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Classic Darlington Chaos Gives Ross Chastain Surprise Truck Win

2024 Darlington 1 Trucks Ross Chastain Watermelon James Gilbert Getty Images

In a Nutshell

Ross Chastain led two laps all night, but they were the only two he needed.

Chastain won the Craftsman Truck Series race at Darlington Raceway on Friday (May 10) after the more dominant trucks of the night found trouble around him. Chastain got a good final restart in overtime to take the win in just his second Truck Series start of 2024.

It’s Chastain’s first win in the Truck Series since Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2022 and his first win in any of NASCAR’s premier series since the Cup Series finale at Phoenix Raceway in 2023.

Perhaps more importantly, the first watermelon smash of 2024 comes at the Lady in Black.

Nick Sanchez finished second, followed by Ben Rhodes in third. Christian Eckes and Ty Majeski rounded out the top five.

The Top Truckers at Darlington Raceway

Winner: Ross Chastain
Polesitter: Nick Sanchez
Stage 1 and 2 Winner/Most Laps Led (77 of 147 laps): Corey Heim
Biggest Mover: Matt Mills, Timmy Hill, Mason Massey, and Thad Moffitt – all finished 14 spots ahead of where they started
Rookie of the Race: Thad Moffitt

Top Storylines of the Race

  • Sanchez won the pole for the race, but he was forced to start in the rear after the team discovered the right rear hub was leaking and needed to be replaced. Despite the setback, Sanchez was able to rocket his way through the field several times throughout the night.
  • A rare mistake from Kyle Busch took him out of contention on lap 2. Making his first start at Darlington (an unreal stat in and of itself) and his final Truck Series start of the season, Busch was battling Heim for the lead when his No. 7 truck got loose and snapped around out of turn 2. He suffered significant right front damage after catching the inside wall on the backstretch. Busch was able to return to the track, but then he cut a tire and hit the wall moments later on lap 12, ending his night for good. The DNF is Busch’s first in the Truck Series since Pocono Raceway way back in 2017, and it’s his first last-place finish ever in 175 truck starts.
  • A huge crash to begin the final stage took out several contending trucks, most notably Heim, who swept the stages and led 77 laps. His TRICON Garage teammate Dean Thompson got loose underneath him off of turn 2 (similarly to Busch) and both trucks hit the outside wall. Rajah Caruth, Matt Crafton, Layne Riggs and Jack Wood – all drivers who were capable of finishing inside the top 10 – also piled in. Of the six…

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