It sure is great to have fans back in the stands at NASCAR races, isn’t it? We’re not sure what sounds better, the roar of a full crowd in the grandstands or the roar of jet engines during a pre-race flyover.
But the good news is that NASCAR fans got to hear both prior to the start of Sunday’s first NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Darlington Raceway. Before the race got underway, we got the full fan playoff experience — something we have been waiting for over a year now. The invocation, the national anthem, and the patriotic military flyover all took place as expected before drivers fired up their engines to take their cars around the track for pace laps.
The official NASCAR Twitter account posted a 20-second clip showing the at-capacity crowd go wild as the anthem and flyover came to an end. Take a look for yourself down below:
“Incredible,” NASCAR captioned the post.
NASCAR fans, meanwhile, were just as pumped up as we are. And we aren’t talking about the fans who were at the race. It’s pretty obvious that they were hyped up. But we are talking about those who are watching the race at home.
“This gave me chills,” one fan replied on Twitter.
And like us, another fan is glad to have a full crowd to cheer on their favorite drivers.
“I loved hearing the roar of the crowd,” they wrote.
And finally, a fellow Twitter follower loved the pregame festivities. But they are ready for the actual race to start up.
“Never gets old!! Now it’s time for some cup series racing!”
The Cook Out Southern 500 began on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
NASCAR Star Denny Hamlin Wins Stage 1 at Darlington
In the end, there were 16 NASCAR drivers who made the cut for the 2021 Cup Series Playoffs. And going into the race on Sunday, most people’s eyes were on two drivers in particular: Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.
Larson, the driver of the No. 5 Chevy Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports, had an incredible regular season this year. He won the regular season Cup Series Championship. And as for Chase Elliott, he had a solid season as well — particularly coming in strong at the end of the year. Elliott finished in the top 10 in each of the final four races. Oh, and did we mention that he is the defending Cup Series Champion?
With all of that said, it’s actually Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Denny Hamlin who stole the show in Stage 1 of the Southern 500. It’s the first stage Hamlin has won since the race at Richmond back in April. And coming right behind Hamlin in second place, is the man everyone knew who would be right near the top — Kyle Larson.
We’ll see how the rest of the race plays out.