Darlington winners and losers

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A look at the Darlington winners and losers …

WINNERS

Martin Truex Jr.The former Cup champion collected his third win of the season. All three wins have come with the low-downforce, 750-horsepower package on tracks that will host a playoff race: Phoenix (Championship race), Martinsville (determines Championship 4) and Darlington (playoff opener).

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William Byron – Finished fourth to post his 10 consecutive top-10 finish. That’s the longest streak by a Hendrick Motorsports driver since Jeff Gordon in 2007.

Kevin Harvick – Sixth-place finish was his 11th consecutive top 10 at Darlington. That’s the second-longest streak there all-time (Bill Elliott – 12).

Roush Fenway RacingChris Buescher finished ninth and Ryan Newman finished 10th. It’s the first time both RFR cars finished in the top 10 since the 2020 Daytona 500. That day, Buescher finished third and Newman finished ninth even with his hellacious crash on the final lap.

Chase Briscoe – Stewart-Haas Racing rookie matched his best showing in Cup so far with an 11th-place finish at the track where he scored an emotional Xfinity Series win last May.

LOSERS

Christopher Bell – A flat tire with five laps to go cost Bell a top-five finish. It was the only damper on an otherwise great day for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Brad Keselowski – Finished 24th after a day that went south quickly. After being put one lap down before the end of Stage 1, things got worse with an unscheduled green flag stop at Lap 165 that cost him two more laps.

Aric Almirola – Brutal season for the driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford continued with crash on Lap 6 after having to start from the rear due to two pre-race inspection failures.