The second NASCAR race after a two-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic saw a lot of action, but it had an anti-climatic finish, with Denny Hamlin taking the Toyota 500 victory at the Darlington Raceway on Wednesday after the race was called because of the rain .
The most dramatic part of the race came with less than 30 laps to go. Kyle Busch, seated in second, tried to pass through Hamlin from the inside, but failed to complete the pass. Chase Elliott passed Busch outside and, with Kevin Harvick closing the space, Busch tried to cut him, but cut Elliott and spun him out, ending Elliott's search for a victory.
That accident freed Hamlin, his teammate, to seal the victory, as the race was scheduled with 20 laps to go. Busch, who had some damage to his bumper by destroying Elliott, finished second. Elliott, who saluted Busch with a finger on the track after the accident, finished 38th.
While Hamlin took the win, Clint Bowyer was probably the most dominant driver of the night. He won the first two stages, but left the lead with 33 laps, after losing the right rear tire due to damage caused by brushing against the wall. He finished 22nd.
Kevin Harvick, winner of Sunday's Real Heroes 400 in Darlington, had another impressive race on the track, which is very difficult to tame with third place. Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Sporting News followed live updates and highlights back-to-back for Wednesday's NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway. Follow the results of the Toyota 500 below.
NASCAR results in Darlington, highlights of the Toyota 500
|1 1||Denny Hamlin|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.|
|25||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|35||John Hunter Nemechek|
10:48 pm – The race was called and Denny Hamlin is the winner of the Toyota 500
10:45 pm – FOX ON THE RACK! Look at this cute little friend.
10:42 pm – The cars are going to the pit lane and we are late with 20 laps. There is no way of knowing whether they will return there.
10:37 pm – The rain is falling now, with 24 laps to go; they may not be able to finish if they continue. Denny Hamlin leads, Kyle Busch second, Kevin Harvick third.
10:31 pm – The green flag returns with 30 laps to go, but it doesn't last long, as Kyle Busch becomes Chase Elliott and forces a warning. Elliott is not very happy about this.
Elliott gives a finger. greeting to Kyle Busch.
– Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 21, 2020
10:24 pm – Watch out for Clint Bowyer after he loses his right rear tire due to damage by hitting the wall a few laps earlier. Only 33 to go.
10:21 pm – Chase Elliott makes the jump at the restart and leads with 40 laps to go. Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch complete the top five.
22:09 – After the longest run of the night, there is another caution, as Matt Kenseth loses control with 49 laps to go. Four cars on the way back: Brad Keselowski, Brennan Poole, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin
9:58 pm – Chase Elliott takes Erik Jones into the lead with 69 laps remaining after a wall collision with Jones' car driving hard.
21:47 – Erik Jones assumed considerable leadership after an impressive restart. Chase Elliott in second, Kevin Harvick in third and Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman fighting for fourth place with 89 laps to go.
21:44 – Ryan Newman did not give up after Phase 2, so he is ahead in the restart with 96 laps to go. I could be in a position to win if the rain falls.
9:35 pm – Bowyer sweeps with Stage 2 victory. Big night for car # 14. Chase Elliott finishes second, Martin Truex Jr. third.
9.30 at night. – The race is now official, after reaching the 114 lap midpoint. Clint Bowyer took the lead, Chase Elliott in second, Martin Truex Jr. in third.
9:22 pm – The warning flag is out, it looks like Cole Custer hit the wall and tore the tire with 17 laps left in Phase 2.
9:18 pm – We spent 100 laps in Darlington: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., William Byron and Aric Almirola complete the top five.
9:12 pm – Martin Truex Jr. leads the match. After 90 laps, it's him, Kevin Harvick and William Byron at the front.
21:06 – Another caution, this time for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after 82 laps.
21:05 – We are 20 laps to Stage 2; Bowyer, Truex Jr., Bowman, Almirola and Newman at the front.
8:56 pm – Welp, there is a caution now, as Chris Buescher enters the wall at turn two. It looks like he got a knock from Michael McDowell.
20:55 – Ryan Preece is having problems, but don't be careful, as he can put it on his apron.
20:54 – Outside the start of Phase 2, here are the top 10: Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Aric Almirola and Joey Logano. We are on lap 69. Some very cool races so far.
20:43 – Clint Bowyer wins Phase 1 by some distance.
20:38 – After 50 laps, there are only 10 left in Stage 1: Clint Bowyer in front, Ryan Blaney in second and Alex Bowman in third.
8:30 pm. – "This is putting the hot dog on bread". Mike Joy. Break.
20:27 – We are in the middle of stage 1 at restart; Bubba Wallace takes the lead, but Clint Bowyer is able to take the lead. Blaney moves up to the second, Logano to the third, Bowman to the fourth and Wallace comes back in fifth.
20:22 – Caution competition after 25 laps; Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman still make up the top five when heading to the pit road.
20:18 – After 20 laps, Joey Logano leads. Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman complete the top five.
20:11 – Oh no. Another caution, and again is John Hunter Nemechek. It looks like the bumper damage to the car is getting in the way of the tires. They are not the 12 best laps of your life, for sure.
20:09 – Ty Dillon goes ahead and starts again, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney behind him.
8:03 pm – We did about three laps without crashing, but John Hunter Nemechek spins and the yellow flag appears.
20:02 – The green flag is waving and we are finally moving.
19:41 – Guy Fieri tells drivers to start the engines. Welcome to Flavortown, NASCAR.
7:15 pm – Finally we have a start time: the National Anthem will play at 7:30 pm. and the green flag will fly at 7:50. So much to change the start time …
6:57 pm – Another climate update:
NASCAR is preparing to move cars to the pit road. They will do so on the turn 1 side of the pit lane. Air Titans says it needs to make a few more passes out of the well before they do.
As soon as the cars start to cluster on the road, Titans and dryers will work at the entrance.
– Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) May 20, 2020
18h11 – The race has been postponed, but it looks like they could start soon.
17:38 – It is raining in Darlington, but there is hope that things will clear up soon.
What time does the NASCAR race start today?
- Meeting: Wednesday, May 20
- Start time: 18:00 ET (race postponed until after 20:00 ET)
- Television channel: FS1
- Live broadcast: Fox Sports Go | fuboTV (7-day free trial)
The original start time for Wednesday's race in Darlington was 7:30 pm. ET, but NASCAR officials moved him to 6 pm due to the threat of bad weather. The race was moved to after 8pm. because of the rain.
Initial NASCAR training in Darlington
Here is the complete initial list:
|1 1||Ryan Preece||37.||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|2||Ty Dillon||13||Germain Racing|
|3||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|4||Clint Bowyer||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|5||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|6||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|7||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|8||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|9||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|10||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|11||Matt Kenseth||42.||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|12||John Hunter Nemechek||38.||Front Row Motorsports|
|13||Erik Jones||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|14||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|15||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|16||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|17||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|18||Kurt Busch||1 1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|19||Alex Bowman||88||Hendrick Motorsports|
|20||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|21||Bubba Wallace||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|22||Cole Custer||41.||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|23||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|24||Christopher Bell||95||Leavine Family Racing|
|25||Daniel Suarez||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|26||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|27||Brennan Poole||15||Premium Motorsports|
|28.||Gray Gaulding||27||Rick Ware Racing|
|29||JJ Yeley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|30||Joey Gase||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|31||Corey LaJoie||32.||Go Fas Racing|
|32.||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|33||Timmy Hill||66.||MBM Motorsports|
|34||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|35||Quin Houff||00||Starcom Racing|
|36.||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|37.||Jimmie Johnson||48.||Hendrick Motorsports|
|38.||BJ McLeod||78||BJ McLeod Motorsports|
|39.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|