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Everything that Happened in the Truck Race at Darlington

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What’s Happening?

The stars of the Craftsman Truck Series returned to action this week to battle the Lady in Black at the track Too Tough to Tame for NASCAR’s annual “Throwback Weekend”. Darlington, a track notorious for its unique shape, features tight corners and straightaways and has a knack for putting drivers’ skills to the absolute test. You earn everything you get at Darlington, and are bound to leave with the notorious “Darlington Stripe”.

The Major Players

The drivers to watch coming into this race were the two Cup Series regulars, two-time champ Kyle Busch, and Ross Chastain, as well as last year’s Darlington winner Christian Eckes, pole-sitter Nick Sanchez, and Truck Series points leader Corey Heim, who came into Darlington with an absurd average finish in 2024 of 3.5. Who was able to lay it all on the line and conquer the Lady in Black? Let’s take a look back at an exciting race. Here’s Everything That Happened in the Truck Series Race at Darlington.

After a two-hour rain delay, the green flag finally flew, and Stage 1 got underway with Heim leading the field to green after pole-sitter Sanchez had to drop to the rear due to a hub leak.

Kyle Busch Goes Around on Lap 2

It didn’t take long for Busch to make his way to the front to challenge Heim for the lead. After two laps of side-by-side battling for the lead, Busch got loose coming off of turn two, sending him nose-first into the inside SAFER barrier, causing significant damage to the front left of his #7 Spire Motorsports truck.

Busch Brings Out the Caution Again on Lap 12

The damage repair to Busch’s truck didn’t last long, as less than 10 laps later, the front end of Busch’s #7 snapped loose and sent him into the wall, nearly collecting top five runners Layne Riggs, Eckes, and Chastain. Busch would not return to the race.

Heim Paces the Field to Capture Stage 1 Win

Heim led flag to flag in Stage 1 to capture his third stage win of the season. It was a relatively uneventful first stage for Heim at the front outside of the two-lap battle with Busch to start, until Eckes made things interesting towards the end of the stage, cutting Heim’s lead to less than half a second coming to the green checkered flag. All three Tricon Garage Toyota Tundras looked very strong in the first stage, with Heim, Taylor Gray, and Dean Thompson all finishing inside the top seven.

Taylor Gray Takes the Lead on Pit Road

Gray was able to gain the advantage over teammate Heim on pit road, giving him the advantage on the Stage 2 restart, leading to a fantastic battle between the two Tricon truckers for the first portion of the stage.

Spencer Boyd Brings Out Caution on Lap 67

Spencer Boyd went for a solo spin coming off of turn 4. His #76 Silverado RST sustained no damage in the spin, and he was able to carry on.

Close Calls for Gray, Sanchez, Ankrum

A three-wide battle between Taylor Gray, Nick Sanchez, and Tyler Ankrum halfway through Stage 2 nearly ended in disaster, with Sanchez getting loose on the bottom of the track as Gray forced three-wide while tearing through the middle of the corner on fresh Goodyear Eagle tires. Ankrum sustained significant left-front damage during the altercation, forcing him to make an unscheduled stop.

Heim Dominates Stage 2

Heim continued to pace the field in Stage 2, winning in dominant fashion to collect his second stage win of the night and fourth of the season. The top 5 after two stages consisted of Heim, Rajah Caruth, Eckes, Ty Majeski, and Grant Enfinger.

Chaos at the Start of the Final Stage, Collects Favorites

A huge wreck at the beginning of the final stage collected multiple contenders after the #5 truck of Dean Thompson snapped loose out of turn two, collecting heavy favorite Heim, as well as Caruth, Layne Riggs, and Matt Crafton, among others. The incident changed the entire complexion of the race, as no one seemed to have anything for Heim, who was suddenly out of contention.

Jack Wood Brings Out Late Caution

Majeski looked to be cruising to a Darlington win, carrying a 5.5-second lead over second-place Chastain with 6 laps to go, when Jack Wood, who was involved in the incident at the beginning of the stage, cut a right front tire, bringing out a late caution that shook things up as the clock in Darlington, S.C. struck midnight.

Chastain Steals the Victory at Darlington

Chastain lined up on the inside of Majeski on the final restart, getting a huge jump and push from the #1 of Chase Purdy. Sanchez made things interesting, looking to the inside of Chastain on the final corner, but Chastain ultimately prevailed, taking home his first Truck Series victory since 2022, and smashing his first watermelon of 2024 in the process.

From the Infield

Kyle Busch talked with Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass about what happened at the beginning of the race that led to an early exit for “Rowdy”

All drivers involved in the big wreck at the start of the final stage were checked and released from the infield care center

Conclusion

It was an action-packed night at Darlington, and the Truck Series stars putting on a show, with a Cup Series regular coming down to take the checkers. What did you think of the Truck race, and did Darlington show out like you thought it would? Let us know! We want to hear your thoughts. Hit us up on all of our social media sites (X, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) Stick with The Daily Downforce for continued up-to-date coverage of Throwback Weekend at Darlington!

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