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Bojangles’ Southern 500

Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C.

3 p.m. today, Fox (5); race starts at 3:45 p.m.

Rating Driver Odds Practice 1 Practice 2 Qualified Darlington 2012

1. Kyle Busch 5/1 6th 10th 3rd 4th
2008 winner with 15.5 average finish; high marks because of power on 1.5-mile tracks

2. Jeff Gordon 12/1 26th 8th 8th 35th
Seven-time Southern 500 winner, four in row from 1995 to 1998; 700th career Cup start

3. Jimmie Johnson 6/1 16th 15th 2nd 1st
Three-time winner, including last fall; 9.1 average finish second best among active drivers

4. Clint Bowyer 18/1 2nd 19th 13th 11th
Best finish was ninth in 2007, but had strong practices with good average speeds

5. Brad Keselowski 12/1 22nd 31st 26th 15th
Career-best third place in 2011; 9.3 average finish; using fourth-place Phoenix chassis

6. Martin Truex Jr. 12/1 7th 9th 5th 5th
Best career finish last season; 11.3 average finish one of his best; practiced very well

7. Greg Biffle 12/1 10th 6th 9th 12th
Two-time winner for his only top-five finishes in 12 starts; using 10th-place Texas chassis

8. Carl Edwards 10/1 5th 3rd 17th 7th
Runner-up in 2008 and 2011, with 13.1 average finish; using Bristol chassis

9. Kurt Busch 40/1 19th 1st 1st 21st
10th anniversary of wild runner-up finish to Ricky Craven, still his best career finish here

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 20/1 4th 11th 16th 17th
Second-best 10-consecutive lap average in Practice 1; using sixth-place Bristol chassis

* Because there are no similar tracks to Darlington Raceway‘s 1.336-mile layout, results from the race run on May 12, 2012, serve as the best reference.

Odds courtesy of LVH

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more of Roberts’ insights on the race, go to The Linemakers on SportingNews.com or follow on Twitter: @MicahRoberts7.

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