Chase Elliott earns redemption with win at Charlotte

Jim Utter
Motorsport

After losing out on the opportunity on victories in the final laps of the last two NASCAR Cup Series races, Elliott gained redemption, holding off Denny Hamlin to win Thursday night’s Alsco 500k at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Michael McDowell went spinning into the frontstretch grass off Turn 4 on the final lap but Elliott had already crossed the finish line to lock up his first series win of the 2020 season.

The win is seventh of Elliott’s career and first on Charlotte’s oval track. He won last fall on the Charlotte Roval.

"It's feels awesome. It's been a tough week for sure," Elliott said. "We've had some tough losses but that deal on Sunday night (in the Coca-Cola 600) was a heart-breaker. It's not the Coke 600 but any win in the Cup series is really hard to get. I just really appreciate everybody at Hendrick Motorsports across the street here. Everybody's been working really hard.

"I appreciate my team. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) made a great call there at the end to get tuned up. Luckily, the run went long and I think that fell in our favor."

Asked about the last 10 laps, Elliott said, "I was just waiting for the caution to come out. If the caution didn't come out, I was thinking I was probably going to break something or I was going to crash. After the last last couple weeks, surely it was going to go green until the end. Hopefully we're back on the right path."

Ryan Blaney finished third, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fourth and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap cars pit with Alex Bowman the first off pit road. Clint Bowyer was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 123, Bowman was followed by Logano, Harvick, Blaney and Elliott.

Harvick powered around Bowman on the outside coming off Turn 4 on Lap 126 to take the lead as Elliott moved into third.

With 75 laps to go, Harvick held a small lead over Bowman. Elliott remained in third, followed by Blaney and Logano.

On Lap 136, Bowman was forced to pit under green for repairs after he slapped the wall of Turn 4. When he returned to the track he was in 33rd and a lap down.

A caution came out on Lap 144 after Timmy Hill got into the Turn 4 wall. The lead-lap cars all pit with Harvick the first off pit road. Erik Jones was held a lap for pitting outside his pit box.

On the restart on Lap 150, Harvick was followed by Hamlin and Blaney.

Elliott got around Blaney and moved into the runner-up position behind Harvick on Lap 155.

With 35 laps remaining, Harvick maintained a small lead over Elliott with Blaney in third and Stenhouse moved into fourth.

With 27 laps to go, Elliott got around Harvick in lapped traffic in Turn 2 to take the lead for the first time in the race.

Blaney got around Harvick for second place with 22 laps to go as Elliott maintained his lead.

With 10 laps to go, Elliott held a 1.6-second lead over Blaney as Stenhouse moved up to third.

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Stage 2

Bowman stayed out on a pit stop and cruised to the Stage 2 victory over Blaney.

Logano finished third, Elliott fourth and Harvick rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Logano the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 63, Logano led the way followed by Blaney and Harvick.

On Lap 65, Kyle Busch got a left-rear flat after going four-wide in Turn 2 and was forced to pit under green for fresh tires.

Harvick got around Logano on Lap 66 to move into the lead for the first time in the race. After pitting, Busch was in 38th and two laps down.

On Lap 74, Brennan Poole got into Quin Houff, who then tagged the wall and brought out a caution. Several cars elected to pit under the caution with Jones the first off pit road.

On the restart on Lap 79, Bowman – among those who stayed on the track – led the way followed by Logano and Blaney. Jones, the first of those who pit, restarted 15th.

With 30 laps remaining in the second stage, Bowman maintained a small lead over Logano with Blaney in third.

After 95 laps, Bowman’s lead had expanded to 1.5 second over second-place Blaney. Logano dropped to third and Elliott had moved up to fourth on fresher tires.

With five laps remaining in the second stage, Bowman held a more than 2-second lead over Blaney as Logano remained in third.

Stage 1

Logano held off teammate Blaney to claim the Stage 1 win that included a 75-minute red flag for rain and lightning. It was his second stage win of the 2020 season.

Matt DiBenedetto finished third, Harvick fourth and Bowman rounded out the top-five.

Byron started on the pole due to an invert but DiBenedetto quickly grabbed the lead on Lap 1 as a wrecked erupted involving Garrett Smithley and Joey Gase to bring out a caution.

On the restart on Lap 10, DiBenedetto was followed by Byron and Bowman. Byron quickly powered back around DiBendetto after the restart to reclaim the lead.

NASCAR put out a competition caution on Lap 21 to allow teams to check tire wear. Most lead-lap cars pit with Byron the first off pit road.

Both Hamlin and Bowyer were penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field. On the restart on Lap 25, Logano led the way as he elected not to pit.

On Lap 29, Matt Kenseth spun to bring out another caution. Keselowski also had to pit with a flat tire as he dropped multiple positions trying to get to pit road. During the caution, the race was placed under the red flag for lightning in the area.

The race returned to yellow around 9:10 p.m. ET and several drivers elected to pit under caution including Keselowski, Bowyer, William Byron and Christopher Bell.

The race returned to green on Lap 35 with Logano in the lead, followed by Blaney and DiBenedetto.

With 15 laps remaining in the stage, Logano held a 1.3-second lead over DiBenedetto as Blaney moved into the third position.

Aric Almirola was forced to start the race from the rear of the field for improper adjustments made to his car during impound.

1

9

United States
United States

 Chase Elliott

 

Chevrolet

208

 

28

 

49

 

2

11

United States
United States

 Denny Hamlin

 

Toyota

208

2.208

 

 

35

 

3

12

United States
United States

 Ryan Blaney

 

Ford

208

2.685

2

 

52

 

4

47

United States
United States

 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 

Chevrolet

208

3.119

 

 

38

 

5

1

United States
United States

 Kurt Busch

 

Chevrolet

208

6.164

 

 

40

 

6

22

United States
United States

 Joey Logano

 

Ford

208

7.011

42

 

49

 

7

2

United States
United States

 Brad Keselowski

 

Ford

208

7.824

 

 

30

 

8

3

United States
United States

 Austin Dillon

 

Chevrolet

208

9.592

 

 

37

 

9

19

United States
United States

 Martin Truex Jr.

 

Toyota

208

10.335

 

 

28

 

10

4

United States
United States

 Kevin Harvick

 

Ford

208

11.584

63

 

40

 

11

48

United States
United States

 Jimmie Johnson

 

Chevrolet

208

11.714

 

 

26

 

12

24

United States
United States

 William Byron

 

Chevrolet

208

14.730

11

 

25

 

13

38

United States
United States

 John Hunter Nemechek

 

Ford

208

16.072

 

 

27

 

14

8

United States
United States

 Tyler Reddick

 

Chevrolet

208

16.719

 

 

23

 

15

21

United States
United States

 Matt DiBenedetto

 

Ford

208

18.349

10

 

30

 

16

14

United States
United States

 Clint Bowyer

 

Ford

208

22.291

 

 

21

 

17

6

United States
United States

 Ryan Newman

 

Ford

208

24.162

 

 

20

 

18

41

United States
United States

 Cole Custer

 

Ford

208

24.723

 

 

19

 

19

32

United States
United States

 Corey Lajoie

 

Ford

208

26.184

 

 

18

 

20

10

United States
United States

 Aric Almirola

 

Ford

208

28.722

 

 

17

 

21

95

United States
United States

 Christopher Bell

 

Toyota

208

29.790

 

 

18

 

22

17

United States
United States

 Chris Buescher

 

Ford

208

30.533

 

 

16

 

23

42

United States
United States

 Matt Kenseth

 

Chevrolet

207

1 lap

 

 

14

 

24

37

United States
United States

 Ryan Preece

 

Chevrolet

207

1 lap

 

 

13

 

25

34

United States
United States

 Michael McDowell

 

Ford

207

1 lap

1

 

12

 

26

20

United States
United States

 Erik Jones

 

Toyota

207

1 lap

 

 

11

 

27

13

United States
United States

 Ty Dillon

 

Chevrolet

207

1 lap

 

 

10

 

28

96

Mexico
Mexico

 Daniel Suarez

 

Toyota

207

1 lap

 

 

9

 

29

18

United States
United States

 Kyle Busch

 

Toyota

207

1 lap

 

 

8

 

30

27

United States
United States

 Gray Gaulding

 

Ford

206

2 laps

 

 

7

 

31

88

United States
United States

 Alex Bowman

 

Chevrolet

206

2 laps

51

 

22

 

32

00

United States
United States

 Quin Houff

 

Chevrolet

205

3 laps

 

 

5

 

33

66

United States
United States

 Timmy Hill

 

Toyota

205

3 laps

 

 

 

 

34

77

United States
United States

 J.J. Yeley

 

Chevrolet

204

4 laps

 

 

 

 

35

78

United States
United States

 B.J. McLeod

 

Chevrolet

203

5 laps

 

 

 

 

36

7

United States
United States

 Josh Bilicki

 

Chevrolet

200

8 laps

 

 

 

 

37

43

United States
United States

 Darrell Wallace Jr.

 

Chevrolet

165

43 laps

 

Accident

2

 

38

15

United States
United States

 Brennan Poole

 

Chevrolet

86

122 laps

 

Accident

1

 

39

51

United States
United States

 Joey Gase

 

Ford

8

200 laps

 

DVP

 

 

40

53

United States
United States

 Garrett Smithley

 

Chevrolet

0

208 laps

 

Accident

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