There are just two weeks left before NASCAR’s playoffs begin and there are still plenty of automatic bids left to the taking. Denny Hamlin has to be thrilled that the tour is headed back to Darlington Raceway.

The defending champion of this Bojangles Southern 500, Hamlin is second among active drivers with 2 wins at the 1.366-mile monitor and he’s seven top 5s and 10 top 10s to proceed with it at 12 career races at the track. He has finished in the top 3 of his last six races at Darlington and top 4 at five of the last six on this track.

The 38-year-old needs to be thrilled to make his way to South Carolina this week as he looks for his first victory of the year as well as an automatic berth into the playoffs. But with just 3 finishes inside the top 10 in his past six races, he is not performing his absolute best.

The Big 3 of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are doing just that. All three have wins on the track in their careers and have combined for 11 top 5s and 24 top 10s at Darlington Raceway. Busch is second among active drivers in driver rating in the South Carolina track (105.1) and he’s our pick to win the Bojangles Southern 500.

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