The stars, moon and planets all aligned perfectly — finally — for Chase Elliott in Thursday night’s Alsco Uniform 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he took his first victory of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Elliott’s win comes after tough luck omitted two potential would-be wins at Darlington and in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.
“It feels awesome,” a relieved Elliott stated. “It was a tough week, for sure. We’ve had some tough losses, but that deal on Sunday night was a heartbreaker. So, it’s not the Coke 600, but any win the Cup Series is really hard to get, and I appreciate everyone at Hendrick Motorsports across the street here.”
This victory marks the seventh-career win for Elliott, a Georgia-native.
Denny Hamlin, who started 29th after a bad finish where he was eight laps down in the Coca-Cola 600 due to repairs after a tungsten ballast flew from his car on the pace laps, rallied for a second-place finish on Thursday.
Ryan Blaney capped off a good race in third, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. impressed in JTG Daugherty Racing’s N0. 47 Chevrolet Camaro in fourth.
Kurt Busch finished a solid fifth.
Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth thru ninth, while Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-10 finishers.
For Harvick, he led a race-high 63 laps and was leading in the late stages of the race, but lost the lead to Elliott in lapped traffic. Harvick’s car faded and he dropped like a rock, but he was still able to secure his 13th-consecutive top-10 finish.
“It just falls off after lap 30,” Harvick explained of his car. “We knew that’s what we had with our Busch Light Ford, and then it went straight 60-something laps. So, they did a really good job turning the car around. Total opposite of what we raced last Sunday, so it was a good test session for us. Just didn’t need a long run.”
Jimmie Johnson also rebounded from a 40th-place starting spot to finish 11th, William Byron bounced back from pit road damage after a collision with Corey LaJoie to finish 12th and John Hunter Nemechek edged out Tyler Reddick in 13th to secure the top rookie finish in the event.
Post-Race Stat Pack
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.