Erik Jones wins at Darlington, Kyle Busch clinches Regular Season title (9-2-19)

By: Becca Cottingham

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A night race at Darlington Speedway known as the Lady in Black or To Tough too Tame. We enter this historic race with a rain delay until almost ten pm which means racing throughout the night under the lights. It also means the track is green and tires will be ate up until rubber gets laid down on the track. You are lucky if you leave Darlington without a Darlington stripe on your car from the wall. We have three segments with stage one and two going roughly one hundred laps with with fuel window up to seventy laps. We will get a competition caution at roughly lap thirty five for the green track. We open Darlington with some major battles throughout the field for track position. There is a lot of beating and banging along with drivers complaining that cares are too tight. Kyle Busch even with a tight car has been making some major moves. After the competition caution we have multiple drivers making moves from pit road and on the track. Kurt Busch has gotten out front and seems to be keeping a solid lead. We had contact between two drivers that brought out an additional caution and drivers came down pit road. Chase Elliot came out with the lead and battled with Kurt Busch. Kurt ended up getting a huge run on him Chase and Kurt took the lead back. Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson battles Kyle Larson to keep his third position. We are also seeing the best run so far from Jimmie Johnson who is trying desperately to make the play offs for the season. Darlington is one of the tracks that can be hard to pass unless you have your car set up just perfectly. Which can be seen by Kyle Busch moving up from the back of the pack to top five at the end of stage one. Kurt Busch however was able to hold off everyone and take the stage one win. With Jimmie Johnson picking needed stage points.

Pit crews will be busy getting us ready for stage two. Kyle Larson’s pit crew was able to get him out the fastest and he brought us to the green flag for stage two. It appears that Joey Logano and Chase had a battle and they did not like how they were racing each other. This is happening all along the track as you have to race the track and not necessarily the drivers. Kyle Larson has done a great job of keeping the lead of stage two until Ryan Newman spun out with sixty to go in stage two. This caution was brought out by Ryan Newman and what appears to be Daniel Suarez coming into contact with each other. I am sure there will be some words shared between the two drivers. Kyle Larson lost the lead on pit road with Kyle getting wedge put into his car and other issues. This cost him several spots on pit road. The pit crew is just as vital to the driver doing well as the driver doing what they need to do on the track. This brings the Busch brothers out one and two to restart stage two until Matt Tiff spins out. This then again changes who is out front as the caution comes out. Kyle Busch is now the leader and with less than forty laps to go will probably keep the lead. While the rest of the field battles it out for positions. We will finish stage two under caution with Kyle Busch winning stage two.

Fans are back on their feet for the start of the finial stage with just under a scheduled one hundred and sixty seven laps to be completed. Kyle Busch’s pit crew was able to get him off pit road the fastest and he leads us to the last green flag of the morning. IF the race stays green we should see green flag pit stops which drivers will need no mistakes on pit road to ensure that they do not lose positions. We have a big wreck with just under a hundred laps to go and it appears that Michael McDowel blew a tire and multiple cars made contact after McDowel hit the wall hard. This included Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, and other big drivers. This is accident will more than likely shake things up on who will win this race. Erik Jones’ team got him out front and now the question is can he keep it and get his first victory? Also after a rough start for Matt DiBenedetto has had a solid race. We get one more set of green glad pit stops and all drivers should be good to go until the end of the race. Erik Jones was able to keep the lead position with green flag stops but he has Kyle Busch right behind him that can keep him from getting this win. Erik Jones has drove the wheels off of his car in the ending laps of Darlington to capture the win in the early early hours of Labor Day. Kyle Busch with his finishing position clinches the regular season title.