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Martin Truex Jr. wins the 2016 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

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Martin Truex Jr. beat a dominant Kevin Harvick to win the Labor Day weekend classic.

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick had the fastest car for much of the evening, but Martin Truex Jr. was better when it mattered in outrunning Harvick to win the Southern 500 Sunday at Darlington Raceway.

After pit stops shuffled the order over the final 40 laps, Truex inherited the lead with 16 laps remaining. All this occurred as Harvick, who led a race-high 214 laps and routinely built sizable leads over the field, fought to rebound from a series of slow pit stops that cost him multiple positions.

But with Harvick unable to overcome the deficit, Truex took his second race of the season by little less than a second. Kyle Larson finished third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Joey Logano fifth.

"I couldn't be more excited to win at Darlington -- the Southern 500," Truex said.

Frustrated by repeated issues on pit road that have slowed him throughout the season and prevented him from winning on a night when he had a dominant car in one of NASCAR's four biggest events, Harvick was critical of his pit crew.

"We had a great car," Harvick said. "The guys in the garage and at the shop continue to do a great job, and we continue to give it away on pit road. Pretty much summed up the night. Just the dominant car and just three bad pit stops on pit road."