Chase Elliott Wins Wild NASCAR Cup Race at Texas Motor Speedway

AP Wire Photo

FORT WORTH, TX – RIS – It was 42 races since favorite driver and former champion Chase Elliott had won a NASCAR Cup Series race, but never missing a beat, that is over. It was the 19th Cup victory of Elliott's career and his first since winning at Talladega in October of the 2022 season. Elliott, 28, had five top-5 finishes in 2023.Elliott survived three restarts to get the win at Texas Motor Speedway. 

Elliott held off Ross Chastain in the overtime. Elliott remained in the hunt for much of Sunday's race and showed an aggressiveness he has been missing recently.

He was trying to hold off Denny Hamlin after a restart with two laps to go before overtime when Hamlin spun out and went into the wall. Elliott had not yet made it to the white flag by then.

“Man, I cannot tell you, each and every one of you how much I appreciate you sticking with me,” Elliott said as he gave tribute to the late Alan Kulwicki by doing the Polish Victory Lap—driving around the track thanking the fans for support like Kulwicki did while having Hooters Restaurant as a sponsor.

Brad Keselowski, seeking to end a 106-race winless streak, finished second. William Byron placed third and was followed by Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez.* (Note this was at the end of the race and not official)

Elliott’s victory makes him the third Hendrick driver to win this season, joining Byron and Kyle Larson. The win also continued the dominance of Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. Those two organizations have won eight of the first nine races this season.

The race went to overtime when Denny Hamlin crashed while racing Elliott for the lead. They ran side-by-side through Turn 3 and Elliott moved ahead before Hamlin lose control and slide into the Turn 4 wall. The race featured 16 cautions including the yellow flag for Chastain’s crash on the final lap. That ties a track record that was set in 2022 despite Sunday’s race being 100 miles shorter than every other Texas race until 2023.

Two of the cautions came as drivers were battling for the lead, including with less than three scheduled laps to go. Denny Hamlin crashed while he was on the outside of Elliott as his car suddenly lost traction and hit the wall. Kyle Larson won Stage one and Ross Chastain won Stage two.

Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson started first and was the strongest driver throughout the opening stage. But his right rear wheel came off the car under a caution flag during the second stage and he never recovered the track position he lost.

Larson was penalized two laps for the wheel coming off his car and he got those laps back before he spun with less than 10 scheduled laps to go.

Unofficial Results: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400, April 14, 2024 - Texas Motor Speedway 
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 24, Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet, 276, 7, 10, 3, 39, 5, 45, Running
2) 22, Brad Keselowski, No. 6 BuildSubmarines.com Ford, 276, , 6, , , , 40, Running
3) 6, William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 276, 9, , , , , 36, Running
4) 4, Tyler Reddick, No. 45 The Beast Unleashed Toyota, 276, 4, , 2, 37, , 40, Running
5) 17, Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Kubota Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 32, Running
6) 5, Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford, 276, 5, 5, , , , 43, Running
7) 10, Bubba Wallace, No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota, 276, 10, 2, 1, 5, , 40, Running
8) 15, Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 35, Kyle Busch, No. 8 zone Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 28, Running
10) 16, Carson Hocevar #, No. 77 Premier Security Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 20, Joey Logano, No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford, 276, , , 1, 14, , 26, Running
12) 26, Ryan Preece, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, 276, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 2, Ty Gibbs, No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 276, , 9, 1, 5, , 26, Running
14) 9, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 276, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 19, Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford, 276, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 36, Ty Dillon(i), No. 16 Sea Best Seafood Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 0, Running
17) 3, Christopher Bell, No. 20 Rheem Toyota, 276, 2, , 1, 1, , 29, Running
18) 21, Noah Gragson, No. 10 Overstock.com Ford, 276, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 27, Erik Jones, No. 43 Dollar Tree Toyota, 276, , 4, , , , 25, Running
20) 38, Daniel Hemric, No. 31 South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 1, Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, 276, 1, , 5, 77, 1, 26, Running
22) 23, Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Schluter Systems Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 31, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Boost by Kroger/Blue Buffalo Chevrolet, 276, , 8, , , , 17, Running
24) 32, Justin Haley, No. 51 Jacob Construction Ford, 276, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 8, Austin Cindric, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford, 276, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 18, Zane Smith #, No. 71 Ambetter Health Chevrolet, 276, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 33, Kaz Grala #, No. 15 N29 Capital Partners Ford, 276, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 29, Harrison Burton, No. 21 Freightliner Ford, 276, , 7, 1, 7, , 13, Running
29) 37, * Jimmie Johnson, No. 84 AdventHealth Toyota, 276, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 11, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Yahoo! Toyota, 276, 3, , 2, 37, , 15, Running
31) 28, Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford, 276, , , 1, 3, , 6, Running
32) 12, Ross Chastain, No. 1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, 275, , 1, 2, 33, 1, 15, Accident
33) 7, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Knauf Insulation Ford, 268, 6, 3, 3, 17, , 17, Running
34) 30, John Hunter Nemechek, No. 42 Romco Equipment Co. Toyota, 226, , , , , , 3, Accident
35) 13, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's/Fleetguard Ford, 143, 8, , , , , 5, Accident
36) 25, Josh Berry #, No. 4 Miner DOCKS DOORS AND MORE Ford, 136, , , , , , 1, Accident
37) 14, Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 100, , , , , , 1, Accident
38) 34, * Austin Hill(i), No. 33 United Rentals Chevrolet, 98, , , 1, 1, , 1, Steering
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Total Race Length: 276 Laps, 414. Miles
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 33 Mins, 14 Secs.
Average Speed: 116.492 MPH
Margin of Victory: Under Caution

Stage 1 Top 10: 5, 20, 11, 45, 14, 12, 9, 34, 24, 23
Stage 2 Top 10: 1, 23, 12, 43, 14, 6, 21, 47, 54, 9

Comments: Chase Elliott won the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway, his 19th victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty: No. 8 (backup car), Nos. 15, 84 (unapproved adjustments). 

Cautions: 16 for 72 laps;
Laps: 51-55 (No. 84 Spin Turn 4 [17]);
82-88 (Stage 1 Conclusion [8]);
102-106 (No. 20, 42, 48 Incident Turn 4 [51]);
115-118 (No. 8, 77 Incident Turn 1 [16]);
122-125 (No. 4 Incident Turn 2 [84]);
138-142 (No. 4 Incident Turn 2 [20]);
144-149 (No. 34 Incident Turn 4 [5]);
167-172 (Stage 2 Conclusion [5]);
174-177 (No. 14, 23 Incident Turn 4 [15]);
182-184 (No. 12, 41 Incident Turn 2 [15]);
230-234 (No. 42 Incident Turn 4 [71]);
255-259 (No. 47 Incident Turn 2 [19]);
261-265 (No. 5, 71 Incident Turn 1 [47]);
267-270 (No. 11 Incident Turn 4 [12]);
272-274 (No. 15, 21 Incident Turn 1 [12]);
276-276 (No. 1, 24 Incident Backstretch [None]).

Lead Changes: 23 among 13 drivers;
K. Larson 1-35;
T. Gibbs 36-40;
C. Elliott 41-52;
K. Larson 53-54;
C. Bell 55;
K. Larson 56-84;
R. Blaney 85-87;
*. Hill(i) 88;
R. Blaney 89-99;
K. Larson 100;
R. Blaney 101-103;
T. Gilliland 104-106;
K. Larson 107-116;
D. Hamlin 117-138;
R. Chastain 139-167;
B. Wallace 168-172;
H. Burton 173-179;
T. Reddick 180-213;
R. Chastain 214-217;
J. Logano 218-231;
T. Reddick 232-234;
C. Elliott 235-244;
D. Hamlin 245-259;
C. Elliott 260-276.

Ron Fleshman and John Davison

Ron Fleshman  and John Davison are Editors at ris-news.com

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Volume 2024, Issue 4, Posted 8:08 PM, 04.14.2024