Good fortune found Chase Elliott Thursday (May 28) at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the Hendrick Motorsports driver collecting his first Cup Series victory of 2020.
Elliott, who lost the Coca-Cola 600 four days prior after pitting from the lead under caution, was anticipating a caution in the final laps of Thursday’s Alsco Uniforms 500.
“I thought either the caution was going to come out, I was going to break something or I was going to crash,” Elliott said. “Just after the last couple of weeks, I just thought surely it wasn’t going to go green until the end. Just glad it did and glad we’re hopefully back on the right path.”
Elliott led the final 28 laps in the 208-lap event, passing race leader Kevin Harvick, who led the most laps.
“I think the biggest thing is if we can continue to put ourselves in position and give ourselves chances and we do a good job at controlling the things that are in our control, that’s all we can ask for,” Elliott said.
Denny Hamlin finished second in the race, followed by Ryan Blaney in third place.
“We had two solid races here at Charlotte,” Blaney said. “We just need to find a little bit more speed, but we’re right there. I’m really proud of this team.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kurt Busch rounded out the Top-5.
THROUGH THE FIELD
Joey Logano, the winner of Stage 1, finished sixth.
Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick filled in positions seventh through 10th.
Harvick, the only driver to finish inside the Top-10 in each of the first eight races of 2020, led a race-high 63 laps.
“It was the total opposite of what we raced last Sunday, so it was a good test session for us,” Harvick said. “We just didn’t need a long run.”
Polesitter William Byron, who led 11 laps, finished 12th.
For the second time this season, John Hunter Nemechek was the highest finishing rookie, placing 13th.
Alex Bowman, winner of Stage 2, finished 31st, two laps down.
“That didn’t end the way we imagined,” Bowman said. “We had a great car and led some laps and got our fourth stage win of the season. I just got in the wall there at the end and it really hurt the right side.
“At that point, there isn’t really much we can do.”
Elliott’s victory is his seventh career win in the Cup Series.
Elliott is tied with and Marshall Teague for 66th on the series’ all-time wins list.
2020 has featured six winners: Denny Hamlin (Daytona and Charlotte); Joey Logano (Las Vegas and Phoenix); Alex Bowman (Fontana); Chase Elliott (Charlotte); Kevin Harvick (Darlington); and Brad Keselowski (Charlotte);
Leaving Charlotte Motor Speedway, Harvick is the points leader (291 points) over Logano (268), Bowman (266), Elliott (241) and Keselowski (235).
The next scheduled points-awarding race for the series is the Food City Presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 31.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.