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How to watch the NASCAR Cook Out Southern 500 race

Kevin Harvick leads Denny Hamlin during a July 2020 race at Kansas Speedway, a familiar position for the two top drivers in the Cup Series standings heading into the playoffs.
Kevin Harvick leads Denny Hamlin during a July 2020 race at Kansas Speedway, a familiar position for the two top drivers in the Cup Series standings heading into the playoffs. (Image credit: Kyle Rivas / Getty Images)

NASCAR's Cup Series playoffs will begin this weekend with the Cook Out Southern 500 Sunday Sept. 6, and fans will have plenty of streaming options to catch the action. 

The race begins at 6 p.m. Eastern time Sunday from Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. NBCSN will air the event, and that channel can be found on a variety of streaming services. 

How to watch the Cook Out Southern 500

This race will be found on NBCSN. Outside cable and satellite packages, the channel can be found on major streaming services. 

Sling's Blue package carries NBCSN for just $30 a month. But be aware: sports fans won't have access to ESPN through that route because the worldwide leader is offered on Sling Orange. You can get both for $45 per month. 

Hulu With Live TV and AT&T TV Now, which each cost $55 per month, both offer NBCSN, as do the slightly pricier options of YouTube TV and FuboTV, which each cost $65 per month. Check out each service's website to see what channels offerings, including locals, is the right mix for you. 

Each of those services comes with a free trial and can be used on popular platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV

Race preview

The Southern 500 marks the beginning of NASCAR's Cup Series playoffs. The top 16 drivers from the regular season advanced to this stage of the season:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Martin Truex, Jr. 
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Alex Bowman
  9. William Byron
  10. Austin Dillon 
  11. Cole Custer
  12. Aric Almirola
  13. Clint Bowyer
  14. Kyle Busch
  15. Kurt Busch
  16. Matt DiBenedetto 

Last week, William Byron earned his first career victory at the Coke Zero Sugar 400, which sealed a spot in the playoffs for the 22-year-old driver. 

The round of 16 will last for three races before the playoff field is cut to 12. Eventually, there will be four drivers left in contention for the Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway Nov. 8. 

Harvick and Hamlin remain the favorites to win it all this year. Fittingly, they won the last two races at Darlington back in May, when the Cup Series held back-to-back races there. Harvick has seven wins this year and Hamlin has six, which is twice as much as the No. 3 driver in the standings, Keselowski. 

Darlington Raceway will allow fans in the stands, but the number of spectators and some amenities will be limited due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.