There was plenty of racing at Darlington Raceway Sunday (5/9) in the Goodyear 400. Most of it was behind Martin Truex Jr. as he smoked the competition.
There were 10 drivers that exchanged the lead of the NASCAR Cup Series race 19 times. However, seven times it was Martin Truex Jr. taking over the lead. Two of the times he was in the lead were at the end of stage one and stage two of the race. Prior to yesterday, no driver that had won a stage at Darlington went on to win the race.
Martin held the top position on the track for a race high 248 of the 293 laps in the race. To put that in perspective, the next highest laps led total for the race was 10 laps.
Of course, the most important lap to lead is the last lap. Kyle Larson made a charge at the end of the race in an attempt to challenge Martin for the win. However, once he got to the back bumper of the #19 Toyota, he could not get past him. In fact, Martin was again able to stretch out his lead as Kyle had used up his tires just to get up to him.
Martin Truex held on to win the Goodyear 400 convincingly. It was his second win in the NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington Raceway. It was his third win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. That also makes Martin the dominant driver for the season as he is the only driver to have won multiple races this year.
There were only nine cars that finished on the lead lap. Kyle Larson claimed the runner-up finish. Kyle Busch finished in third place. William Byron took home fourth place with Denny Hamlin rounding out the top five. See the complete race results for the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway here.
The top five leaders in the point standings remain steady for this week. Denny Hamlin holds first place with Martin Truex Jr. in second place. William Byron (3rd), Joey Logano (4th) and Ryan Blaney (5th) all remain right behind. See the complete NASCAR Cup Series Point Standings here.
Next on the agenda for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway Sunday, May 16th.
By: Buck Stevens