Tour Championship leaderboard LIVE: Tiger Woods outright leader, Rory McIlroy close

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Unlawful death lawsuit against NASCAR champion Stewart dismissed

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NASCAR president Brent Dewar steps down, successor appointed

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‘Emotional’ return to Old Trafford for ex-Man United manager Alex Ferguson

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NASCAR Darlington: Penske’s Brad Keselowski gets first win of 2018

Penske’s Brad Keselowski snatched his first victory of the 2018 NASCAR Cup series season, vaulting ahead of long-time race leader Kyle Larson late on at Darlington.

Winning the opening two stages and controlling the majority of the final stage, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Larson led 284 of 367 laps.

Despite his lead surviving two restarts in the closing stages, a spin for Jeffrey Earnhardt on lap 344 triggered one final caution and one final pit window.

A quick pitstop allowed Keselowski to jump Larson in the pitlane. The Penske driver was able to control the lead at the restart to seize victory and book an automatic place in the playoffs.

Keselowski had finished stage one in fifth place and ended stage two in second. His Cup series victory follows a win in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Darlington.

Larson struggled after being demoted by Keselowski ahead of the final restart. He slipped behind Keselowski’s team-mate Joey Logano and was forced to hold off Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick in the final laps.

Behind the Penske one-two, Larson managed to beat Harvick by 0.297s across the line to seal third place in a rare race that was not dominated by NASCAR’s ‘Big Three’.

Harvick had started the race in 22nd, climbing into sixth place by the end of stage one.

In stage two, Harvick battled Martin Truex Jr and Larson for the race lead at mid-distance, before his tyres faded at the end of the segment after SHR attempted to make one fewer pitstop compared to the majority of the field.

Truex’s challenge faltered towards the end of stage two. During his final pitstop in the segment, an uncontrolled tyre meant that he was handed a drivethrough penalty, which dropped him one lap down.

He was unable to recover the lap in the free pass position, as Larson managed to lap Austin Dillon in a drag race to the line at the end of the stage.

Truex ended up finishing in 11th after he was unable to recover to the lead lap later on.

Chase Elliott managed to pass Erik Jones after the final restart to grab fifth place after he had figured in the top 10 through the race.

While Joe Gibbs Racing’s Jones had been Larson’s closest challenger in the opening stage, he dropped down the order after suffering an uncontrolled tyre penalty ahead of stage two. Despite working his way back into contention, he struggled at the final restart and ended up eighth.

He was demoted late on by the Busch brothers, with SHR’s Kurt finishing ahead of JGR’s Kyle, in sixth and seventh respectively.

Jamie McMurray finished the race in ninth place. His practice mileage was compromised by an engine blowout and he started from the back of the field after the team used qualifying as an additional opportunity to test.

Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman were both in contention for a top 10 finish before the two collided in the latter stages.

Newman slowed down in order the enter the pits and Bowyer was unsighted, slamming into the rear of the #31. Both drivers were uninjured.

Darlington is considered NASCAR’s ‘throwback’ weekend with the majority of the field running retro liveries honouring historic drivers, teams and moments in the series’ history.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car
1 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
2 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
3 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
5 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
7 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
8 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
9 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
10 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
11 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
13 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
14 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
15 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford
16 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
17 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford
18 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford
19 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
20 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford
21 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet
22 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
23 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
24 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet
25 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford
26 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
27 Corey LaJoie TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet
28 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
29 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
30 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet
31 J.J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
32 B.J. McLeod Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
33 Derrike Cope StarCom Racing Chevrolet
34 Jeffrey Earnhardt Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota
35 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
36 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
37 Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports Toyota
38 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford
39 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
40 Joey Gase BK Racing Toyota

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 1038
2 Kevin Harvick 999
3 Martin Truex Jr. 883
4 Kurt Busch 835
5 Joey Logano 818
6 Brad Keselowski 785
7 Kyle Larson 783
8 Clint Bowyer 777
9 Ryan Blaney 755
10 Denny Hamlin 738
11 Chase Elliott 737
12 Aric Almirola 681
13 Erik Jones 679
14 Jimmie Johnson 605
15 Alex Bowman 586
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 518
17 Ryan Newman 503
18 Austin Dillon 496
19 Paul Menard 493
20 Daniel Suarez 487
21 Jamie McMurray 464
22 William Byron 444
23 Chris Buescher 404
24 A.J. Allmendinger 391
25 David Ragan 368
26 Michael McDowell 361
27 Kasey Kahne 358
28 Darrell Wallace Jr. 357
29 Ty Dillon 326
30 Matt DiBenedetto 267
31 Trevor Bayne 214
32 Matt Kenseth 129
33 Landon Cassill 123
34 Gray Gaulding 118
35 Cole Whitt 90
36 Corey LaJoie 89
37 Jeffrey Earnhardt 73
38 Reed Sorenson 45
39 Harrison Rhodes 23
40 Blake Jones 21
41 Kyle Weatherman 16
42 Mark Thompson 15
43 Derrike Cope 8
44 Chris Cook 6
45 Tomy Drissi 5
46 Danica Patrick 2
47 Cody Ware 1
48 Brendan Gaughan 0

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