Sprint Cup drivers are at the "Lady in Black" for the Showtime Southern 500. Yesterday Jamie McMurray won the poll with a record qualifying time.
"Feel like the car handles good," said Dale Earnhardt Jr.
At the drop of the green flag Jeff Gordon won the race to first place as Jamie McMurray lost a couple spots. Jimmie Johnson though started out as an early rocket as he moved up around 10 spots to 12th. Then Jimmie struggled to move up any further.
Brian Vickers started to get hot and took over the lead of the race at lap 38. At lap 45 though the first caution of the night came out for Michael McDowell and his car that hit the wall. Thus caution brought in the leaders and Jamie McMurray was able to win the race off pit road.
McMurray had a rocket of a restart to quickly take the lead of the race. In the back Bobby Labonte slows up big time. Then he spins out, but does not bring out the caution. Joey Logano though winds up spinning out next and he hits the inside wall just hard enough to bring out the caution.
Jamie McMurray got another solid restart while Brian Vickers in second had the slow start this time. It was not long and on lap 62 it was Paul Menard spinning out to bring out the caution.
Jamie winds up leading more laps again with another solid restart. His lead went to junk on lap 83 as Greg Biffle winds up hitting the wall. Then Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson who were right behind Greg smack together.
The leaders pit and getting some track position and the lead of the race was Tony Stewart who did just a drive by of his pit stall. Tony could only lead a couple green flag laps though and Jeff Gordon took the lead of the race. At lap 101 it was Clint Boyer in for a green flag stop to fix his ill handling car, but wound up taking his car behind the wall for repairs.
At lap 122 it was Tony Stewart coming in for his scheduled pit stop. At lap 132 it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in for an early pit stop. Around six laps later and Mark Martin pits after hitting the wall. By this time Denny Hamlin was really hot and passed Jeff Gordon for the lead of the race on lap 141.
A few more laps go by and the first round of green flag pit stops really starts. After the pit stops finally ended Denny Hamlin got the lead of the race again. By lap 167 Denny was lead Jeff by almost 5 seconds.
His lead finally went to junk at lap 171 for debris. This helped put Jimmie Johnson back on the lead lap. The leaders all pitted and Jamie McMurray and his 2 tire stop won the race off pit road. Denny Hamlin in fourth was the first to take four tires.
Jamie McMurray got the lead again with and good restart, but on lap 181 the caution comes out. A.J. Allmendinger winds up spinning out and with nowhere to go was Jimmie Johnson and both cars become a big mess.
"Brake rotor exploded," said A.J. Allmendinger. "It was a hard hit," said Jimmie Johnson.
Jamie does it again in the restart and keeps the lead with Kyle Busch in second. At lap 196 it was Tony Stewart hitting the wall and then in a few laps brining out the caution flag. This only brought some of the car on the lead lap for service.
This time Kyle Busch was able to win the war to first place. He kept on leading laps and then the caution came out on lap 227 as Bobby Labonte smacks the wall. Leaders pit and David Reutimann with a two tire stop wins the race off pit road. Kyle Busch wound up coming in twice for tires.
The green flag drops and the caution quickly comes out as Martin Truex Jr. does not have a good restart. The restart to the race this time was nice and clean with Jeff Burton getting to lead more laps. At lap 261 though Jeff Gordon finally able to get the lead back.
The caution finally comes out on lap 281 for Bobby Labonte that spins out. He also winds up taking out David Gilliland. The leaders pit and Kyle Busch with a two-tire stop leads the cars off pit road. Kyle Busch only led a few laps after the restart and then Denny Hamlin took over the race lead.
With 50 laps left Jeff Gordon was chasing down Denny Hamlin big time. With 46 laps left though Jeff Burton passed Jeff Gordon for second. With 35 laps to go Jeff was right behind Denny for the lead of the race.
Around 27 laps left in the race and cars start to make their final pit stop of the night. With 26 laps left the caution comes out. Denny Hamlin though was still able to keep the race lead. Denny Hamlin got the great restart and the lead of the race. Kyle Busch and his car went to junk and he started to loose positions.
Denny Hamlin kept on leading the laps until he won the sucker and the sweep at Darlington.
"We had a top two car all day," said Denny Hamlin.