DARLINGTON, S.C. — Martin Truex Jr. took the lead with 28 laps to go and held off Kevin Harvick on the final restart to win the Southern 500 on Sunday night.

Truex started the summer season by leading an astounding 588 of 600 miles to win at Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend. He closed the season by outracing Harvick on Labor Day weekend for his second crown jewel win of the season.

Truex pulled up to the inside wall to greet his crew, then taking off for some celebration donuts at the track “Too Tough To Tame.”

Harvick had the dominant car – he led 214 of 367 laps – but this run was cut short by slow pit stops. At one point, Harvick fell 11 spots from first to 12th after a super slow 16.6-second stop. He battled back toward the top, but could not chase down Truex.

Last week’s winner at Michigan, Kyle Larson, finished third and Denny Hamlin was fourth. Joey Logano was fifth, followed by Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott.

Truex moved past leader Newman on lap 339 to take the lead and stayed in front on a final restart to win another of what was once considered of one of NASCAR’s most-prized races.

“This is unbelieveable,” Truex said. “I’ve always loved this race track.”

Truex, who made last year’s championship Chase and is locked in this year, is no surprise – and may have stamped himself a significant contender for the Sprint Cup crown.

“It was definitely worth the wait,” he said.

Harvick could not overcome his shoddy pit showing and was frustrated with his team.

“We have championship cars and we’re just mediocre on pit road. It’s been that way for a few years,” he said.

WHO’S HOT: Larson followed up his win at Michigan last week with a third-place at Darlington. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver led 45 laps and felt good about running up front for a second straight race.