Concord, NC. – The first push of the rescheduled races in the wake of NASCAR’s polite Elliott bitter defeat ended with a first-cup win of the season.
Elliott won Thursday night in a rain-delayed event to close the ruthless 12-day shutdown for NASCAR on the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event, which was postponed to Wednesday night, was the fourth Cup race, as the series resumed on May 17th.
Elliott suffered two disappointing losses this time around, including a defeat in the Coca-Cola defeat00 on Sunday night when a warning led by Elliott flew into two laps from the end.
“Man, it was a very tough week to be sure,” Elliott said. “We’ve had some tough losses but the deal on Sunday night was heartbreaking.”
Elliott’s frustration began last week – before three cups – when he was trying to run for the lead on the Darlington Raceway and Kyle Bush destroyed him.
The site00 check flag was then on the site until alerted by his own teammate. Elliott pulls out of the lead, picks up four tires and can’t get back in front of the two-lane overtime sprint.
There was little doubt in it. Elliott relayed Kevin Harvey with 2 laps left and blocked the way to victory. Elliott also won the truck series race in Charlotte on Tuesday night for a pair of victories at the end of four races on the track a few minutes away from Heldrick Motorsports headquarters.
“It’s not the Coke 600, but it’s really hard to win a cup series,” Elliott said. “I really appreciate everyone at Hendrik Motorsport across the road here. Everyone is working really hard. ”
Elliott was urging Harvey with about 35 laps left when he asked if he had enough fuel to finish it. Crew Chief Alan Gustafson replied, “Yes. Be tough. “
Elliott did just that. But with Harvick passing by, with nothing but a clean track in front of him, Elliott couldn’t help but feel haunted on Sunday night.
“I was just waiting for the warning to be issued,” he said. “If caution didn’t come out, I thought I was probably breaking something or I was going to crash. After the last few weeks, of course it will turn green by the end.
“Hopefully we’re back on track.”
Danny Hamlin was stuck with a second crew member in a Toyota on Sunday night due to a breach. His crew chief, car chief and engineer automatically achieved four-race suspension when a piece of tungsten fell into Hamlin’s car in the lap of speed.
Since NASCAR captures all of its events as a one-day show without selection or practice, Hamlin said his Joe Gibbs racing team was able to move forward with this emergence.
Hamlin said, “The one-day format has made it easier for us.” If we had qualified, it would have hurt, but in the situation we are in, there is no harm.
Ryan Blaney finished third at Tim Pensaco’s Ford and Ricky Steinhaus Jr. for JTG-Dotary Racing after the resumption of the season’s bad conditions. Steinhouse sank in the first lap of the first race and finished, followed by Thursday the 25th and 24th.
Blanny Charlotte, one of Elliott’s closest friends, is hosting NASCAR’s most popular driver as she races four times in five nights. He said Elliott was able to focus on the truck series race after losing the 600 series, then after beating Bush for a 100,000 grant, Elliott turned his attention to the cup competition.
“We talked about running and it was just bad luck. A lot of his luck is back, ”Blaney said. “With 600, it’s a stunk for him. We talked about it that night but he was ready for the truck race. We talked and it was a few hours. But he went ahead and showed that he could win two in a row.
Hamlin thought all the focus of Elliott’s loss was on the overline.
“Sometimes caution doesn’t go your way,” Hamlin said. “I think everyone feels bad because it’s Chase and everyone loves him.”
Asked if he felt sorry for Elliott, Hamlin replied with a definite “no.”
Elliott’s victory is the first for a Chevrolet driver to return to Nashkar Cup racing. Harwick won the first race back in a Ford, Hamlin won the second race in a tomato, and Brand Keslowski won 60,000 in a Ford.
But Elliott and his Hendrik teammates have been pretty strong since the series returned from a 10-week shutdown for the coronavirus epidemic. Led by Elliott, Alex Bowman, William Byron and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson. A huge boost for a team that has been rebuilding for most of the last three seasons.
The rescheduled Thursday event was interrupted by lightning and rain for about 75 minutes after 30 laps were completed.
On Sunday NASCAR will take part in the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for the fifth Cup in 15 days as the series seeks to reschedule eight events in the race to the southern states.