WATCH: Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott Collide During 2020 Cup Race at Darlington

Published 09/06/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Last year at the Darlington Raceway, Martin Truex Jr was one of the favorites to win the race. He started the race in sixth place and then proceeded to claw his way up the order. The best part is that he went on to win Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the 2020 Cook Out Southern 500. However, in Stage 3, it all went wrong when he made a move on Chase Elliott for the lead.

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Unfortunately, they clipped each other and ground into the outside wall. The good news was that both drivers were able to continue on. In the immediate aftermath of the coming together, Elliott insisted that Truex Jr had not fully cleared him. For obvious reasons, he was fuming, and they finished well down the order.

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When Stage 1 ended, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver led Hendrick Motorsports duo, Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott. Meanwhile, Stage 2 saw Truex Jr lead a Joe Gibbs 1-2 ahead of Denny Hamlin, with Kevin Harvick in third place. The Stewart-Haas driver separated the JGR duo from the Hendrick Motorsports pair of Johnson and Alex Bowman.

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How did the race pan out for Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott?

As mentioned before, both drivers finished well down the order. Elliott could only muster 20th place, with Martin Truex Jr two places behind him. Back at the front, Kevin Harvick won the race, ahead of Austin Dillon and Joey Logano. Erik Jones managed to save face for Joe Gibbs Racing in fourth place, with William Byron doing the same for Hendrick Motorsports in fifth.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) races for position against driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) and driver Michael McDowell (34) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Bowman finished sixth, ahead of the Busch brothers, with Kyle leading Kurt. Finally, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer rounded out the Top 10, with the latter competing in his final Darlington race. Fortunately for Truex Jr, his 2021 performance was much better, as he finished in fourth place. Sadly, the same could not be said for Chase Elliott.

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Dhruv George

11993 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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