NASCAR at Darlington results: Kyle Larson captures Southern 500, finally breaks through at Lady in Black

Kyle Larson had been waiting for this one.

The Hendrick Motorsports star has a cabinet teeming with hardware. But jewels are a man’s best friend. And in the Southern 500, Larson had one glimmering gemstone he hadn’t yet snagged.

It’s not as if he hadn’t come close. Larson finished as a runner-up at Darlington three times prior. But it always seemed like something went against him; from pit road pitfalls to brushes with the inside wall.

Not this time, though. Larson slipped through the mire, racing from 18th to first en route to his first career win at the Lady in Black.

It wasn’t easy; Larson had to hold off furious rallies from Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher, both of whom kept things interesting as the laps dwindled down.

Ultimately, though, it was the 2020 Cup Series champion who reigned supreme, using every bit of that postseason nous to hold off his adversaries. He takes his place in the Round of 12 swaddled in sapphire. Every one else now has to catch up.

MORE: Watch the Southern 500 live with Fubo (free trial)

The Sporting News tracked live updates from Sunday’s race at Darlington, the Southern 500. Below are the highlights and results as the Cup Series playoffs kicked off in South Carolina.

NASCAR at Darlington results

(Results are unofficial)

Place Driver Car No. Team
1 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
2 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
3 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
4 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Ross Chastain 1 Trackhouse Racing
6 Brad Keselowski 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
7 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
8 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
9 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
10 Erik Jones 43 Legacy Motor Club

NASCAR at Darlington live updates, highlights from Southern 500

(All times Eastern)

10:38 p.m.: Kyle Larson wins the Southern 500! He’s on to the next round of the playoffs!

10:35 p.m.: Four laps to go. Larson still putting up impressive numbers. Reddick is trying to keep up, but he’s got Buescher going hard as well. Byron is also in the equation. It’s looking more and more like a Larson victory is on the cards. Might make sense for the No. 45 to be on the defensive.

10:31 p.m.: 12 laps to go. Larson still up top. Reddick is still trying to find his way beyond Larson but he’s falling behind. Buescher holding firm in third. Wallace and Chastain on pace to put up a very strong showing.

10:27 p.m.: Reddick is a few car lengths away. But that No. 5 just has the composure to keep things steady.

10:24 p.m.: Larson into the wall! Reddick doing everything in his power to try to take advantage. Larson keeping things steady even as he grazes the paint on the inside of the wall.

10:22 p.m.: Green flag back out. Larson and Reddick competing for the top spot. Buescher, Byron and Wallace not too far behind. Playoff drivers are pushing hard with 30 laps remaining. Reddick really putting his foot down as he attempts to sip beyond Larson. However, looks like the No. 45 car lost some of his grip as he went around the bend, giving Larson some additional breathing room.

10:13 p.m.: CAUTION! Todd Gilliland goes twirling after losing control near the inside wall. In the process, he sets off contact between three playoff drivers: McDowell, Hamlin and Bell. Truex and Harvick weren’t too far away, either. Serious damage for McDowell across his right front bumper.

10:12 p.m.: Back to green and it’s Larson with the slightest of leads over Chris Buescher. 38 laps to go and that No. 17 car is flying. Another driver who is flying: Wallace, who sits in P6. Impressive recovery for the 23XI Racing star.

9:58 p.m.: CAUTION! We went back to green, but just for a fleeting moment; Alex Bowman placed an aggressive block on Daniel Suarez, sending the No. 48 into the barrier. Harrison Burton was the odd man out, colliding with a spinning Burton. Bowman went all the way down to the bottom and attempted to block him across the Suarez’s nose once more. Really baffling move by Bowman, who practically wrecked himself with his belligerence there.

9:48 p.m.: CAUTION! Reddick just holding off Harvick. Ryan Newman loses control after Reddick slows down in a bizarre attempt to catch up with the No. 4 car in pit road. That’s a big break for the No. 45 car. The same can’t be said for Harvick, though.

9:40 p.m.: Hamlin is dropping like a stone. He’s a lap down, sitting in P30. What a difference a few laps make.

9:30 p.m.: Reddick takes the lead spot over after overtaking Corey LaJoie. He’s got a little over a second over William Byron. 89 laps remaining in the race.

9:26 p.m.: First round of pit stops taking place. Quick changes for Larson and Wallace, both of whom have impressed in the final stage. Reddick and Hamlin jostling back and forth in P3 and P4. Looks like the No. 45 car is flying at the moment. Hamlin having some problems with one of his wheels. He’s on the way to pit road.

9:18 p.m.: Strong recoveries by Wallace and Chastain, both of whom struggled on Stage 2. Wallace sits in eighth, while Chastain sits just outside the top-ten.

9:09 p.m.: Green again at Darlington! Kevin Harvick is on new tires and he’s pushing at the top of the field. He currently sits at P6. Wallace and Briscoe going back and forth for P9, but it’s Briscoe with the advantage thus far.

9:00 p.m.: Back to green with two laps to go in the stage! Jones put up a good fight, but he falls short of Larson and Hamlin, who claims the stage. Impressively, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pulls up to 10th. He was a lead lap down not too long ago.

8:54 p.m.: CAUTION! Contact between Austin Cindric and Ty Gibbs results in a collision. Wallace and Logano did a good job avoiding the wreck.

8:53 p.m.: Jones holding tight with Larson while distancing himself from fourth-place Reddick.

8:52 p.m.: Back to green! Hamlin spearheading the movement atop the field. Erik Jones pushing hard in third.

8:44 p.m.: CAUTION! B.J. McLeod parked out in front of his car with 14 laps left in Stage 2. Expect some chaos on the restart.

8:34 p.m.: Reddick keeping pace with Hamlin and Larson. He’s jostling back and forth with the No. 5 for P2. As it stands, it’s Larson with the advantage.

8:32 p.m.: Big time move by Ryan Blaney, who goes three wide before slipping past Busch and Elliott to get up to P7.

8:31 p.m.: Our long national nightmare is over! We’re back to green at the Lady in Black!

8:27 p.m.: Let there be light! We’re back to yellow here at Darlington.

8:24 p.m.: Well, this is just funny.

8:21 p.m.: RED FLAG! Cars are parked as the problems with the lightning prove too detrimental to continue for the time being. Now, we wait.

8:18 p.m.: Light levels still diminished down on Turns 3 and 4. Seems like drivers aren’t too pleased with the concept of going green, as it’s proving difficult to go around the bend — it’s just too difficult to maneuver past that wall.

8:08 p.m.: Bell has been having a bit of horror show. Between his crew’s faux pas in pit road and a kiss of death on the inside wall, the No. 20 has looked anything but the purple blur he was during qualifying yesterday.

8:04 p.m.: CAUTION! Problems for NASCAR as nightfall approaches. Canary banner waved as track officials work to get the inside lights on Turns 3 and 4 working. Time to take a breath.

7:57 p.m.: Numerous drivers are at least a lap down, including regular season champion Martin Truex Jr. Yikes…

7:37 p.m.: Race restarts and it’s Hamlin still out front. Kyle Larson jot too far back. Wallace didn’t look to have suffered too much damage.

7:24 p.m.: CAUTION! Hamlin takes Stage 1. As he crosses the finish line, though, Bubba Wallace spins following a collision with Joey Logano! Not ideal for the 23XI Racing star in his first playoff start.

7:12 p.m.: Much of the same for Michael McDowell, who also just got lapped. Challenging escapade for playoff drivers in the early stages.

7:08 p.m.: Ross Chastain has been struggling thus far. The Trackhouse Racing star just got lapped on the pit cycle. Not the greatest of starts for the No. 1 car.

7:00 p.m.: Things staying steady as we approach the end of the first stage. Hamlin cruising up top, overtaking Bell, who suffered an unfortunate indignity on the track — his team had the jack drop the car on the right side, forcing a delay on pit road.

6:30 p.m.: Impressive showing by Carson Hocevar so far. The Truck Series star is making his Cup Series debut in Legacy Motor Club’s No. 42 car. He put together quite the qualifying lap, clocking in with a top-15 time. Been keeping the pace in the early stages, too.

6:25 p.m.: Wallace already making his way up in the track. Took a slight bump from A.J. Allmendinger, but he went from P18 to P13 in eight laps.

6:20 p.m.: And we’re off! Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin leading the way! Strong run by Tyler Reddick, who has thrust himself beyond Hamlin and into second.

6:10 p.m.: Hasn’t been the most prolific season for reigning Cup Series champion Joey Logano. But with the playoffs starting up, it could be time for him to turn things up. Race commands are in! We’re about 10 minutes from the race’s start.

5:55 p.m.: Ryan Preece back in the saddle for this race. His eyes may be a bit bruised, but his vision is still clear.

5:45 p.m.: First race of the Cup Series postseason. The air here is thick with tension. JGR in the driver’s seat with two drivers in the front row.

5:20 p.m.: Only car to the rear is Kyle Busch. Will be a long road back for the RCR star.

What channel is NASCAR on today?

  • TV channel: USA (U.S.) | TSN5 (Canada)
  • Live stream: Peacock, Fubo
  • Radio: MRN

Saturday’s race will be broadcast on USA Network in the United States. Canadian viewers can find the action on TSN5.

Veteran announcer Rick Allen will lead the race’s lap-by-lap commentator. He’ll be joined by former Cup Series stars Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr., as well as former Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte.

Cord-cutters can follow the action on Peacock, as well as with Fubo, which offers a free trial.

NASCAR start time today

  • Date: Sunday, September 3
  • Time: 6 p.m. ET

The Southern 500 has a listed start time of 6 p.m. ET., but pre-race festivities are expected to push the waving of the green flag closer to 6:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR at Darlington starting lineup 2023

Leading the field for Sunday night’s race are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin. Below is the rest of the starting lineup for the race:

Starting pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Christopher Bell (P) 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 Denny Hamlin (P) 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 Tyler Reddick (P) 45 23XI Racing
4 Ryan Blaney (P) 12 Team Penske
5 Brad Keselowski (P) 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
6 Joey Logano (P) 22 Team Penske
7 Kevin Harvick (P) 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
8 Chris Buescher (P) 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
9 Michael McDowell (P) 34 Front Row Motorsports
10 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
11 Kyle Busch (P) 8 Richard Childress Racing
12 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
13 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
14 Austin Cindric 2 Team Penske
15 Carson Hocevar 42 Legacy Motor Club
16 A.J. Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
17 Ty Gibbs 54 Joe Gibbs Racing
18 Kyle Larson (P) 5 Hendrick Motorsports
19 Bubba Wallace (P) 23 23XI Racing
20 Erik Jones 43 Legacy Motor Club
21 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
22 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
23 William Byron (P) 24 Hendrick Motorsports
24 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
25 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
26 Ty Dillon 77 Spire Motorsports
27 Ross Chastain (P) 1 Trackhouse Racing
28 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
29 Justin Haley 31 Kaulig Racing
30 Todd Gilliland 38 Front Row Motorsports
31 Martin Truex Jr. (P) 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
32 Harrison Burton 21 Wood Brothers Racing
33 J.J. Yeley 15 Rick Ware Racing
34 Ryan Preece 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
35 Ryan Newman 51 Rick Ware Racing
36 B.J. McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports

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