Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in the No.11 FedEx Toyota said the team got it right tonight as he took victory ahead of his team mate Kyle Busch in the No.18 M&M’s Toyota in a rain shortened Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Busch was involved in a crash with Chase Elliott after making a mistake after misjudging a pass on the No.9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
Kevin Harvick who took victory here on Sunday finished the race in third place for Stewart Haas Racing just ahead of Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski in the No.2 Pirtek Ford. Speaking following his second podium in two days Harvick said:
Yeah, we had to start 20th, battled kind of an ill-balanced car tonight. The track conditions were just a lot different. We made some adjustments going into the race. Just couldn’t get the front of the car to turn.
Every time we tried to adjust the back, it would just take the back out. We never could get the front of the car to turn. Had to use a lot more throttle tonight. The things I could do with the car Sunday, I couldn’t do tonight.
They kept clawing and fighting. In the end we had a great pit stop on the last pit stop, were in position to have a chance to win the race there, and it rained.
The whole night we wound up restarting on the bottom of the racetrack. We’d lose three or four spots every time we’d restart. Definitely didn’t get the good end of the draw on the restarts.
In the end our Mobil 1 guys did a great job of just battling. Sometimes you have great nights, sometimes you have nights you have to battle. It was a good two days in Darlington for us.
Erik Jones in the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had a brilliant race coming home in 5th place just ahead of Team Penske’s Joey Logano in the No.22 Pennzoil Ford.
Agric Almirola in the No.10 Ford Mustang for Stewart Haas Racing was seventh just ahead of seven time champion Jimmie Johnson who carved his way through the field for Hendrick Motorsports in the No.48 Ally Racing Chevrolet from 37th on the grid to finish the race in 8th place.
Matt DiBenedetto finished ninth while Martin Truex Jr rounded out the top ten for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Rookie Christopher Bell was 11th just ahead of William Byron and Tyler Reddick. Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman in the No.6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang was 14th.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch in the No.1 Monster Energy Chevrolet was 15th just ahead of Bubba Wallace.
Michael McDowell was 17th for Front Row Motorsports just ahead of Alex Bowman.
Ty Dillon in the No.13 Germain Racing Geico Chevrolet was 19th while his older brother Austin Dillon rounded out the top twenty for Richard Childress Racing. Ryan Blaney was 21st for Team Penske in the No.12 Menards Ford. Stewart Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer looked like he was on course for victory but finished down the order in 22nd just ahead of Chris Buescher.
Corey LaJoie was 24th just ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Quin Houff of Starcom Racing. Daniel Saurez was 27th just ahead JJ Yeley and Joey Gase.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Matt Kenseth in the No.42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet suffered a mechanical problem which caused a cut tyre resulting in a spin which saw him end his night 30th.
Cole Custer was 31st for Stewart Haas Racing just ahead of Gray Gaulding and Timmy Hill. Gareth Smithley was 34th ahead of John H Nemechek and BJ McLeod. Brennan Poole was 37th just ahead of Chase Elliott and Ryan Preece.
The race ran 208 laps before Hamlin was declared the winner just 20 laps shy of full race distance, next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.