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The Monster Energy Cup series returns this weekend for night racing at Darlington.

FOX's Matt Napolitano with "FOX in the Fast Lane":

After a weekend away, the Cup series heads to Darlington with two races to go before the start of the playoffs. They'll go under the lights Sunday night at the track too tough to tame for the Bojangles Southern 500.

Only three spots are up for grabs in the Monster Energy Cup playoffs. Chase Elliott among those drivers on the bubble. This as Hendrick Motorsports announced a reshuffling in the numbers for 2018, with Elliott set to now drive the No. 9 for the team. Elliott says teammate Dale Jr. had a hand in making No. 9 a reality:

(Elliott) "I think he had done a little persuading himself to Mr. Hendrick too and, you know, really, I didn't really expect any of it to happen."

Elliott carrying on the legacy of his dad, Bill, with the No. 9, but who will take over behind the wheel of the No. 24 once driven by Jeff Gordon? Well, that will be William Byron:

(Byron) "I've got a great opportunity at Hendrick Motorsports to succeed and a lot of great resources, so there's some pressure there, but there's also a lot of excitement."

Byron and Elliott speaking with Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

FOX in the Fast Lane, I'm Matt Napolitano, FOX News.

Follow Matt Napolitano on Twitter: @MattNapolitano