Event: Bojangles’ Southern 500 (Round 25 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
Format: 367 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/167 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/11th (Running, completed 367 of 367 laps)
Point Standing: 16th with 617 points, 366 out of first …on the playoff bubble with no margin, tied with 17th-place Ryan Newman
Race Winner: Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
- Daniel Suárez started fifth and finished 13th.
- Suárez reported the Haas Automation Mustang was tight when the competition caution was displayed on lap 35. He pitted from 14th for fuel, four tires and adjustments, and restarted 18th.
- During the caution on lap 68 the 27-year-old reported the No. 41 machine was tight on exit and loose on entry. He pitted from 15th for adjustments, fuel and four tires, and restarted 14th.
- The remainder of the stage ran under green, and Suárez ended it in 13th.
- Suárez pitted during the Stage 1 break for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with the Mustang’s handling.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
- The No. 41 driver started 15th and finished 14th.
- The caution was displayed on lap 140, and the Mexico native reported his Mustang was tight. He pitted from 19th for fuel, four tires and adjustments, then restarted 18th on lap 146.
- During the lap-158 caution, Suárez relayed to the Haas Automation crew that he was a little bit tight off of turns two and four. He came down pit road for fuel and four tires, and returned to the track in 15th.
- The Ford driver finished the stage 14th.
- During the Stage 2 break, Suárez pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with overall grip.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-367):
- The Haas Automation driver started 10th and finished 11th.
- Suárez made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 258 for fuel and four tires while running in the top-10.
- The next caution was displayed lap 276, and the Ford driver once again came down pit road for fuel and four tires.
- He restarted seventh on lap 281, remained in the top-10 throughout one more pit stop and ultimately finished 11th.
- Suárez earned his 14th top-15 of the season and his first top-15 in three career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington.
- This was Suárez’s third straight top-15. He finished eighth in the series’ last race at Bristol.
- Suárez’s 11th-place result bettered his previous best finish at Darlington – 29th in last year’s Southern 500.
- Erik Jones won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Darlington, and it came in his milestone 100th career start. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 4.058 seconds.
- There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
- Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 finished on the lead lap.
- Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Darlington with a 64-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano. Busch clinched the regular-season championship.
Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were confident in our car all weekend, but with the big weather changes and things like that, we had to work on it quite a bit during the race to keep up with the track. With the playoffs, I think we’re putting on a good show for all the fans, and now being tied heading to Indianapolis that makes things even more interesting, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Sept. 8 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.