CONCORD, N.C. — Redemption? Not really. Chase Elliott’s victory Thursday night won’t make up for losing last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, but it means he left Charlotte Motor Speedway after having won Tuesday’s Truck race and the rain-delayed Cup race.
Elliott chased Kevin Harvick, who had the dominant car, and passed Harvick with 28 laps to go to take the lead. Elliott went unchallenged as he scored his first victory of the season. Denny Hamlin finished second and was followed by Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Kurt Busch. The handling of Harvick’s car went away and he finished 10th, extending his career-high top-10 streak to 13 races, dating back to last season.
It easily could have been his third Cup win in a row. He was running second late at Darlington Raceway a week ago when Kyle Busch’s contact wrecked Elliott. Then in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600, he pitted from the lead before the overtime restart and could not get back to the front.
“That deal on Sunday night was a heartbreaker,” Elliott said on FS1 after the win.
Elliott said his Truck win on Tuesday was nice couldn’t make up for what happened in the 600.
“It was certainly good, it never hurts anything to come over here and performa and have a good run like that but it definitely didn’t fix it,” Elliott said. “I think we were hungry and wanted to get back and try again.”
This time, he got to celebrate his seventh career Cup victory. His last victory also had been at Charlotte but on the Roval last season.
Elliott showed his strength with a late charge. He restarted fifth on Lap 150 and was in the lead about 30 laps later after passing Harvick, Hamlin, Blaney and Busch.
“We had a lot of speed in our car, not as much as maybe (Elliott),” said Brad Keselowski, who finished seventh. “He was lights-out fast.”
STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano
STAGE 2 WINNER: Alex Bowman
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Denny Hamlin’s runner-up finish marks his third top-five result of the season. … Ryan Blaney left Charlotte with back-to-back third-place finishes. … Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth, his second top-five finish of the season.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Alex Bowman won the second stage and was running second to Kevin Harvick when Bowman hit the wall. He had to pit for repairs and finished 31st. … Kyle Busch had a cut tire while running in a pack and had to pit under green, losing two laps. He finished 29th.
When surrounded by squirrels you’re bound to get hit by a nut.
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) May 29, 2020
NOTABLE: Chase Elliott is the ninth consecutive different winner on a 1.5-mile track, a streak that goes back to last season.
NEXT RACE: Cup races at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)