Hamlin wins Rain Shorten Race at Darlington (5-20-20)
By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
After a rain delayed race on Wednesday we finally got underway. Coach Gibbs remotely gave the invocation and then followed by the flag man honoring the flag & the iRacing flag man. This is a different race as they inverted the field from the top twenty of Sunday’s race. John Hunter Nemecheck brought out the first caution between lap three and four. He was able to get back on the track. However, a couple laps later it looks like he cut down a left tire. We had some great pack racing and competition all around the track. The drivers and crew did get a competition caution to be able to make changes. Bubba Wallace started in the number one position after the competition caution. He lost several spots, but Clint Bowyer was more than happy to lead multiple laps. He was able to stretch his lead and got the stage one win.
Clint’s team was able to get him out back in the first position. Chris Buescher gets around to bring out the first caution of the second stage. Michael McDowell appears to have caught his rear bumper just right and Chris was able to truly make a great save with no major damage. Ricky Stenhouse Jr made contact with the wall, but unlike Sunday it looks they should be able to fix the car enough for him to complete the race. Truex Jr was able to get out and lead some laps in stage two while Clint Bowyer got shifted backwards. It looks like Clint is determined to have a great second race at Darlington. With less than twenty laps to go we have Cole Cluster into the wall. While Matt Kenseth and Bubba Wallace made contact with one another. Clint Bowyer just did beat Kevin Harvick out to win the battle off of pit road to regain the lead. He keeps the lead winning the second stage of the race.
Erik Jones leads us back to green for the third and final stage. Chase Elliott is running not far behind him and they battle for a little bit. Chase Elliott was able to successfully pass him and keep the lead. Multiple drivers make pit stops with a little over fifty to go. While those are happening something happened to Matt Kenseth’s right rear tire. This puts multiple drivers down a lap. Clint Bowyer spins are brought out a other caution putting Denny Hamlin in the lead. We have drivers three wide at Darlington with some amazing racing. Chase Elliot made a huge move to get to second place and Kyle Busch clips the right rear and send Chase Elliott into the wall. He then he went back up and almost caused another accident. He slides back down the track and his car finally stops. He then exits the car and tells the safety crew one moment and walks to the edge of the track. Which he waits for Kyle Busch to come back around and he provides a middle finger to Kyle. As this has ended his night. This leads to a Joe Gibbs racing team one and two start. But rain hits and brings out the caution. They finally bring the drivers down pit road to wait to see if more rain is going to hit track. While this takes place you have a fox come out on the track to make a visit. Chase Elliott’s crew chief and Kyle Busch’s crew chief have a meeting trying to keep things civil after the on track incident. Rain starts back up again and NASCAR calls the race with about twenty to go. Leaving Denny Hamlin the race winner.