Truex Jr dominates Darlington for third Cup win of 2021

Nigel Kinrade/Motorsport Images

Truex Jr dominates Darlington for third Cup win of 2021


Truex Jr dominates Darlington for third Cup win of 2021


Martin Truex Jr. remains the only driver to win multiple NASCAR Cup Series races this season, adding another on Sunday at Darlington Raceway.

Truex was untouchable all afternoon, whooping the field by claiming both stages and leading 248 of 293 laps. The closest the competition came to Truex and the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team was after the final round of green-flag pit stops when Kyle Larson chased him down and stalked him over the last 35 laps. However, Truex managed his final run perfectly and pulled back away by over 2s at the checkered flag.

On his way to his third victory of the season, Truex also became the first driver to win a stage at Darlington and win the race.

“I’m glad I could do that,” Truex said. “We’ve won a bunch of stages here in the past couple of years, and just always lady luck got us. Track position or one thing or another. Just really proud of everybody on this Auto-Owners Camry.”

The win is Truex’s second at Darlington, and  30th overall in the Cup Series.

“We just had a good balance; the car would do what I wanted it to do,” said Truex. I just had to manage those long runs. It was really loose that last run and I was nervous with the 5 [Larson] catching us, and we got mired in some traffic there, and that’s always tough.”

Larson finished second for the second straight time. He did not compete at Darlington last year but was the runner-up at the track in 2019. Larson has four top-three finishes in his last five Darlington starts.

Kyle Busch finished third, William Byron finished fourth and Denny Hamlin finished fifth. Kevin Harvick finished sixth, ahead of Chase Elliott in seventh.

Harvick led 10 laps after grabbing the lead on the initial start from pole-sitter Brad Keselowski. Those 10 laps were the second-most a driver led behind Truex on Sunday.

Ryan Blaney finished eighth, Chris Buescher finished ninth, and Ryan Newman completed the top 10. There were nine cars on the lead lap at the finish, with Newman the first car one lap down. Ross Chastain, who finished 15th, was the first driver two laps down.

Keselowski finished 24th, multiple laps down. He led four laps, but appeared to have an ill-handling car and then fell further behind when he pitted under green on lap 165 for what he believed was a flat tire.

Three drivers fell out of the race due to accidents: Kurt Busch, Cole Custer, and Aric Almirola.

There were 19 lead changes among 10 drivers and six cautions in the Goodyear 400.