• NASCAR Cup Series
  • Xfinity Series
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Darlington Raceway

Cook Out Southern 500

September 4th, 2022

RESULTS

START POS

FINAL STATUS

LAPS COMPLETED

LAPS LED

POINTS

PLAYOFF POINTS

1

Erik Jones

43 |

15

Running

367

23

45

5

2

Denny Hamlin

11 |

11

Running

367

6

44

0

3

Tyler Reddick

8 |

4

Running

367

0

38

0

4

Joey Logano

22 |

1

Running

367

64

40

0

5

Christopher Bell

20 |

2

Running

367

0

44

0

6

Michael McDowell

34 |

10

Running

367

0

32

0

7

Brad Keselowski

6 |

25

Running

367

11

30

0

8

William Byron

24 |

3

Running

367

50

45

1

9

Bubba Wallace

45 |

8

Running

367

4

29

0

10

Alex Bowman

48 |

16

Running

367

0

31

0

11

Aric Almirola

10 |

22

Running

367

0

26

0

12

Kyle Larson

5 |

7

Running

367

0

25

0

13

Ryan Blaney

12 |

9

Running

367

0

34

0

14

Cole Custer

41 |

30

Running

367

0

23

0

15

Ty Gibbs

23 |

21

Running

367

0

0

0

16

Austin Cindric

2 |

6

Running

367

0

21

0

17

Austin Dillon

3 |

13

Running

367

0

20

0

18

Daniel Suárez

99 |

36

Running

367

0

22

0

19

Justin Haley

31 |

14

Running

366

0

18

0

20

Ross Chastain

1 |

12

Running

366

1

22

0

21

Harrison Burton

21 |

28

Running

366

0

16

0

22

Ty Dillon

42 |

29

Running

366

0

15

0

23

Daniel Hemric

16 |

24

Running

365

0

0

0

24

Corey Lajoie

7 |

34

Running

365

4

13

0

25

Landon Cassill

77 |

26

Running

365

1

0

0

26

Chris Buescher

17 |

27

Running

365

0

11

0

27

Chase Briscoe

14 |

19

Running

363

0

10

0

28

Todd Gilliland

38 |

31

Running

363

0

9

0

29

BJ McLeod

78 |

35

Running

361

0

0

0

30

Kyle Busch

18 |

5

Engine

345

155

25

1

31

Martin Truex Jr

19 |

17

Water Pump

336

48

21

0

32

Cody Ware

51 |

32

Accident

331

0

5

0

33

Kevin Harvick

4 |

18

Exhaust

274

0

4

0

34

JJ Yeley

15 |

33

Exhaust

236

0

0

0

35

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

47 |

20

Accident

164

0

2

0

36

Chase Elliott

9 |

23

DVP

113

0

1

0

  • POS 1 | LEADER

    Erik Jones

    POS1

    LEADER

    Erik Jones

    Driver badge number 43 |

  • POS 2 | 0.252

    Denny Hamlin

    POS2

    0.252

    Denny Hamlin

    Driver badge number 11 |

  • POS 3 | 0.924

    Tyler Reddick

    POS3

    0.924

    Tyler Reddick

    Driver badge number 8 |

Erik Jones pulls off Southern 500 stunner in upset win at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. — In a race that had more twists and turns than a Victorian melodrama, Erik Jones put the vaunted No. 43 Chevrolet back in Victory Lane for the first time since 2014.

In the season‘s first NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race, Jones held off Denny Hamlin in a 20-lap run to the finish to win the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway for the second time.

RELATED: Race results | At-track photos

The Sunday night race took its toll on more than a handful of playoff drivers, as Jones became the first non-playoff driver to win the first postseason event since NASCAR introduced the elimination format in 2014.

The victory was Jones‘ first of the season, the third of his career, and the first for Petty GMS Racing since that organization was formed by merger before the 2022 campaign. The win was No. 200 for the 43 car number, which NASCAR Hall of Famer and car owner Richard Petty drove to seven series championships.

“Richard hasn’t been to Victory Lane at Darlington probably since he last won here,” said Jones, referencing Petty‘s 1967 victory in the Southern 500. “It’s just awesome. Just so proud of these guys, Petty GMS and (sponsor) FOCUSFactor crew.

“We’ve been so close all year, and I didn’t think today was going to be the day. It was going to be a tough one to win, I knew, but no better fitting place. I love this track. I love this race. On that trophy twice, man. I was pumped to be on it once, but to have it on there twice — pretty cool.”

The victory was the first in the Cup Series for crew chief Dave Elenz. Jones won his first Southern 500 in 2019 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing but was released after the 2020 season in favor of Christopher Bell. On Sunday night, Jones held off a former teammate in Hamlin, who ran out of time in his pursuit of Jones and finished in the runner-up spot, 0.252 seconds behind the race winner.

“Well, I mean, I never lost any belief in myself through any of it,” Jones said. “I knew I could still do it, and I just knew we needed to grow the program to do it, and we have. We’ve brought on a lot of great people in the last year. Dave Elenz called a great race today. His first Cup win — that’s pretty cool for him.

“I’m excited, man. We’ve been talking about this day a long time, and it is redemption in a lot of ways. Very fitting that it’s here at this race again. I felt like this was the race that saved my job the first time around, and coming back here with this win, I guess it puts you back on the map.”

Tyler Reddick ran third, followed by pole winner Joey Logano, who vaulted to the top of the playoff standings, six points clear of second-place William Byron, who finished eighth on Sunday.

Jones got his chance at the front of the field when Kyle Busch, who had led a race-high 155 laps, suffered a blown engine as he prepared for the final restart. Busch had inherited the top spot when his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Martin Truex Jr., suffered a similar failure on Lap 333 of 367.

MORE: Busch’s dominant day derailed

But those retirements barely scratched the surface of the drama that unfolded throughout the race. Disaster befell Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick. Kyle Larson and his team accomplished an amazing salvage job.

And the playoff picture remained just as uncertain as it had been entering the grueling 500-mile contest at “The Lady in Black.”

After a catastrophic playoff opener, Elliott, the Regular Season Champion, is the series leader no more.

Elliott spun sideways in Turn 2 on Lap 113 — two laps short of the end of Stage 1 — cracked the back of his No. 9 Chevrolet and slid down the track into the path of Chase Briscoe, who couldn‘t avoid the collision.

Elliott nursed his car to pit road where his team tried in vain to repair the damage, but with the right-rear toe link and upper and lower control arms broken, the task was hopeless. The 10-minute time allotment under NASCAR‘s damaged vehicle policy ran out, and Elliott retired from the race in last place (36th).

The 15-point advantage Elliott carried into the playoffs was gone. Elliott scored the minimum one point for his efforts at Darlington and fell to ninth in the playoff standings, 14 points ahead of 16th-place finisher Austin Cindric in 13th.

“I just hit the wall in (Turns) 1 and 2 and broke something in the right-rear,” Elliott said succinctly. And how would he approach the next playoff race at Kansas Speedway? “A lot better than we did today.”

A solid run by 2014 series champion Harvick went up in flames on Lap 275. As he lost speed while running ninth, Harvick radioed to his crew, “My rocker panel‘s on fire.”

Flames erupted on both sides of the car. Harvick parked the No. 4 Ford on the apron and scrambled from his smoke-filled cockpit. Harvick exited the race in 33rd place and dropped to the bottom rung of the playoff standings, 13 points below the current cut line.

Larson, the reigning series champion, brought his car to pit road on Lap 79, sensing his engine was about to expire. He lost three laps as his team worked under the hood of the No. 5 but returned to the track and the “gremlins” disappeared after a few laps.

Using wave-arounds and his status as beneficiary under caution to advantage, Larson regained the lead lap and finished 12th, averting a major hit in the standings.

NOTE: Post-race technical inspection concluded without issue, confirming Jones as the winner of the event.

Notes: The last driver to win a race in the No. 43 was Aric Almirola, who took the car to Victory Lane on July 6, 2014 at Daytona … Logano led the first 37 laps from the pole and 64 overall, but an issue with the left-front tire cost him valuable time during a green-flag pit stop on Lap 75. He never regained the track position he lost. … Ross Chastain lost a lap when he returned to pit road for an unscheduled stop on Lap 160 to address a loose wheel. He finished 20th, one lap down. … Cindric, Austin Dillon, Briscoe and Harvick are the four drivers below the current cut line with two races left in the Round of 16.