Chase Elliott Goes Home to Win at AMS

Getty Images

HAMPTON, GA – RIS – The adage is not so accurate on this day.  Chase Elliott came home to Georgia and won the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway on the white flag lap.  It was a wild affair, one that really because of the new track configuration—high banks and new pavement.  Though the new surface was a little iffy at times, it made for solid entertainment to a smallish crowd, something that might change after today’s action.

Elliott, 26, swept the first two stages and took the lead again with two laps remaining to secure the victory. During the final stretch, he just edged Corey LaJoie, who had a shot at an upset win before wrecking not long after Elliott regained the lead.  After he threw a massive block to LaJoie.  It was his third win of 2022 and his first win at what he considers his home track.

Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney were the other top-five finishers, respectively.

Chase and Bill Elliott became the second father-son combo to win in Atlanta, joining Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bill won six times in Atlanta.

“This one’s up there for sure, man,” Elliott said in Victory Lane. when asked where Sunday’s win ranked among his victories. “To win at your home track is a really big deal, I think, to any race car driver. I’ve watched a lot of guys do it over the years.

“We haven’t really had a really good run here, so I felt like today was a good opportunity for us. I’m just so proud. This is obviously home for me, home to a lot of great fans who made a lot of noise today. Home for (sponsor) NAPA, right down the road in Atlanta. I just couldn’t be more proud of our team.”

After a very clean Stage 1, it became obvious that this race would become like races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.  What made it intriguing was the relative narrowness of AMS and the fact that the track is at lead a mile longer. After the first stage of 60 laps, the aggressiveness caused five cautions in the second stage alone.  At Lap 91, contact from Chastain turned Martin Truex Jr. around in Turn 2, setting off a nine-car crash that collected Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Austin Dillon among others.

During the crash, contact from Christopher Bell sent Michael McDowell into Dillon, who was then turned hard into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier. Dillon was checked and released from the infield care center, then called out Chastain for his role in the incident.

Another major crash broke out shortly after the start of the final stage. At Lap 170, Garrett Smithley appeared to lift out of the throttle entering Turn 3. Ty Dillon then made contact with Smithley, both drivers went into the SAFER Barrier, and a pile-up ensued.

Among those involved were contenders Tyler Reddick and William Byron, who won the first race on Atlanta’s reconfigured layout this past spring. Both Reddick and Byron were eliminated from the race, as was Ty Dillon.

LaJoie, driving for Spire Motorsports, led for a short period before Elliott regained control with less than 60 laps to go. The race continued on until a spin from Bell in Turn 4 and into the tri-oval grass brought out the caution with 25 laps to go.

Truex Jr. got out to the lead following the restart with 19 laps to go. Four laps later, Chastain was involved in another incident – this time with Denny Hamlin, with whom he clashed earlier this season at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Contact from Chastain in Turn 4 sent Hamlin around to put the race under yellow with 15 laps to go. Shortly after the next restart with 8 laps left, another caution came out for an incident involving Hamlin, Bell and Logano. That set up the three-lap dash to the finish, ending under caution with Elliott going to Victory Lane.

Unofficial Results: 53rd Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart, July 10, 2022 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 1, Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 260, 1, 1, 8, 96, 7, 60, Running
2) 2, Ross Chastain, No. 1 Jockey Chevrolet, 260, 3, 9, 3, 32, , 45, Running
3) 5, Austin Cindric #, No. 2 Menards/Quaker State Ford, 260, , , 1, 7, , 34, Running
4) 25, Erik Jones, No. 43 FOCUSfactor Chevrolet, 260, , , 1, 10, , 33, Running
5) 6, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Wabash Ford, 260, 4, 4, 2, 2, , 46, Running
6) 7, Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Freeway Insurance Chevrolet, 260, , , , , , 31, Running
7) 24, Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 260, , , , , , 30, Running
8) 22, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Ford Pro Ford, 260, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 18, Cole Custer, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, 260, , , , , , 28, Running
10) 27, Harrison Burton #, No. 21 Freightliner Ford, 260, , 7, 2, 9, , 31, Running
11) 9, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, 260, , , 2, 27, , 26, Running
12) 10, Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford, 260, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 3, Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, 260, 9, , , , , 26, Running
14) 32, Bubba Wallace, No. 23 leidos Toyota, 260, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 12, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Fr8Auctions.com Ford, 260, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 14, Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford, 260, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 28, Todd Gilliland #, No. 38 YANMAR Ford, 260, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 31, Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Solomon Plumbing Ford, 260, , 3, , , , 27, Running
19) 15, Christopher Bell, No. 20 Rheem Toyota, 260, 10, 6, , , , 24, Running
20) 19, Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M's Crunchy Cookie Toyota, 260, 6, , , , , 22, Running
21) 30, Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Raze Energy Chevrolet, 260, , 10, 3, 19, , 17, Running
22) 21, Kurt Busch, No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota, 259, 7, 5, , , , 25, Accident
23) 34, Cody Ware, No. 51 Nurtec ODT Ford, 259, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 36, Landon Cassill(i), No. 77 Voyager: Crypto for All Chevrolet, 259, , , , , , 0, Running
25) 16, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Coca-Cola Toyota, 259, 8, , 1, 2, , 15, Running
26) 17, Joey Logano, No. 22 Autotrader Ford, 252, , , , , , 11, DVP
27) 33, Garrett Smithley(i), No. 15 True Brands Ford, 252, , , , , , 0, Running
28) 23, Ty Dillon, No. 42 Allegiant Chevrolet, 174, , , , , , 9, DVP
29) 4, Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet, 170, , 2, 2, 13, , 17, Accident
30) 13, William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 170, 5, 8, 1, 41, , 16, Accident
31) 20, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger/Ball Park Chevrolet, 162, , , 1, 2, , 6, Engine
32) 8, Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Milestone Chevrolet, 160, 2, , , , , 14, DVP
33) 11, Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 107, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 29, Noah Gragson(i), No. 16 Gold Fish Casino Slots Chevrolet, 91, , , , , , 0, Suspension
35) 26, Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet, 90, , , , , , 2, Accident
36) 35, BJ McLeod(i), No. 78 Blaster Ford, 77, , , , , , 0, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Race Length: 260 Laps, 400.4 Miles
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 22 Mins, 18 Secs.
Average Speed: 118.754 MPH
Margin of Victory: Under Caution

Stage 1 Top 10: 9, 48, 1, 12, 24, 18, 45, 11, 5, 20
Stage 2 Top 10: 9, 8, 6, 12, 45, 20, 21, 24, 1, 7

Comments: Chase Elliott has won the Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his 16th career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Cautions: 13 for 64 laps;
Laps: 27-30 (Competition Caution  [None]);
62-66 (Stage 1 Conclusion  [15]);
79-83 (Nos. 78, 17, 42 incident backstretch [None]);
92-98 (Nos. 22, 3, 19, 1, 19, 34, 18, 5, 20 incident turn 2 [17]);
108-112 (No. 17 incident turn 4 [5]);
138-142 (No. 14 spin turn 2 [15]);
160-165 (No. 48 incident turn 4/Stage 2 Conclusion [18]);
171-176 (Nos. 15, 42, 8, 24, 38, 23, 6, 5, 77 incident turn 3 [22]);
190-194 (Nos. 18, 51 spin turn 2 [23]);
237-241 (No. 20 spin frontstretch [34]);
247-252 (Nos. 1, 11, 6, 12 incident frontstretch [20]);
254-257 (Nos. 22, 11 incident backstretch [18]);
260-260 (Nos. 7, 45, 41 incident backstretch [None]).

Lead Changes: 27 among 12 drivers;
R. Chastain 1;
C. Elliott 2;
R. Chastain 3-21;
D. Hamlin 22-23;
R. Blaney 24;
C. Elliott 25-50;
R. Blaney 51;
C. Elliott 52-63;
T. Reddick 64-69;
M. Truex Jr. 70-86;
C. Elliott 87-94;
H. Burton # 95-98;
R. Stenhouse Jr. 99-100;
H. Burton # 101-105;
W. Byron 106-146;
T. Reddick 147-153;
C. Elliott 154-162;
A. Cindric # 163-169;
E. Jones 170-179;
R. Chastain 180-191;
C. LaJoie 192-201;
C. Elliott 202;
C. LaJoie 203-204;
C. Elliott 205-241;
M. Truex Jr. 242-251;
C. LaJoie 252-258;
C. Elliott 259-260.

Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Austin Cindric, No. 2 

 

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

Ron Fleshman is NASCAR Editor at Ris-News.com

Read More on Cup / XFINITY / Truck news
Volume 2022, Issue 7, Posted 7:38 PM, 07.10.2022