Erik Jones pulls off playoff shock with Darlington Cup win

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Jones, who had run in within the top-10 many of the race, inherited the lead on Lap 345 of 367 when Kyle Busch – who exited pit street with the lead – all of a sudden noticed the engine blow in his No. 18 Toyota whereas the race was nonetheless beneath warning.

Jones then led the best way on the restart on Lap 348 and spent the ultimate 20 laps holding off a fierce problem from Denny Hamlin, lastly clearing him by 0.252 seconds on the checkered flag to say the win.

The victory by Jones – who did not qualify for the 16-driver NASCAR Cup Sequence playoffs – is his first this season.

The victory got here 55 years to the day for the final victory at Darlington for the Petty GMS Racing No. 43, which was by present crew co-owner Richard Petty.

 

“I get a hat. He informed me I get a hat if I win,” Jones mentioned of Petty. “However Richard hasn’t been to Victory Lane at Darlington most likely since he final received right here. It’s simply superior. Simply so pleased with these guys.

“We’ve been so shut all yr, and I didn’t suppose right this moment was going to be the day. It was going to be a tricky one to win, I knew, however no higher becoming place. I really like this monitor. I really like this race.

“On that trophy twice, man. I used to be pumped to be on it as soon as, however to have it on there twice – fairly cool.”

Requested in regards to the wild end, Jones mentioned, “We had loads of great things go our manner. We obtained the lead there with (Busch) shedding a motor, and man, we’ve obtained a great shot if we will simply get clear, and we had a great automotive, we simply weren’t fairly with the tempo of a few of these guys up entrance.

“We took the lead, I’m like 20 laps, I can simply run arduous, and people final two I used to be shedding the stability lots. I had been working actually arduous. But it surely was simply sufficient. So, simply actually proud.”

Along with his win, Jones prevented one of many 16 playoff drivers from claiming an computerized lock into the second spherical, which might have include a victory.

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With two races remaining within the first spherical, Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick are the bottom 4 in factors and at risk of being eradicated.

Tyler Reddick ended up third within the race, Joey Logano fourth and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five.

Finishing the top-10 had been Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Bubba Wallace and Alex Bowman.

Stage 3

Following the break between Levels 2 and three, the lead-lap automobiles all pit with Busch once more the primary off pit street.

When the race resumed on Lap 237, Busch was adopted by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez.

On Lap 271, a number of groups hit pit street for green-flag pit stops. Suarez was penalized on his pit cease for dashing and needed to serve a pass-through penalty.

On Lap 276, hearth erupted out of each side of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford and got here to a cease on the backside of Flip 1.

 

A number of drivers elected to pit beneath the warning with Busch first off pit street. He led on the restart on Lap 284.

Truex obtained round Busch on Lap 294 to reclaim the lead as all six Toyotas ran within the top-10.

On Lap 318, a number of groups hit pit street for a last spherical of green-flag pit stops to take new tires and gas to make it to the end of the race.

As soon as the cycle of stops was accomplished on Lap 326, Truex returned to the lead. He was adopted by Busch, Reddick, Jones and Bell.

On Lap 336, Truex all of a sudden fell off the tempo and reported he had misplaced energy steering and his engine was overheating. Busch shortly pounced and moved again into the lead.

Cody Ware hit the wall after which lastly got here to a cease on the monitor on Lap 340 which introduced out the ninth warning of the race.

All of the lead-lap automobiles pit with Busch first off pit street. Below the warning, smoke started pouring out of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota and he was pressured to pit street, which turned the lead over to Jones.

On the restart on Lap 348, Jones, Reddick, Hamlin and Bell.

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Jones clearly for the lead shortly on the restart.

Stage 2

Busch held off a livid problem from Truex to say the Stage 2 win.

Blaney was third, Logano fourth and Byron accomplished the top-five. Larson acquired the free move and returned to the lead lap after being 4 laps down at one level.

Following the break between Levels 1 and a couple of, the lead-lap automobiles all pit with Busch first off pit street.

On the restart on Lap 122, Busch was adopted by Hamlin, Byron and Ross Chastain. Simply because the race resumed, Chase Elliott’s 10-minute harm restore clock expired and he was completed for the race.

On Lap 143, Byron reported a doable subject together with his engine and had dropped to fourth within the working order.

Suarez was among the many first drivers to hit pit street on Lap 151 to kick off a spherical of green-flag pit stops. Busch and Logano adopted on Lap 152. Chastain was pressured to pit a second time on Lap 162 for what he thought was a free wheel.

As soon as the cycle of stops was accomplished on Lap 168, Busch returned to the lead adopted by Hamlin, Byron and Truex.

Todd Gilliland wrecked in Flip 2 on Lap 179 to convey out the fourth warning of the race.

All of the lead-lap automobiles pit with Busch the primary off pit street. On the restart on Lap 186, Busch was adopted by Hamlin, Byron and Truex.

Kyle Larson spun off Flip 4 and hit the wall on Lap 192 to convey out one other warning.

Most of lead-lap automobiles pit with Busch once more the primary off pit street. When the race returned to inexperienced on Lap 198, Corey LaJoie led (the one driver to remain out), adopted by Busch, Byron, Bell and Truex.

Busch, on new tires, shortly powered again to the lead on the restart.

On Lap 209, Truex ran down Busch and obtained round him to take the lead for the primary time within the race.

Ware spun off Flip 4 on Lap 218 to convey out the sixth warning of the race. All lead-lap automobiles pit once more with Busch the primary off pit street.

When the race returned to inexperienced on Lap 224, Busch was adopted by Truex, Blaney and Suarez.

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Stage 1

Byron claimed the Stage 1 win when a warning was displayed with one lap remaining after Elliott wrecked in Flip 2 and in addition collected Briscoe.

 

“I obtained tremendous free and hit the wall,” Elliott mentioned over his crew radio.

Hamlin completed second, Busch third, Bell fourth and Truex accomplished the top-five.

Logano began on the pole and took early command of the race however NASCAR was pressured to place out a warning on Lap 6 for gentle rain.

After a quick delay, the race resumed on Lap 17 with Logano nonetheless out entrance.

On Lap 37 NASCAR displayed a contest warning to permit groups to verify tire put on. All of the lead-lap automobiles elected to pit with Logano first off pit street. Harvick had a gradual cease as he left the field earlier than one of many tires was on.

When the race returned to inexperienced on Lap 41, Logano was adopted by Byron, Bell and Reddick.

After closing over a number of laps, Byron lastly ran down Logano and handed him on the within in Flip 2 on Lap 66.

On Lap 72, a number of automobiles dropped right down to pit street to kick off a spherical of green-flag pit stops, with Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. amongst these to pit first.

Byron made his cease on Lap 76. Logano had a gradual cease throughout his journey down pit street.

As soon as the cycle of stops was accomplished on Lap 77, Byron returned to the lead adopted by Busch, Hamlin and Bell.

Larson returned to pit street on Lap 79 on account of a lack of energy. His crew instantly went beneath the hood of the No. 5 Chevrolet. Larson returned to the monitor in thirty fifth and three laps down from the chief.

With 25 laps remaining within the stage, Byron maintained a couple of 1-second lead over Busch as Hamlin ran third.

With 10 laps to go, Byron’s lead over Busch had expanded to 1.5 seconds after Busch tagged the wall. Hamlin remained in third.

As a consequence of a number of inspection failures on Saturday, Suarez needed to begin from the rear and serve a pass-through penalty after taking the inexperienced flag on Sunday.

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