RFK Racing and Chris Buescher’s pre-playoff cutoff charge culminated in his third race win and fourth top-ten finish in the last five races, claiming the checkered flag at Daytona in overtime.

While Buescher had secured his playoff spot by winning at Richmond, his Daytona win ended Chase Elliott’s (+1600) playoff hopes, while a 12th-place finish at Daytona was good enough for 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace to secure the final playoff sport.

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs open at one of the series’ most enduring tracks, Darlington Raceway, with William Byron and Martin Truex Jr. as co-top seeds with 2036 points focused on extending their championship lead.

Bangthebook has our pick to win at Darlington, plus some top-five and top-ten picks in our NASCAR Cook Out Southern 500 betting preview.

Check out the full Cook Out Southern 500 odds over on Bookmaker

Is Ford’s Best Chance to Win RFK Racing or Team Penske?

While not discounting Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (+1400) – who is the 15 seed in the playoffs, Ford’s best chance to win at Darlington is split between four drivers from two teams: RFK Racing and Team Penske.

RFK Racing

RFK Racing has three drivers in the playoffs, with Chris Buescher (+1600) stealing the spotlight with three race wins and four top-ten finishes in the last five races. Buescher has 12 top-ten finishes this season.

Buescher’s teammate Brad Keselowski (+1800) might not have a race win in his 11 top-ten finishes in 2023, but he has previous success at Darlington, winning the Fall race in 2018.

Team Penske

We’re not high on Team Penske’s duo in the playoffs.

2022 Cup Series Champion Joey Logano (+1800) finished 18th in the Spring at Darlington but is coming off a fifth-place finish at Daytona – one of four top-ten finishes in the last seven races.

Ryan Blaney (+1800) finished 36th at Daytona but looks to improve on his ninth-place finish at Darlington – one of Blaney’s 12 top-ten finishes this season.

Hendrick Motorsports and the top Chevrolet Contenders

Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports has two drivers in the mix for the Drivers’ Championship, and while William Byron (+800) is the co-top seed with 2036 points, all focus is on Kyle Larson (+500).

Larson won the Xfinity Series’ Spring stop at Darlington, following that performance with a second-place finish on the Cup Series. Larson has 12 top-ten finishes this season but only scored two top-ten finishes in the previous five races.

For Byron’s part, he won the Spring stop at Darlington and is coming off a second consecutive top-ten performance, one of five race wins and 13 top-ten finishes this season.

Both playoff-bound Hendrick Motorsports drivers are among BetOnline’s favorites and should be in your picks for a top-five and top-ten finish while receiving strong consideration as your pick to win at Darlington.

Ross Chastain and Kyle Busch

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain (+850) won a stage but finished 29th at Darlington’s Spring race, only having one top-ten finish in the previous nine races, and someone we’re picking for a top-ten finish, but not the race win.

Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch (+1100) won at Darlington back in 2008 and finished seventh in the Spring race at Darlington. However, Busch only scored two of his 14 top-ten finishes in the previous seven races.

Toyota’s Two Chances to Win

There’s only six Toyota rides on the Cup Series, and five made the Cup Series playoffs. However, Toyota’s best chances at Darlington ride with a duo from Joe Gibbs Racing.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin (+700) has the most Fall wins at Darlington on the Cup Series, winning three times while scoring five top-ten finishes in the last seven races.

Martin Truex Jr. (+500) shares co-top seed honors with Byron, won at Darlington in 2016, has five top-ten finishes in the previous seven races, and should be among your potential picks to win at Darlington and finish in the top ten.

BangtheBook’s NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 Pick

BangtheBook is taking to Martin Truex Jr. to win at Darlington.

Bet on the Cook Out Southern 500 at Bookmaker!