DARLINGTON, S.C. — Denny Hamlin won a rain-shortened 500-kilometer race at Darlington Raceway Wednesday night.
It was the second NASCAR Cup points race in three days as the series is making up for lost time because of its 11-week the coronavirus shutdown.
“We were really good all day, all night, whatever,” Hamlin said. “We made really good adjustments between the two races, really worked hard to get our car a little bit better than what it was here on Sunday. Really things just kind of worked out.”
Teams had to work double-time to get cars ready for the second Darlington race after having just run a points race a little over 48 hours prior. It’s the first time in NASCAR history the series has run to points races in the span of three days on the same track.
The rain ended the race with just 20 laps to go and Hamlin in the lead. But it was not the rain that brought out the caution on Lap 28. It was an incident between Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott in which Busch wrecked Elliott as Elliott was completing a pass for the second spot.
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“Obviously I just made a mistake, misjudged the gap, sent him into the wall,” Busch said. “That was entirely unintentional. I’ll definitely reach out to him and tell him I’m sorry. All I can do. That doesn’t change the outcome of the night.”
The incident infuriated Elliott afterward and it showed. On the subsequent caution lap after the wreck, Elliott walked out on to the racing surface and showed Busch a middle-finger as he drove by.
“I didn’t see him out there doing that,” said Busch of the gesture. “I thought we had protocols where we’re not supposed to do that, so okay.”
The series will now head back to its home base in Charlotte, North Carolina where they will run in the regularly scheduled Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Sunday. The following Wednesday drivers will race there a second time.