It was 55 years to the day that Richard Petty wheeled the #43 into victory lane at Darlington for his first and only Southern 500 win. A lot has changed but one thing remained the same, the #43 was in victory lane at Darlington.
Thanks to a late blown engine from leader Kyle Busch, Erik Jones wheeled the Petty GMS Motorsports Chevy for the last 24 laps to earn his first victory with the team. Jones had two wins back when he was with Joe Gibbs Racing, one of them in the Southern 500.
RETWEET to congratulate @Erik_Jones!
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 5, 2022
Jones survived a typical Darlington race that had a lot of attrition. Especially for the Playoff drivers. Kyle Larson had engine troubles early but compared to some of the others, he rebounded well. Chase Elliott spun and finished last. Kevin Harvick’s car caught fire. And along with Busch having his engine troubles, Martin Truex Jr. had trouble and was out early.
This was a very popular win. Darlington’s throwback weekend may have moved to May but it sure felt like a throwback race. The last time a Petty owned car won a NASCAR Cup Series race was Aric Almirola in 2014. It’s the 274th Cup win for a Petty owned car and the 200th win for the #43 itself. Many people were happy with the result, along with King Richard, who is giving Jones one of his trademark hats.
— Richard Petty (@therichardpetty) September 5, 2022
Last night was awesome @TooToughToTame. The crowd was into it, and the race had lots of twists and turns that had everyone shook. @Erik_Jones taking the iconic 43 back to victory lane at Darlington had my nostalgia pegged.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 5, 2022
Southern 500 winners. Number 200 for the No. 43. Goodnight. pic.twitter.com/UzD6xqpTUJ
— Petty GMS (@PettyGMS) September 5, 2022
— Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) September 5, 2022
Joey Logano on Darlington, "It’s the hardest race. Erik [Jones] should be proud of himself because it’s a tough one, for sure.”
Logano then asked if that was the second win here for Jones and was told yes.
— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) September 5, 2022
Congrats @Erik_Jones. Great win!
— Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) September 5, 2022
Congratulations to @Erik_Jones and the Petty GMS Team on an outstanding win at Darlington🏁 A special CONGRATULATIONS to Mike Beam! I know how much this WIN means to you 🏁
— Jeff Hammond (@HollywoodJeff) September 5, 2022
Wow!!! Congratulations @Erik_Jones
— Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) September 5, 2022