Larson outduels Reddick to win Darlington playoff opener
Kyle Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, won the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, securing a spot in the Round of 12. Despite some challenges, including a momentary transmission issue and a brush with the wall, Larson held off Tyler Reddick to claim victory. This was Larson’s first win at Darlington and his third win of the season. Reddick finished second, followed by Chris Buescher in third. William Byron, who started 23rd, finished fourth. Other playoff drivers, including Brad Keselowski and Bubba Wallace, also had strong finishes. Larson now sits second in the playoff standings, just one point behind Byron. Several playoff drivers encountered difficulties, such as Denny Hamlin who had a loose wheel and was involved in a wreck, finishing 25th. Kevin Harvick also faced challenges that affected his race. Overall, it was an exciting and eventful start to the playoffs for Larson.