Monday, October 2, 2023

Chase Elliott Holds Off Denny Hamlin in Three-Lap Shootout to Win First Cup Race at Daytona Road Course

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 16: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling 235 at Daytona International Speedway on August 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott has cemented himself as a road racing ace. On Sunday in the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling 235 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, Elliott scored his fourth-career road win in only his 11th start, and it’s his third-consecutive win on tracks where right turns are involved.

Elliott, who won Stage 1 of the race, had a huge lead in the closing laps, but a late-race caution for a spinning Kyle Busch, which set up a three lap shootout at the end, forced him to hold off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin. But Elliott never wavered.

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This is Elliott’s second win of 2020, and it’s his eighth-career NCS victory. Elliott led a race-high 34 laps.

Hamlin, who won Stage 2 and finished second, led 16 laps in his No. 11 Toyota Camry.

Martin Truex Jr. worked his way around Jimmie Johnson to take a third place finish after a bevy of errors and pit road issues on the day. Johnson finished fourth, and Chris Buescher surprised with a solid fifth-place finish in Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 car.

Clint Bowyer, who typically does well on road courses, finished sixth, but the surprise of the day was Kaz Grala.

Grala, 21, was making his Series debut in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 car, after Austin Dillon tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Grala led three laps on the day and finished an an impressive seventh in the race.

William Byron, Joey Logano and Michael McDowell rounded out the top-10 finishers on the day.

For McDowell, who is in the midst of a career-year, this is his third top-10 finish of the year. That marks a career-best.

Point leader Kevin Harvick had a couple of spins on the day, and finished 17th, while Kyle Busch suffered from a spin, a failed rotor and another crash after returning from the garage for mechanical issues. Busch finished 37th, 12 laps off the pace.

Post-Race Stat Pack:

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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