the 1,366-mile track.

Included among those six is Jimmie Johnson, who is he fight of his career to make the playoffs for the 18th straight season, or every year he has raced.

Johnson, with 565, points, is currently 18th, 26 points behind Daniel Suarez, who sits in the 16th and final playoff spot. Kurt Bowyer is 17th, with 589 points.

The other five active drivers with wins at Darlington include Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, who won here in 2018.

Chevy has dominated over the years at Darlington with 27 wins, but lately it’s been Toyota, with four wins over the past six years.

Here’s the selections for the winner, top 3, top 5 and your fantasy tams from The Eckel 3, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker and Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney.

Denny Hamlin (7-1): The red-hot Hamlin was on all three “experts’’ selections and with good reason. He’s won here as recent at 2017 and he’s on a six-race, top-five tear. My new favorite to win the championship, Hamlin could get his fifth win of the season and break the tie with Busch and Logano.

Kyle Larson (4-1): Looking for his first win of the season and first win ever at Darlington, Larson emerged as the favorite when he qualified in the third position, Saturday. That was enough to convince “Left Turn’’ who lobbied for him.

Martin Truex Jr. (8-1): Truex, who is currently in fourth place in the standings, hasn’t raced as well lately as he did in the middle of the season. But he knows Darlington. He won here in 2016 and finished second in 2017. That can’t be ignored.

Brad Keselowski (7-1): BK will try to repeat here, which isn’t easy. Gordon won four straight from 1995-98, but the only repeat winner since was Greg Biffle in 2005-06.

Keselowski should be in the mix, at least that’s what “Tobacco Road’’ thinks.


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