NASCAR on the race leads to Darlington: Martin Truex Jr. brings Goodyear 400 to 3rd win of the season
For a while, it looked like the Goodyear 400 was turning into a caution-filled mess at Darlington Raceway.
For Martin Truex Jr., who celebrated his third win of the season in the NASCAR Cup Series, he became routinely dominant. No other racing driver has more than one. In addition to winning every stage in Darlington, Truex was the first stage winner to win on the circuit.
Despite his dominance – Truex led 248 of 293 laps – it seemed as if the track would shut down a number of cars prematurely: just seven laps later, Aric Almirola hit his car against the inside wall at Turn 2. Two other racing drivers – Cole Custer and Kurt Busch – finished their races in the second stage; Custer suffered an accident similar to Almirola on lap 98, while Busch’s car lost fuel on lap 107.
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After that, Darlington saw no more precautionary measures for cause. The race came closest after Kyle Larson moved up to second with 36 laps to go after a Truex green flag pit stop. In the final laps he managed to shorten the distance to under half a second, but then fell behind in the final laps.
Check out the updates and highlights from Sporting News from the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway:
NASCAR at Darlington Live Updates, Goodyear 400 Highlights
All times east
19 o’clock: And there is the checkered flag! Truex wins its third race of the season, followed by Larson, Kyle Busch, Byron, Hamlin, Harvick, Elliott, Blaney, Buescher and Newman in the top 10 (unofficial).
6:59 pm: Truex is more than two seconds ahead of Larson when the white flag waves. It’s over.
6:55 pm: Larson doesn’t let Truex out of his sight: he only shared Newman and Reddick’s cars to lap the two and have a lead of 0.53 seconds. Six more laps.
6:52 pm: Truex almost went sideways on the last corner but managed to keep the lead and keep a distance from Larson. He had a lead of 0.65 seconds and 12 laps to go.
6:52 pm: Larson at 0.35 seconds with 15 laps remaining. He’s not giving Truex the win here.
6:51 pm: Hamlin still has strong contact with the Wall at 16 but retains control. NO caution.
6:46 pm: Only 25 laps left, Truex and Larson in the top two. Kyle Busch, Byron and Ryan Blaney make up the top 5.
6:43 pm: Larson is gaining more ground … he’s about 0.40 seconds from the lead, 30 laps from the end.
6:42 pm: And there is a catastrophic mistake by Logano: He accelerates in the row of pits and has to give up fourth place when he completes another lap.
6:39 pm: Truex pits with 36 laps to go and retains its lead. Kyle Larson has gained some ground, however, and is now 1.55 seconds behind him in second place. Before that, the runner-up was 4 seconds behind.
6:36 pm: It’s Truex, Larson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Hamlin as your top five drivers with 43 laps remaining.
6:27 pm: Truex led 188 of 233 laps with 60 to go. According to the broadcast, three racers have completed more than 200 laps this season, and none of them have won their respective races.
6:25 pm: And he digs a pit. You pull on the left rear fender to keep the tire from rubbing it and causing smoke – no tire pressure adjustment. More importantly, don’t be careful.
6:24 pm: Alex Bowman’s rear left tire is smoking. I wonder if NASCAR will issue a warning with 65 laps left or if it will try to pit first.
6:22 pm: Truex, Hamlin, Reddick, Chris Buescher and Briscoe – the top five drivers – are the only drivers who did not drive 68 laps before the race.
6:05 pm: Truex, Hamlin and Kyle Busch are your top three racers on restart with 100 laps remaining.
5:53 p.m .: Warning 6 (competition). And there is Truex with his second stage win, followed by Kyle Busch and William Byron in the top three.
5:47 pm: After a series of precautionary measures, everything will be calm … here is the story behind Denny Hamlin’s fallback color scheme.
5:29 pm: Darlington Raceway has this effect on cars.
5:15 pm: Hamlin, Chase Briscoe and Truex are the top three drivers at the restart, 25 laps in phase 2.
5:11 pm: Wallace was in line to get a cautious free pass but won’t get it after NASCAR reversed the decision because he contacted Kurt Busch when it crashed.
5:04 pm: Kurt Busch collapsed on the front stretch and started driving around leaking fluid. Then his car burned.
17; 4 p.m .: Caution 5, lap 107. Kurt Busch is the focus of caution this time. I’m not sure what happened, but his car is smoking and blazing from under his car. He is clearly shaken.
5:02 pm: Truex, Hamlin, Reddick, Joey Logano and Harvick are your top five racing drivers who will start the restart on lap 104.
4:55 p.m .: Caution 4, lap 98. Cole Custer with a very similar hit that put Aric Almirola out of service, in the same spot. It looks like Anthony Alfredo cut him off and forced Custer to turn left and hit the wall.
4:45 pm: Oh, and Chastain is down a lap after failing to pit. Not a great place to start the second phase.
4:44 p.m .: Warning 3 (competition). Truex wins the first stage, his fifth stage win in Darlington.
Stage 1 Top 10 in Darlington:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Tyler Reddick
4. Kyle Larson
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Joey Logano
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Chase Elliott
9. William Byron
10. Alex Bowman # Goodyear400
– PRN (@PRNlive) May 9, 2021
4:43 pm: Bubba Wallace is back one lap after Truex lapped him on stage with three laps remaining.
4:32 pm: Ross Chastain takes the lead with 26 laps remaining in the first stage but has yet to pit. It will need fresh tires sooner rather than later.
4:14 pm: Almirola talks about the fall that ended his day in just seven rounds:
4:10 pm: In lap 29 there is a restart. Truex Jr., Harvick, and Tyler Reddick are your leaders in the top three.
4:05 pm: Terrible timing.
4:02 p.m .: Warning 2, lap 22. Kyle Busch with a flat tire in the rear right – it looks like it happened when Truex Jr. passed him for the lead. Bush on the way to the pit.
3:58 pm: Now Kyle Busch takes the lead in lap 14.
3:55 pm: Harvick, Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. each have the first three places and will cross the green checkered flag on lap 12.
3:48 p.m .: Warning 1, lap 7. There is our first caution; Aric Almirola’s car appears to be out of order – it threw its front wheels off the ground after sliding out of Turn 2 at a 90-degree angle and making contact with the inside wall.
3:48 pm: Kevin Harvick overtook Brad Keselowski on lap six.
3:45 pm: And there is the green flag!
3:36 pm: Happy Mother’s Day from Darlington Raceway!
3 pm: Hopefully no repetitions today:
NASCAR start time today
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled to fly at 3:42 p.m. ET.
The National Weather Service forecast for the Goodyear 400 in Darlington, SC is for sunny skies and high temperatures close to 85 degrees. Wind might play a small part in the race, with gusts over 20 mph expected.
NASCAR line-up in Darlington
Here is the complete starting grid for the Goodyear 400 without qualification:
|Start pos.||driver||Car no.||team|
|1||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|2||Kevin Harvick||4th||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|3||Kyle Busch||18th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|4th||Martin Truex Jr.||19th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6th||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|7th||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8th||Matt DiBenedetto||21st||Wood Brothers Racing|
|9||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|10||Tyler Reddick||8th||Richard Childress Racing|
|11||Chris Buescher||17th||Roush Fenway Racing|
|12th||Joey Logano||22nd||Team Penske|
|13th||Michael McDowell||34||Motorsport in the front row|
|14th||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|fifteen||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing Team|
|16||Ryan Blaney||12th||Team Penske|
|17th||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|18th||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|19th||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|20th||Ryan Newman||6th||Roush Fenway Racing|
|21st||Christopher Bell||20th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|22nd||Chase Briscoe||14th||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|23||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|24||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|25th||Anthony Alfredo||38||Motorsport in the front row|
|26th||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|27||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|29||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|30th||Corey LaJoie||7th||Spire Motorsports|
|31||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|32||BJ McLeod||78||Live motorsport fast|
|33||Cody ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|34||JJ Yeley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|36||James Davison||fifteen||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|