NASCAR at Darlington results: Erik Jones shocks the field, nabs victory at Southern 500 in wild race

NASCAR at Darlington results: Erik Jones shocks the field, nabs victory at Southern 500 in wild race

Revenge is a dish best served cold. That might not be the case for William Byron, though.

The driver of the No. 24 car put together an impressive regular season in the NASCAR Cup Series this year. He claimed the checkered flag twice (Atlanta, Martinsville), doubling his career win total.

Byron finished the regular season in fifth place, by far the best showing of his career.

But with those successes also came low points. And it’s hard to find many moments more frustrating for the Hendrick Motorsport racer than the May race at Darlington.

Byron led for 24 laps and appeared to be in prime position to snag his third victory of the season. But with a little more than a lap to go, Team Penske’s Joey Logano rammed Byron out of the lead. Byron would finish 13th while Logano cruised to an easy victory.

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The 24-year old was furious over Logano’s antics, criticizing the past Cup Series champion for his reckless driving.

“[Logano] runs everybody over, so I don’t see what’s different,” Byron said. “He does it to everybody and didn’t even let us finish. He goes in there 10 miles an hour faster. Stupid.”

What better place for the two drivers to rekindle their beef than at Darlington, then? This time, the lights are a little bit brighter — it’s playoff time.

Logano took the pole in Saturday’s qualifying. Byron qualified third. It seems quite possible that the two could see each other at the front of the pack early and often Sunday.

Byron will be gunning for Logano just for the chance to snag a victory that would automatically advance him to the next round of the playoffs. It will be interesting to see if there are added fireworks between the two skilled racers.

The Sporting News tracked live updates from Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Follow along below to see all the action as it unfolded at the inaugural playoff race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

NASCAR at Darlington live updates, highlights from Goodyear 400

(All times Eastern.)

10:32 p.m.: And Erik Jones take the checkered flag at Darlington! What a shocking upset for the No. 43 car! The crowd is going wild as Jones leaves donuts around the track!

10:31 p.m.: Hamlin is within three car lengths of Jones! There’s two laps to go and Hamlin looks like he’s gaining ground!

10:30 p.m.: Jones has put a little distance between himself and Hamlin. The pressure is on. Can he nab a massive upset? Only time will tell.

Four laps to go!

10:29 p.m.: With seven laps to go, here’s how the top ten is shaping up:

  • Erik Jones
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Tyler Reddick
  • Joey Logano
  • Christopher Bell
  • Michael McDowell
  • Brad Keselowski
  • William Byron
  • Bubba Wallace
  • Alex Bowman

10:25 p.m.: With 15 laps to go, it’s Erik Jones in the iconic No. 43 car who has the lead! Jones didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but he could put a real dent in some of his competitors’ chances in the postseason.

Hamlin and Reddick are right on his trail, however, sitting less than a second behind Jones.

10:18 p.m.: Busch’s car is smoking! His engine failed and he’s headed to the garage! After leading for 155 laps, Busch is one for the day!

He’s getting adorned with jeers from the fans. What an unbelievable race this has been.

10:15 p.m.: Truex’s day is done. And he’s not happy about it.

10:12 p.m.: Caution flag waved once more. Ware’s car slams into the wall before coming to a stop.

26 laps left and still everything to play for.

10:09 p.m.: And Truex’s engine is overheating! He’s headed to pit road, clearing the way for Kyle Busch to take the lead.

So unlucky for Truex, who had a real chance of playing spoiler today.

10:05 p.m.: Truex holds a sizable edge over second-place Busch. Tyler Reddick has broken through the Joe Gibbs Racing triumvirate.

9:57 p.m.: It’s a Joe Gibbs Racing trio leading the way at Darlington. Truex, Busch and Denny Hamlin hold the top three spots with 51 laps to go.

And it’s not even close. Hamlin is five seconds faster than fourth-place Erik Jones.

The race is still up for grabs, of course. Caution flags could be waved, collisions will likely happen and who knows how drivers will exit out of their pit stops. But as things stand, Joe Gibbs Racing is looking like the Southern 500’s biggest winner.

9:53 p.m.: Truex has been at his best throughout tonight’s race. He’s looking every bit like the driver who nabbed the Cup Series title in 2017. Truex currently holds a nearly two second lead over second-place Kyle Busch. Phenomenal display through 311 laps.

57 left to go.

9:44 p.m.: With Elliott and Harvick knocked out of today’s race, the playoff field could look much different than fans may have expected.

There’s still 75 laps to go. But, as Bob Pockrass notes, Elliott’s playoff cushion could drop to as few as 10 points.

9:40 p.m.: Harvick tells reporters that there was no engine failure with the car. He blamed the fire on the “crappy ass parts” of his No. 4 car.

9:29 p.m.: The caution flag is waved once more! It’s Kevin Harvick this time! The No.4 car suddenly burst into flames! Scary scene but Harvick did well to pull into the lawn and jump out of the car before things got unchy.

Plumes of smoke filled the cockpit, but Harvick showed great composure to get himself out of that situation.

9:26 p.m.: Truex has been a man on a mission so far. Despite just missing out on a playoff spot, Truex told reporters that he planned to try to play spoiler in the remaining 10 races of the Cup Series season.

He’s done just that through 273 laps and currently sits in second place, less than a second behind Busch.

9:23 p.m.: Logano had cut into Busch’s lead, even bringing the margin to as slim as a half a second. However, it seems his rear tires are feeling the burn.

9:15 p.m.: Suarez’s team is clearly frustrated with the way Christopher Bell has been racing. They’re trying to calm Suarez down, reminding him that there’s a lot of race to go and emboldening him to get a little tighter when close to Bell.

9:12 p.m.: Joey Logano is back in the mix for the checkered flag! He’s had an up-and-down day so far, conceding pole position partway through Stage 1. And despite struggling to make his mark, Logano has began to rally. Showed some real aggression to snag a stage point in Stage 2. And now, he’s in second place, less than a second behind Busch.

9:09 p.m.: Stage 3 is off! And it’s been a frenetic start, with Alex Bowman and Daniel Suárez encountering a little contact.

Seems Bowman is battling with Christopher Bell for position. He keeps on getting tight with the No. 20 car. One to watch as the race goes on.

9:01 p.m.: And Kyle Busch takes Stage 2! That’s his third stage victory of the season. He’s starting to hit a rhythm right as the Cup Series reaches its crescendo!

9:00 p.m.: With one lap to go, it looks like Busch will take the checkered flag. He’s about a half a car-length over Truex.

8:58 p.m.: Logano with the aggressive move! He barrels through the likes of Suarez, Bell and Byron to put himself in position to get a stage point. Logano now sitting in the top five.

Classic Joey Logano.

8:57 p.m.: The green flag is waved once more and its Kyle Busch with the slight edge over Truex, Blaney and Suarez. All four are within a second of the lead.

8:50 p.m.: That’s another caution flag, the sixth of the day. Cody Ware’s car is getting treatment.

Truex, Busch and Byron among those headed to pit road. 

8:43 p.m.: LaJoie is doing a great job holding off the competition despite driving on some older tires. If he can get to the next caution flag without an issue, he’ll put himself in a great position to compete atop the front of the pack.

8:39 p.m.: After the race restart, here’s how things stand. Busch holds a second-long edge over Martin Truex Jr. Byron is trailing close behind. Corey LaJoie and Christopher Bell are also in the mix. And a special mention for Daniel Suarez, who overcame a one-lap penalty for inspection failures to find a place in the top ten.

We are 204 laps into the contest. 26 more before the end of Stage 2. Lots of time left for people to make a run. 

8:31 p.m.: Another caution flag waved after Larson spins out. His left rear tire went flat, sending him into the wall. However, he’s not showing too much despair, per Pockrass.

8:18 p.m.: Here is video of Elliott’s No. 9 car headed to the garage. A disappointing sight for race fans, undoubtedly.

8:15 p.m.: Per Pockrass, Chastain’s issues are related to his left rear suspension. Seems they have been remedied, though.

8:10 p.m.: Ross Chastain having some difficulties with his car. Can be heard on the radio saying that something is broken. He’s headed to pit road now.

7:55 p.m.: Busch has found some real success after struggling on the track earlier in the race. He got off the blocks on pit road faster than all the others drivers and took the lead for the first time in the race. He has since maintained that edge, outpacing the likes of Byron and Bell in the process.

7:48 p.m.: Per Bob Pockrass, Elliott is done for the day due to the collision. Unfortunate situation for the Cup Series regular season points leader.

7:38 p.m.: Byron takes the green flag! That’s his first stage win since April.

7:36 p.m.: Caution flag is waved! Looks like Chase Elliott collided with the wall after curling into a corner. He eventually bumped into Chase Briscoe, but Elliott suffered the brunt of the damage.

His crew has ten minutes to figure out what went wrong and make the necessary changes.

7:33 p.m.: Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney getting very tight with one another on Turn 1. Looks like Logano gave Blaney a little bump and Blaney wasn’t budging. Blaney made the pass, moving into ninth place in the process. Logano is outside of the top ten.

It’s really playoff time, ain’t it?

7:28 p.m.: With 15 laps left in Stage 1, here’s how the top five is shaping up:

  • William Byron
  • Kyle Busch
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Christopher Bell
  • Ross Chastain

Martin Truex Jr., who missed out on the playoffs by a handful of points, sits in sixth.

7:25 p.m.: Larson tells his team that his car is running smoothly now. He’s currently in 35th place.

7:17 p.m.: Kyle Larson’s engine is having real issues. On the radio, he told his crew that he could barely see anything. He had to pull into pit road. Seems like his team is pushing him to finish the stage first. But huge problems mounting for the reigning Cup Series champion.

7:10 p.m.: Byron takes the lead! A pretty easy pass by the Hendrick Motorsports driver. Some concern for Logano, whose car is well off the pace after being fairly comfortable for most of the first 60 or so laps. With a green flag pit stop looming, it’ll be imperative for Logano’s crew to fix whatever issues he’s having.

7:07 p.m.: Through 61 laps, Joey Logano and William Byron have put a little distance between themselves and the rest of the field. Third-place Christopher Bell is over two seconds behind Byron, who sits in second.

7:02 p.m.: Kevin Harvick dropped to 34th after having some difficulties during his pit stop. Crew chief Rodney Childers doesn’t seem too concerned, though. It’s a long race, after all.

6:56 p.m.: Kyle Busch lost five spots on pit road due to a nut coming out of his right front tire. He now sits in ninth place.

6:52 p.m.: And the caution flag is waved on Lap 37. Drivers are pulling into pit road to get the necessary adjustments needed to keep going.

6:48 p.m.: We are about three laps away from the competition caution flag being waved. That should help out more than a few drivers.

6:45 p.m.: Austin Dillon snagged a playoff place with a momentous victory last week. However, he’s not faring too well so far. Dillon sits in 25th place. Not very happy with the tightness of the his car.

6:41 p.m.: The green flag is waved, and the race is back on. Logano still holding firm in pole position.

6:30 p.m.: Kevin Harvick telling his pit crew that he’s experiencing some issues with his helmet. Seems like it’s not cooling him properly. That’s not what you want to here 11 laps into a 500-mile race.

6:25 p.m.: The first caution flag is waved! There’s a little drizzle on the track. Shouldn’t delay things too much, but NASCAR opting for caution. That’s a real let off for Daniel Suarez, who was given a one-lap penalty for inspection failures.

6:24 p.m.: Christopher Bell and Joey Logano going back-and-forth trying to battle for the pole position. What a start!

6:23 p.m.: And we are off! The Southern 500 is underway!

What time does the NASCAR race start?

  • Race: Southern 500
  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 4
  • Start time: 6 p.m. ET

The Southern 500 is listed to start at 6 p.m. ET, although the green flag is scheduled to be waved at 6:19 p.m. ET.