Erik Jones capped off his one centesimal Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with a win in the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Jones rose to the fore late in the race’s third stage and fended off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to take his second profession win.
The victory secures Jones a second consecutive playoff berth and ensures all 4 JGR automobiles in championship rivalry.
Mother nature threatened NASCAR’s cornerstone Labor Day basic as a large rainstorm truck shortly earlier than the scheduled begin. Rain finally moved out of the world and NASCAR officers labored a number of hours to dry the 1.33 mile-oval earlier than the race took the inexperienced flag simply earlier than 10pm native time.
Kurt Busch had the automotive to beat early and took the race’s opening 100 lap stage. The steadiness of energy shifted from Kurt to Kyle late in the second stage. Kyle took the lead on Lap 160 and cruised to a straightforward win aided by a late yellow for a crash by BJ McLeod.
He re-emerged because the race chief following in the course of the stage break forward of Jones, Larson and with teammate Denny Hamlin and pole-sitter William Bryon rounding out the top 5.
Busch stored his stranglehold on the sphere all through the following stint retaining Jones at bay whereas Hamlin accomplished a JGR lockout of the top three. The lead grew to 1.8 seconds over the stint laps earlier than the ultimate spherical of pitstops started.
The first to attract blood was Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski on Lap 249. His try to pit proved futile as he missed the pit entrance, forcing a second try to get onto pit highway.
Several drivers pitted between laps 250-258 whereas the top two of Jones and Busch stretched out to Lap 258. A clear cease stored Busch in the lead noticed his secure lead erased with Jones sizzling on his tail.
The race for the lead was slowed on Lap 275 when Daniel Hemric spun after slicing a tyre. The chain response swept up Michael McDowell together with front-runners Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Byron.
The yellow noticed Larson leapfrog the JGR Toyotas with a fast cease and Jones transfer forward of Busch to restart on the entrance row.
Larson and Jones swapped the top spot a number of occasions earlier than Jones took full management on Lap 283.
Jones maintained a agency lead over Larson all through the stretch whereas Kyle Busch held onto third forward of Stewart Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.
The last spherical of stops noticed a role-reversal from the earlier spherical as Jones held onto the purpose with a slim lead over Kyle Busch.
The lead see-sawed over the ultimate 30 laps as Busch bided his time for a late cost. He picked up the tempo in the ultimate few laps however hit a double whammy after nicking the wall twice in the ultimate two laps.
That allowed Larson to take over the runner up place and secured the win for Jones.
Larson’s second-place locked him into the playoffs, whereas Kyle Busch’s third-place end clinched him the common season championship.
Former collection champions Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 5 whereas Clint Bowyer netted a much-needed sixth-place end to maneuver eight factors above the lower line heading into Indianapolis.
Kurt Busch ended the evening in seventh place after profitable the primary stage whereas Matt DiBenedetto gently notched an eighth-place end.
Completing the top ten have been Paul Menard and Austin Dillon.