Martin Truex Jr, with a little help from his pit crew, won a surprise victory at Darlington, SC, after leading all of 28 laps. Darlington, also known as the Lady in Black and the Track too Tough to Tame, due to its attrition on drivers and cars, offered a race that had fans and teams alike on their feet and cheering wildly.
Martin Truex, Jr., whose car has been consistently fast this year, struggled during most of the race. It was his pit crew, on the last stop, that gave Truex the opportunity to drive his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet to victory lane. The crew, who had experienced communications problems at Michigan, along with a run of bad luck, stepped up to the plate at the historic track and gave their driver the chance he needed to win the race. Their flawless performance in the pit got Truex out in the lead and enabled him to make his charge for the checkered flag.
In the meantime, Kevin Harvick, who had led 214 laps of the race and clearly had the fastest car, went through the polar opposite with his team experiencing what has become all too common problems in the pits. In the last pit stop, Harvick lost 17 places and his dominance was decimated, leaving him to struggle futilely to regain places on the track. Harvick had tough words for his crew saying, “I’m over being a cheerleader. Those guys get paid a lot of money to perform on pit road, and cheerleading hasn’t really been working. You’ve got to get after it on pit road and do your job.” (www.nascar.com)
Kyle Larson ended up taking third place with Denny Hamlin following him in fourth and Joey Lagano in fifth. The Lady in Black claimed her share of cars again with Kurt Busch hitting the wall hard and Tony Stewart experiencing engine problems that would end his last race at the track. Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer also tangled bringing out a caution late in the race proving Darlington is still the track Too Tough To Tame.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko