At first, it looked like Mother Nature would fill the lady in black with nothing but tears. However, the tears went away and NASCAR went back to Darlington in what was a race that had lead changes, sparks and tempers in the end.
Denny Hamlin has won the Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway. The 11 FedEx Delivering Strength Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing led 12 laps and Hamlin, with his smile mask got his second win of the season in the rain shortened race. This time, there were no worries. The rest of Hamlin’s teammates finished in the top ten. Kyle Busch battled an early struggling racecar to finish second in the 18 M&M’s Fudge Brownie Toyota. Kyle Busch did not leave the race happy as he unintentionally spun out the 9 of Chase Elliott. Busch would have a conversation with his former crew chief Alan Gustafson. 2019 Southern 500 winner Erik Jones led 27 laps, finishing fifth in the 20 STANLEY Toyota, finishing fifth. Martin Truex Jr led 16 laps and finished 10th in the 19 Bass Pro Shops Tracker Boats/ATV Camry.
Few Hendrick Motorsport drivers were in the top 10 earlier, but fell off the map. The highest finisher was Jimmie Johnson who bounced back after his wreck on Sunday. The 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro was silent throughout the night, riding in the top 20. Johnson would end up finishing eighth, a great bounce back performance. William Byron was another one who faded after stage one. Byron’s 24 Axalta camaro did not lead a lap, finishing 12th. Alex Bowman finished 18th in the 88 NOCO/ChevyGoods.com Camaro. Chase Elliott was a contender until he and Kyle Busch got together, wrecking Elliott. He ended up showing his displeasure to Busch by giving him the one finger salute. The 9 NAPA Auto Parts camaro led 28 laps but finished 38th.
Stewart-Haas Racing was just as good as they were during Sunday’s race. However, while one was dominant and won Sunday, one was dominant and wrecked. Kevin Harvick looked to go back to back at darlington, but this time just came up short. The 4 Mobil1 Ford Mustang led 10 laps and finished third. Aric Almirola finished seventh in the 10 Smithfield/ Feeding America #GoodFoodChallenge Ford. Clint Bowyer was looking for his first win since Michigan of 2018 and it seemed as if he would break that winless streak. Bowyer would lead 71 laps and sweep the first two stages. However, the 14 Rush/Mobil Delvac 1 Mustang finished 22nd. Rookie Cole Custer hit the wall later on and finished 31st in the 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang.
Team Penske showed a decent showing in the night Darlington race. Brad Keselowski led seven laps and finished fourth in the 2 PIRTEK Ford. Joey Logano led 19 laps and finished sixth in the 22 Shell/Pennzoil Mustang. Ryan Blaney finished 21st in the 12 12 Moen/Menards Ford.
Ryan Newman continues to impress even after his horrific crash at Daytona. Newman led five laps while playing strategy. The 6 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs Ford for Roush-Fenway Racing finished 14th. His teammate Chris Buescher spun out early on, but came back to finish 23rd in the 17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford.
Second year Cup driver Ryan Preece was the pole sitter and was in the top ten throughout the night. However. engine troubles had the 37 Tide Power Pods Chevrolet Camaro finish dead last in 39th. His teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr did not wreck on the first lap, but ended up wrecking again. The 47 Kroger Camaro finished 25th.
Ty Dillon started second and led eight laps in the 13 GEICO Hump Day Chevy for Germain Racing. However, the more funded and powerful cars charged toward him and ended up passing him. Dillon would finish 19th.
Few underfunded cars also Led a lap. Daniel Suárez led a lap in the 96 Toyota Dealers Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing during pit stops. Suárez finished 27th. Rookie Brendan Pool led a lap and was upfront since he didn’t pit. However, The 15 Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech has a transmission failure, finishing a tough 37th place.
The next race is the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway where Martin Truex Jr looks to defend his win.
TOYOTA 500 RESULTS:
- Denny Hamlin 11 FedEx Delivering Strength Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Kyle Busch 18 Fudge Brownie M&M’s Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Kevin Harvick 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Brad Keselowski 2 PIRTEK Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Erik Jones 20 Stanley Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Joey Logano 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Aric Almirola 10 Smithfield/Feeding America #GoodFoodChallenge Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Jimmie Johnson 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Matt DiBenedetto 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Mustang Wood Brothers Racing
- Martin Truex Jr. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats/ATVs Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Christopher Bell (R) 95 Procore Construction Software Toyota Camry Leavine Family Racing
- William Byron 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Tyler Reddick (R) 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Ryan Newman 6 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs Ford Mustang Roush-Fenway Racing
- Kurt Busch 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
- Bubba Wallace 43 Victory Junction Chevrolet Camaro Richard Petty Motorsports
- Michael McDowell 34 carparts.com Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Alex Bowman 88 NOCO/ChevyGoods.com Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ty Dillon 13 GEICO Hump Day Chevrolet Camaro Germain Racing
- Austin Dillon 3 Dow “Keep America Beautiful” Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Ryan Blaney 12 Moen/Menards Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Clint Bowyer 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Chris Buescher 17 Fifth-Third Bank Ford Mustang Roush-Fenway Racing
- Corey LaJoie 32 Keen Parts/CorvetteParts.net Ford Mustang Go Fas Racing
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 Kroger Chevrolet Camaro JTG-Daugherty Racing
- Quin Houff 00 Good Greek Moving Storage Chevrolet Camaro StarCom Racing
27. Daniel Suárez 96 Toyota Dealers Toyota Camry Gaunt Brothers Racing
- J.J. Yeley 77 Swamp Rabbits/Bon Secours Chevrolet Camaro Spire Motorsports
- Joey Gase 51 Agri Supply/Sharing Hope SC Chevrolet Camaro Rick Ware Racing
- Matt Kenseth 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
31. Cole Custer (R) 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Gray Gaulding (R) 27 Panini Trading Cards Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- Timmy Hill 66 RoofClaim.com Toyota Camry MBM Motorsports
- Garrett Smithley 53 Trophy Tractor Heavy Equipment Sales Rental Chevrolet Camaro Rick Ware Racing
- John Hunter Nemechek (R) 38 SCAG Power Equipment Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- B.J. McLeod 78 Christensen Arms Chevrolet Camaro B.J. McLeod Motorsports
- Brennan Poole (R) 15 Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech Chevrolet Camaro Premium Motorsports
- Chase Elliott 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ryan Preece 37 Tide Power Pods Chevrolet Camaro JTG-Daugherty Racing
Ian O’Brien is a Contributor for the Unwrapped Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter @IanOBOBrien.