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Darlington winners and losers

Erik Jones holds off Kyle Larson to win the Bojangles' Southern 500 for his second-career NASCAR Cup Series victory.


Erik Jones — Battled Kyle Larson and then Kyle Busch to score his first win of the season. Jones’ two career Cup victories are at Daytona and Darlington. Quite a combination.

Kyle Larson — Has finished eighth or better in the last five races. His runner-up result at Darlington was his third top-three finish at the track in the last four years.

Cole Custer — He admits that it was a “strange” way to win a race — after Denny Hamlin’s apparent victory was taken away when his winning car failed inspection after the race — but it still counts. This is Custer’s sixth Xfinity victory of the season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. — Finished with a top five in his lone NASCAR start of the season. The roar of the fans when he was interviewed after the race was memorable.

Throwback weekend — Fans saw many paint schemes from the past and celebrated NASCAR’s history with several former drivers in attendance. Darlington Raceway announced before the Southern 500 that it sold all its reserved seats.


Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity program — Saturday marked the second time this year the team has had a car fail inspection after the race and be disqualified. This time it cost Denny Hamlin the win at Darlington.

Jimmie Johnson — Ran well all weekend but is in this category for his bad luck. He got swept into a multi-car crash while running in the top five and that led to a 16th-place finish in the Southern 500.

Michael McDowell — Involved in the multi-car accident with about 90 laps left and finished 38th, his second consecutive finish of 37th or worse because of an accident.