NASCAR lineup at Darlington: Starting order, pole for Southern 500 based on qualifying results

The Cup Series has finally reached its crescendo. Now, racers will be greeted by the Lady in Black, one of the more challenging courses in all of NASCAR.

It’s been a grueling campaign for those sweet 16 racers, many of whom have had to endure bone-rattling wrecks and pit road mishaps that would leave a smaller person cowering. For the likes of Bubba Wallace, the playoffs was far from a certainty; the 23XI Racing driver had long been playing for points, establishing a solid, if unspectacular, lead over Ty Gibbs and Daniel Suarez in the standings.

LIVE: Updates, highlights from the Southern 500 at Darlington

Then came Daytona, a cesspool of unpredictability. Wallace was the lucky one, avoiding two major wrecks to cruise to a P11 finish. With Chris Buescher capturing his third win, that was all he needed to make it into the playoffs.

How will his inaugural bow in postseason play turn out? It’s hard to tell. Wallace is a superspeedway darling and has shown improving consistency on road courses. He’s got a pair of Cup Series wins to his name, to go along with plenty of speed and verve. Perhaps he can spark an unexpected run and take his place among the game’s elite.

One thing is clear, though: if Wallace wants to put together a good showing, he’d do well to impress during Saturday’s qualifying. He’s facing a major deficit in playoff points at present; it would be nice to cut into that gap with a strong showcase during the Southern 500.

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

With that, here’s what you need to know about the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Darlington.

Who won the pole for Darlington in 2023?

Christopher Bell took the pole for Sunday’s race, blazing past the rest of the field with the fastest lap time in qualifying. He outpaced Denny Hamlin, who will join him in the front row. It’s his seventh career pole and fourth of the season for Bell.

MORE: Updated points, scenarios as drivers chase Cup Series championship

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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