NCS: Erik Jones wins CookOut Southern 500 at Darlington
Erik Jones won Sunday’s CookOut Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Sunday’s opening round of the playoffs shown everything you could imagine. Drama, carnage and hurt feelings.
Jones, who is not one of the sixteen playoff drivers, emerged from everyone else’s troubles to win the Southern 500, a huge upset victory to open the playoffs.
Jones took advantage of the other playoff drivers troubles on a restart with 21 laps to go in the race. Driver No. 43 would pull out to a one second lead over second place Denny Hamlin on the restart. Jones would beat Hamlin by .252 of a second at the finish.
Sunday’s win for Jones marked the third win of his career. The famous No. 43 returned to victory lane at the track “Too tough to tame” for the first time since Richard Petty won back in 1967.
The results of Sunday’s playoff driver troubles took a big hit in the point standings. Chase Elliott, who started the playoffs at the top of the charts fell to ninth in standings, Kevin Harvick, who started the playoffs in ninth fell seven spots sixteenth in standings.
Joey Logano took over the lead in the point standings over William Byron in second and Denny Hamlin in third place in standings.
Probably the most strange thing of the race happened when Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford went into a haze of fire and smoke on lap 277 of 367. Fire would erupt on both sides of Harvick’s car, forcing Harvick to quickly park the car and exit through the drivers side window.
Harvick was arguably mad at NASCAR during his comments in the garage after his incident. Harvick said the fire started without any contact, blaming it on the parts NASCAR issues the teams.
Rounding out the top five were Denny Hamlin in second, Tyler Reddick in third, Joey Logano in fourth and Christopher Bell in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Michael McDowell in sixth, Brad Keselowski in seventh, William Byron in eighth, Bubba Wallace in ninth and Alex Bowman in tenth.
The NASCAR Cup Series second race of the playoffs will take place at Kansas Speedway in the running of the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on USA Network.
Stage 1 Winner: William Byron
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Race Winner: Erik Jones
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