Winners, losers from the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

A look at the winners and losers from the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway:


Kyle Larson — He recovered from hitting the wall after his No. 5 Chevrolet went into neutral. He led 55 laps and scored his first career Cup win at Darlington Raceway. He added a crown jewel to his resume and became the first driver to reach the Round of 12.

Tyler Reddick — His regular season was full of inconsistencies, both on the track and on pit road. He and the No. 45 team delivered a strong performance on Sunday night to kick off the playoffs. He finished second after scoring 16 stage points.

William Byron — He started 23rd after struggling in qualifying but worked his way inside of the top 10 by the end of stage 2. He avoided mistakes on a day when many playoff drivers struggled and finished fourth.

Bubba Wallace — He recovered from a slow pit stop and a spin in the opening stage and raced his way to a top-10 finish. He entered the playoffs as the 16th driver in the standings. He heads to Kansas 13th in the standings and only one point below the cutline.

Chris Buescher — He entered the Southern 500 weekend with three wins in five weeks. He continued his momentum by delivering a career-best third-place finish at Darlington Raceway.


Christopher Bell — He entered the race with a new pit crew and an opportunity to kick off the playoffs with a strong performance. Nothing went right for him or the No. 20 team. He had a slow pit stop after the car fell off the jack. He bent the toe link after hitting the wall. He fell multiple laps behind the leaders and was involved in a multi-car crash during the final stage. He is one point above the cutline after finishing 23rd.

Martin Truex Jr. — He started 31st, the last of the playoff drivers. He moved through the field during the opening stage but had a significant setback during stage 2. He had to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 153 due to a loose wheel. He fell multiple laps behind the leaders before finally getting back on the lead lap late. Truex finished 18th and fell to 25 points above the cutline.

Michael McDowell — He received a penalty for speeding on pit road, which dropped him to the rear of the field. He was involved in a multi-car incident in which his No. 34 sustained race-ending damage after hitting Denny Hamlin’s No. 11. He finished 32nd and fell to 19 points below the cutline.

Denny Hamlin — He led 177 laps and swept the first two stages. He had to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 273 due to a potential loose wheel. He fell a lap down and then remained out of the free pass position due to other cars ahead of him getting lapped by Tyler Reddick. He was later involved in a multi-car incident with Todd Gilliland, Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell. Hamlin finished 25th.

Kevin Harvick — He scored seven points in stage 1 and then he worked his way up to second during the final stage. He had an opportunity to potentially pass Tyler Reddick for the lead late, but he headed to pit road right as the caution flew for Ryan Newman’s spin. He did not have time to avoid pulling onto pit road after the red lights flashed to indicate that it was closed. He restarted 26th after the penalty and finished 19th.

Winners, losers from the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

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