Monday, May 10, 2021

Darlington NASCAR Weekend Recap

Darlington NASCAR Weekend Recap

Winners: Martin Truex Jr. (Cup); Justin Allgaier (Xfinity); Sheldon Creed (Truck); Sammy Smith (ARCA) 



Martin Truex Jr. Sweeps Darlington to Win Third 2021 Cup Series Race

Martin Truex Jr. Sweeps Darlington to Win Third 2021 Cup Series Race


In the final stage of Sunday’s Goodyear 400, Kyle Larson turned a Martin Truex Jr. cakewalk into a study in suspense, but Larson couldn’t keep Truex out of Victory Lane in the 12th NASCAR Cup Series race of the season.


Truex swept the first two stages and led 248 laps to win his third event of the season and remain the only multiple winner in the series this year.


But after the final sequence of pit stops, Larson — who gained time by pitting one lap earlier than Truex — closed the leader’s advantage to .170 seconds on Lap 266 of 293 as the drivers worked stubborn lapped traffic.


Larson stayed within a second of Truex until the final few laps, when Truex finally pulled away to win by 2.571 seconds. No previous stage winner had ever gone on to claim victory at Darlington.


“We just had a good balance,” said Truex, who committed to run the top of the track throughout the race. “The car would do what I wanted it to do. I just had to manage those long runs. It was really loose that last run. I was nervous when the 5 (Larson) was catching us. We got mired in some traffic there, and that’s always tough …


“What an awesome team we have. Hopefully, we can keep this rolling.”



Justin Allgaier Wins Xfinity Race in Overtime

Justin Allgaier Wins Xfinity Race in Overtime


In a dramatic two-lap overtime shootout, Justin Allgaier squeezed past JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry and held on to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Steakhouse Elite 200 at Darlington Raceway.


Allgaier chose the outside lane for the final restart and had to fend off Berry, who edged ahead entering Turn 1. But Allgaier shot the gap to the outside off Turn 2 and pulled away to win by .422 seconds.


Allgaier had wrestled the lead from Berry from the bottom lane on the previous restart on Lap 138 and appeared a likely winner before Ryan Vargas’ spin on Lap 143 forced the final restart and sent the race to overtime.


“Our car wasn’t as good as we wanted all day, but the guys down in the pits, they just kept fighting,” said Allgaier, who added his first Darlington win to his maiden win this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “To check off Atlanta and Darlington, I couldn’t be more appreciative of this race team. … We’re going to celebrate this one for a while.”


The victory was the 16th of Allgaier’s career.



Creed Survives Late Darlington Dust-Ups To Win Camping World Truck Series Race

Creed Survives Late Darlington Dust-Ups To Win Camping World Truck Series Race


After a 17-truck wreck effectively ended Kyle Busch Motorsports’ stranglehold on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Sheldon Creed outdueled Ben Rhodes on the final two restarts to win Friday night’s 200 at Darlington Raceway.


Driving a No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet whose paint scheme was an homage to the late Jason Leffler, Creed took the lead from runner-up Rhodes in a side-by-side battle after a restart on Lap 140.


After Danny Bohn’s spin brought out the 11th caution of the race on Lap 142, Creed prevailed once again on a Lap 146 restart when Rhodes got loose, slipped and lost ground. Fittingly, the race ended under yellow for Hailie Deegan’s final-lap spin on the frontstretch. That caution was the 12th of the race, for a total of 66 of the 147 laps.


Creed, the defending series champion, collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the first Triple Truck Challenge Presented by Womply event of the season.


“It feels great,” Creed said after a celebratory burnout on the frontstretch. “Didn’t have the best truck there, for sure. … Firing off, I was really tight. Then I was wrecking loose there, just doing everything I could.


News from Nashville

Sammy Smith Battles Back From Early Penalty

Sammy Smith Battles Back From Early Penalty


For a few laps Saturday night, after Sammy Smith had been black flagged for crossing the start line before the leader when the Crosley Record Pressing 200 presented by T-Mobile at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway took the green flag, it seemed the ARCA Menards Series East points leader would be in for a rough race.


Yet Smith, who went a lap down when he was issued a pass-through penalty, quickly earned his lap back by passing the leader in a show of race-winning speed.


Sure enough, 190 laps later, the No. 18 Engine Ice Toyota was in Victory Lane for the second consecutive time in the ARCA Menards Series East.


“I guess I jumped the start,” said Smith. “I felt like we had a good enough car to come back through the field. We got our lap back, then came through the field. I can’t thank the Engine Ice guys enough; the whole Joe Gibbs Racing team. They brought me a super fast car.”zzz




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