Truex Jr. Tops Darlington Test


Martin Truex Jr. lead the NASCAR testing session at Darlington Raceway with a lap of 175.535 mph. (Photo: Getty Images)

Twelve drivers took part in an open NASCAR test Wednesday at Darlington Raceway including the most recent Sprint Cup Series winner, Martin Truex Jr.

He finished atop the speed chart with a lap of 175.535 mph just three days after driving to victory at Pocono Raceway.

Teams were preparing for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 6. Truex, specifically, was looking to build on Furniture Row Racing’s early-season success that has resulted in 13 top-10 finishes in 14 races.

"We've got everything it takes to do what we need to do," Truex said. "We've got to keep working hard. We've got a lot of racing left before the Chase starts."

Kyle Busch ran a session-high 108 laps, finishing fifth on the speed chart at 174.036 mph. Jamie McMurray (174.646 mph) was second, Kurt Busch (174.196 mph) third and Ryan Newman fourth (174.110 mph).

The hot, slick track lived up to its slogan "Too Tough to Tame" during Wednesday's test, with both Busch and Joey Logano making contact with the outside wall. Clint Bowyer approved of the track conditions, saying "This is the fastest repave wear-out ever." The track was resurfaced in 2008.

"This place is back to the 'old' Darlington, slipping and sliding around," Bowyer said. "It's the way it needs to be to put on good racing."

The temperature during the test peaked into the low 90s. Teams can expect it to be similar come race weekend in early September, when the average temperature in Darlington is 85 degrees.

Even if the temperature isn’t flaming-hot, we can expect the on-track action to heat up. As Aric Almirola quipped, "Darlington always brings out the best in us drivers, as far as tempers flaring."

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of the Bojangles' Southern 500 from Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 6, starting at 6 P.M. (ET), with live streaming at and on the MRN App.

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