Saturday, September 30, 2023

Denny Hamlin Wins Rain-Shortened Darlington Race, Joe Gibbs Racing Scores Controversial 1-2 Finish

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – MAY 20: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Delivering Strength Toyota, crosses the finish line under caution to later win the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway was a race that truly had it all. Tire management, comers and goers, a rivalry between the defending series champion and the sport’s most popular driver and a rain-shortened finish.

In the end, it was Denny Hamlin who picked up his second win of the 2020 Cup Series season, his 39th-career victory.

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But it was the incident that sparked the caution that came just before the rain fell upon the speedway that had everyone talking.

Chase Elliott had a rocket ship of a No. 9 car and he had fresher tires than Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Elliott had just worked his way to second place, when Busch misjudged and took Elliott out.

Elliott spun and slammed into the inside wall really hard. Upon exiting his car, Elliott waited for Busch and flipped the No. 18 car off as it passed his crashed car on the apron.

Video: Kyle Busch Takes Out Chase Elliott With Less Than 30 to go, Elliott Flips Busch Off

Busch would finish second in the race, and after the race was called, Busch admitted his mistake.

“Oh, there’s no question,” Busch said. “I know. I made a mistake and misjudged the gap. You know, when we were racing there with the 11 and the No. 9 had a run on him, I knew he was there. I knew I needed to get in line as quick as I could, in doing so, I watched him and his momentum as he was going by me, and I tried to look up in my mirror to see where Harvick was to get in, and I misjudged it and I made a mistake and clipped the No. 9.”

Kevin Harvick would finish the race third in a follow up to his win on Sunday, Brad Keselowski finished fourth and Erik Jones, who was without suspended crew chief Chris Gayle, came home in fifth.

Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Matt DiBenedetto and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-10 finishers on the night.

Post-Race Stat Pack:

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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