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NASCAR at Darlington 2021 Results: Martin Truex Jr. Dominant in 3rd Win of Year

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2021

Martin Truex Jr. drives into Turn 1 during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Darlington Raceway, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Darlington, S.C. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
Terry Renna/Associated Press

Martin Truex Jr. had himself a day. 

Not only did he win the Goodyear 400 at the Darlington Raceway on Sunday—his third victory of the year—but he also won the first and second stages, capping off a thoroughly commanding performance. 

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

Retweet to congratulate @MartinTruex_Jr on his dominating WIN at Darlington! https://t.co/Ys56avEOXW

Not that it was devoid of any drama—Truex nearly spun out in the late stages of the race, pulling off a slick save to maintain his lead: 

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

"DID YOU SEE THAT?" 👀👀 https://t.co/9PsIKL8UKE https://t.co/vc7vi7drJZ

Truex led for 248 of the 293 laps on Sunday—about as dominant as it gets. Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, William Byron and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five, with just two drivers other than Truex leading for double-digit laps with 10 (Kevin Harvick, who finished sixth, and Ross Chastain, who finished 15th). 

He also became the first stage winner to win at Darlington. Truex earned his burnouts, that much is certain:

NASCAR @NASCAR

One of the best burner-outers in the game putting on a show for the fans at @TooToughToTame! 🏁 @MartinTruex_Jr | #Goodyear400 https://t.co/DkyuTDyRFa

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

"This one's for Furniture Row."- Martin Truex Jr. https://t.co/7HQlxE81KQ

Ryan McGee @ESPNMcGee

Martin Truex Jr wins Darlington, his 3rd of 2021. Over his first decade in Cup he won 3 times in 369 starts & never more than once in a season. But over last 6 years/192 starts he's won 27 times with multiple wins in 5 out of 6 years. Wow. https://t.co/bh0HRtKHPh

"We just had good balance," Truex said on the FS1 broadcast after the race (h/t Chris Estrada of NBC Sports). "The car was doing what I wanted it to do. I just had to manage those long runs. It was really loose that last run and I was nervous with the 5 (Larson) catching us and we got mired in some traffic there. That's always tough."

While Truex dominated, a few drivers had their day cut short. 

Aric Almirola was done after just five laps after he hit the wall following contact from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.:

Bob Pockrass @bobpockrass

Contact from Stenhouse possibly sent Almirola around ... https://t.co/KGsjFYK2pJ

Jamie Little @JamieLittleTV

"[Stenhouse] just run me over and wrecked me." Aric Almirola's day comes to an early end at Darlington. https://t.co/3p1rzYZPlH

Cole Custer made it through 97 laps before Anthony Alfredo sent him into the wall:

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

A HUGE hit for Cole Custer at Darlington. https://t.co/SSTRlL7RfK

And Kurt Busch's car literally caught on fire during Lap 106:

FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX

Kurt Busch's day goes up in flames. #NASCARonFS1 https://t.co/KzFCy5dHLy

Those drivers will look to turn things around as the NASCAR Cup Series will continue next Sunday (2 p.m. ET on FS1) at the Dover International Speedway's Drydene 400.

Truex will be looking for win No. 4 after Sunday's impressive showing. 

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