Chase Elliott, late-race yellow spoil JGR’s domination at Nashville SS
LEBANON, TENN. — When Sunday’s Ally 400 restarted at Lap 261, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas had led all but 12 laps. However, it was the last time any of them led for the rest of the night at Nashville Superspeedway.
Chase Elliott took the lead from Kyle Busch on Lap 262 and won after leading the final 39 laps, which included a caution with eight laps to go for Josh Bilicki blowing an engine. The caution erased Elliott’s one-second lead on Busch who, along with teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. in third and fourth, pitted for new tires.
On the restart, Elliott easily held off Kurt Busch to earn his second win of 2022.
Meanwhile, Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Truex finished sixth, 21st and 22nd respectively.
Denny Hamlin took four tires and finished sixth after restarting 13th.
Hamlin led a race-high 114 laps, including 87 in the first half before a 1-hour, 18-second red flag. After the red flag, he led the first 20 laps and seven during green-flag pit stops but was never a strong factor again.
Kyle Busch took two tires and finished 21st after restarting 12th. During the final restart, he was caught up in a mess that caused Cole Custer and Brad Keselowski to wreck. Custer and Keselowski restarted eighth and ninth on older tires.
Busch led 54 laps, including 51 consecutive laps before Lap 245 when Elliott passed him. Busch regained the lead after pitting but Elliott quickly took the lead for the final time with 39 to go.
Martin Truex Jr. finished 22nd after restarting 15th. Truex was also caught up in the same mess as Busch.
Truex led 82 laps and won both stages. Like Hamlin, Truex had one of the best cars before the red flag and the end of stage two as he led 58 laps in the first half. In all, Truex and Hamlin finished 1-2 in both stages and led 145 of the first 150 laps – and 196 of 300 laps overall Sunday.
In contrast, race winner Chase Elliott steadily improved as he finished eighth in stage one and fourth in stage two, then took the lead for the first time on Lap 245. Elliott took the lead and led 42 of the final 56 laps en route to a victory stolen from the clutches of Joe Gibbs Racing’s brigade.
Elliott is the defending winner of the Kwik Trip 250 at Road America – the next race for the NASCAR Cup Series, July 3 in Elkhart Lake, WI (3pm ET; TV: USA Network; Radio: MRN; Stages end at Laps 15, 30 and 62).
Footnote: Teammate Christopher Bell finished eighth after staying out and restarting 10th. He finished fourth in stage two and did not lead any laps.
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