Martin Truex Jr. Withstands a Late Challenge, Takes Darlington Win

·1 min read
Photo credit: Sean Gardner - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sean Gardner - Getty Images

Sometimes, the total numbers of leaders and lead changes will tell you an accurate story of a dramatic race. On other occasions, such as today's NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington, they cannot adequately show just how dominant a driver had been. Officially, 10 drivers led in a race with 19 lead changes. But what matters is that Martin Truex Jr. led 248 of a possible 293 laps, and that his lead was not in doubt until the very end.

Truex also won all three stages. His only meaningful challenge of the day came from Kyle Larson, who held within a few seconds throughout the entire final stint before getting close enough to Truex to put serious pressure on him over the final fifteen laps. He did not have enough time to make a move, however, and Truex would win anyway.

It is his third win of the season, a year in which no other driver has won more than once. It moves him into the projected lead when the series re-seeds for its postseason in a few months, but he still sits 75 points behind his winless teammate Denny Hamlin for the championship lead in the regular season.

Truex's teammates Hamlin and Kyle Busch filled out the top five, with Larson's teammate William Byron slotting in fourth. NASCAR's Cup Series returns to road course racing in two weeks with a much-ballyhooed event at the Circuit of the Americas, but, before that, the current intermediate swing continues with the odd one mile banked concrete oval at Dover.

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