NASCAR is back. It may look different, with no fans in the stands, drivers wearing masks, and practicing social distancing throughout the facility. Still, for 293 laps around Darlington Raceway, life felt pretty normal again in the racing world. After over two months off, drivers came to one of the circuit’s most demanding tracks to race without practice or qualifying. That gives an advantage to the veterans, holding firm with Kevin Harvick picking up his 50th career win. With that being said, here is the first power ranking in over ten weeks.
Kevin Harvick Wins the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway – in NASCAR’s Return Back to Action
The NASCAR Cup Series held its first race after a two-month break due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This race was at Darlington Raceway without fans. Even though it seemed off due to the lack of fans in attendance, it was therapeutic for many fans, drivers, and all workers within NASCAR operations. It was a sight for sore eyes to watch NASCAR racing again.
Brad Keselowski brought the field to the green flag to begin the race. It did not take long for the first caution to wave. However. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wrecking coming out of turn two after taking the field four-wide onto the backstretch.
After a quick cleanup, the field reset and went at it again. Keselowski continues to lead. The competition caution came out on lap 30, and this was a much-needed opportunity for teams to make adjustments to their cars. Keselowski jumped back out into the lead, but it was Alex Bowman who stayed with him and stole the lead on the following lap.
NASCAR’s return to real-time action Sunday afternoon was a resumption of the close-quarter, high-action brand of racing that fans have long expected at historic Darlington Raceway, culminating with Kevin Harvick claiming his first trophy of the season in front of a robust television and radio audience eager to welcome sports back.
Seven-time champion, Jimmie Johnson leads the pack at Darlington
A crash at Darlington Raceway changes everything for NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson. He was leading the last lap in the first stage in the Real Heroes 400 as fans celebrate happy days again. But all that just vanished. Johnson lost control of his car while racing alongside another car. That’s when the No. 48 car went spinning then crashing into the wall to end his day.
“Gosh, what I would do to get that corner back to do it over again,” said Johnson after exiting the car.
“Coming to the end of the stage, I was just trying to make sure I got a good run off of turn two. I felt like I was going to be able to exit the corner side-by-side with him, things just went horribly wrong there.”
Fan4Racing Race Day Chat is with our Fan4Racing Crew during the NASCAR Cup Series Real Heroes 400 race at Darlington Raceway. We’ll open the chat room at least 30 minutes before the green flag and close the door at 30 minutes after the checkered flag.
Join the conversation in our Fan4Racing Race Day Chat below: