Monday, September 5, 2016

Truex Wins Southern 500 from Darlington

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Martin Truex Jr. won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 from Darlington Raceway on Sunday night.

Truex took the lead late in the race, and had to hold off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick over the closing laps for one of the biggest victories of his career.

“I’ve been wanting to win this thing for a long time,” Truex said.  “Couldn’t be happier to win at Darlington in the Southern 500.”
Brian Lawdermilk (Getty Images)

Truex said the victory was a testament to his team’s performance on pit road after they got him off pit road first during the final pit stop.

“The pit crew was flawless tonight; they won us the race,” Truex said.  “Just so proud to get to victory lane with this group.”

Harvick had a very different outlook on his pit crew following his runner-up finish.  Harvick had the fastest car of the night, leading 214 of 367 laps.  A few slow pit stops late in the race kept Harvick out of victory lane.

“You get in a position to win races and they continually step on their toes and they don’t make it happen,” Harvick said.  “I’m really proud of the car that we brought tonight…but you can only make so many excuses for pit road.”

“You get in a position where you bring a dominant car, and the guys in the shop and the guys in the garage are doing a great job, and the guys on pit road are doing a terrible job.”

The Chase field will be set next weekend at Richmond, the final race before NASCAR’s 10-race playoff.  Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray currently hold the three final Chase spots, with Ryan Newman only seven points behind McMurray for 16th in points.

Unofficial results:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kyle Larson
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Joey Logano
6. Matt Kenseth
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Ryan Newman
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Chase Elliott
11. Kyle Busch
12. Austin Dillon
13. Ryan Blaney
14. Jeff Gordon
15. Jamie McMurray
16. Paul Menard
17. Chris Buescher
18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19. Carl Edwards
20. Regan Smith
21. David Ragan
22. Clint Bowyer
23. AJ Allmendinger
24. Danica Patrick
25. Casey Mears
26. Matt DiBenedetto
27. Michael McDowell
28. Michael Annett
29. Josh Wise
30. Landon Cassill
31. Reed Sorenson
32. Aric Almirola
33. Jimmie Johnson
34. Kurt Busch
35. Tony Stewart
36. Greg Biffle
37. Cole Whitt
38. Jeffrey Earnhardt
39. Brian Scott
40. Trevor Bayne

Josh Hedges (Getty Images)

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