Carl Edwards’ Sunday night got off to a bad start, with the Toyota driver going two laps down early in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 due to a flat tire. He didn’t give up, however, and came back to win the coveted Labor Day weekend race over pole sitter Brad Keselowski.
After leading the most laps of the night (196), Keselowski appeared to be the class of the field. A late race caution then brought the field back together though, with the leaders electing to take four tires. Quick work by Edwards’ pit crew helped him win the race off pit road, which put him on the inside lane on the front row for the green flag.
Edwards then pulled away on the restart with eight laps to go, Keselowski now unable to challenge Edwards’ Toyota for the lead. He crossed the finish line .902 seconds ahead of the Team Penske driver to take his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the track and his second win of the season.
Finishing third behind Keselowski was Edwards’ Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who had raced near the front of the pack all night after qualifying sixth. In fourth was Team Penske’s Joey Logano, followed by Kevin Harvick in fifth – his 18th top five finish of the season.
A hot topic of the night was Kyle Busch, who locked down a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with a seventh place finish. Busch was on the bubble for the playoff after missing 11 races due to a leg injury earlier this year. Additionally, all Jamie McMurray has to do to lock down a Chase berth is take the green flag at Richmond after finishing 14th at Darlington.
Click here for full results from the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington, and here for a full schedule of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond. NASCAR has also updated the Chase standings to include post-Darlington results, which can be viewed here.