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Truex wins Stage 1 at Darlington with last corner move on Larson

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Truex wins Stage 1 at Darlington with last corner move on Larson
By:
Sep 3, 2017, 11:34 PM

Kyle Larson led 78 laps in the first stage at Darlington Raceway on Sunday — but it was Martin Truex Jr. sliding by the No. 42 Chevy in Turn 4 for the win on Lap 100.

For Truex, it was his 16th stage win of the season.

Larson ended up second followed Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon.

The field took an additional parade lap prior to the start of the Southern 500 as Richard Petty enjoyed his time on the track and in front of the field. Kevin Harvick finally led the field to green.

Blaney hit the wall on Lap 3. He pitted on Lap 6 and dropped to 40th, two laps down.

Harvick led the first 10 laps followed by Truex, Kyle Busch, Larson, Keselowski, McMurray, Logano, Kurt Busch, Hamlin and Jones. 

On Lap 14, NASCAR reported on the radio that Trevor Bayne had a right rear tire rub. Coming through Turn 1 on Lap 15, the tire blew on the No. 6 Ford. Bayne wrecked in Turn 3 and collected AJ Allmendinger.

Harvick led field onto pit road on Lap 18 followed by Truex, Kyle Busch, Larson, Keselowski, McMurray, Logano, Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Jones, Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Bowyer stalled coming into the pits and lost power with his car. The team was forced to take the No. 14 Ford behind the wall 

“Man, it just blew up,” Bowyer said. “Pretty inopportune time for it to happen, but it’s never a good time. I guess it was my turn. We’ll just go to Richmond and do the best we can.”

Kyle Busch was the first car off of pit road and led the field to the restart on Lap 22 followed by Larson, Hamlin, Truex, Keselowski, Logano, Jones, Kurt Busch, Harvick, McMurray and Kenseth. Truex pushed Larson to the lead on the restart and the No. 42 Chevy checked out.

Larson extended his lead by 2.294-seconds over Kyle Busch after 30 laps. Truex, Hamlin, Harvick, Logano, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Jones and Kenseth rounded out the top 10.

On Lap 34, AJ Allmendinger smoked back into the pits. Three laps later, Truex passed Busch for second. Hamlin remained third followed by Harvick, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Kenseth, Jones and McMurray.

Stenhouse ignited the second caution on Lap 40 after hitting the wall coming out of Turn 4 and onto the front stretch.

The field pitted on Lap 42 with Larson in the lead followed by Truex, Kyle Busch, Harvick, Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Kenseth, Jones, McMurray, Elliott, Logano, Austin Dillon, Johnson, Newman, Earnhardt, Suarez, David Ragan, Aric Almirola and Kasey Kahne.

Larson retained the lead on the restart on Lap 45 followed by Truex, Kyle Busch, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Hamlin, Kenseth, Jones, Keselowski, McMurray, Logano, Johnson, Newman, Earnhardt, Austin Dillon, Elliott, Almirola, Ragan, Kahne and Ty Dillon. Hamlin passed Kurt Busch for fifth-place after the first lap and Harvick pulled around Kyle Busch for third on Lap 47.

Larson extended his advantage over Truex by a second-and-a-half after the first five laps. Hamlin passed Kyle Busch for fourth on Lap 51. In the first 10 laps after the restart, Larson’s lead was two seconds. Harvick passed Truex for second on Lap 57. Hamlin remained fourth followed by Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kenseth, Jones, Keselowski and Johnson.

Sixty laps into the stage, Larson’s lead was 3.3-seconds ahead of Harvick. Kenseth charged passed both Busch’s and into the top five by Lap 65.

“I’m up in the rubber, crashing loose,” Kenseth told the team.

With 30 laps remaining, Larson had led 49 of the first 70 laps, but Harvick had cut the No. 42 Chevy’s lead to under two-seconds. Twenty-six cars remained on the lead lap with 25 circuits to decide the stage.

Larson battled Danica Patrick — who was trying to hold on to the lead lap — and allowed Harvick to close in top 1.5-seconds on the No. 42 Chevy with 20 laps to go in the segment. Truex was third followed by Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Keselowski, Jones, Kurt Busch and Johnson. McMurray passed Johnson for 10th on Lap 84. Keselowski passed Kenseth for sixth and Jones came along and knocked the No. 20 Toyota to eighth.

With 13 laps remaining, Kurt Busch moved by Kenseth for the eighth — and Harvick cut Larson’s lead to under a second but as his tires went away, both Truex and Hamlin passed the No. 4 Ford.

Three seconds separated the top four with Keselowski in fifth-place followed by Jones, Kyle Busch, McMurray, Kurt Busch and Logano with five laps remaining in the segment.

Twenty-one cars remained on the lead lap after the first 100 laps.

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Truex clinches regular season title with Stage 2 win at Darlington

Truex clinches regular season title with Stage 2 win at Darlington
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