NASCAR at Charlotte 2020 Results: Chase Elliott Secures 1st Victory of SeasonMay 29, 2020
From heartbreak to victory.
A mere four days after losing what appeared to be a sure win at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott emerged with a victory at Thursday's Alsco Uniforms 500 at the same track.
Elliott took an inside angle and seized the lead from Kevin Harvick with less than 30 laps remaining and unlike on Sunday, he was able to turn the late lead into a checkered flag.
The No. 9 car was also in a position to win the Coca-Cola 600 when William Byron spun out, causing a caution and overtime. Elliott went to pit road during the yellow, and Brad Keselowski remained on the track and eventually finished first.
There was no what-could-have-been for Elliott this time around.
This was the fourth NASCAR Cup Series event since the sport returned from a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Elliott joined Kevin Harvick (Real Heroes 400 on May 17), Denny Hamlin (Toyota 500 on May 20) and Keselowski as victors.
Here is a look at the top 10 finishers:
1. Chase Elliott
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5. Kurt Busch
6. Joey Logano
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Austin Dillon
9. Martin Truex Jr.
10. Kevin Harvick
While the drama came late Sunday, it started well before Elliott crossed the finish line Thursday.
There was a crash on the very first lap that ended Joey Gase's day when he was unable to meet the minimum speed following the wreck. Stage 1 also saw Corey LaJoie hit Byron on pit road, penalties for Clint Bowyer and Hamlin for speeding, and Matt Kenseth spin out attempting to get to pit road.
Mother Nature also made another appearance after pushing the race back from Wednesday to Thursday because of rain. There was a lightning delay that lasted more than an hour, but Joey Logano showed no signs of rust impacting his lead entering the delay and claimed a Stage 1 win.
It was Logano's second stage win of the season and allowed him to break a tie with Hamlin for the most playoff points of the season.
Stage 2 was more straightforward, although Kyle Busch fell back with a flat tire and additional trouble after contact with Aric Almirola.
Harvick also temporarily took the lead but relinquished it to Alex Bowman when he pitted. Bowman clinched his fourth stage win of the Cup Series season, which is more than anyone else at this point.
Bowman's chances came to a shocking end in the final stage, though, as he hit the wall and fell far behind Harvick. Bubba Wallace also saw his race end because of mechanical failures.
Harvick didn't have those concerns, but he fell back down the stretch and ended up in 10th place after Elliott passed him with an inside move. Ryan Blaney appeared like he was going to be the biggest challenger in the final few laps, but nobody was able to make a legitimate push at the eventual winner.
Even with Sunday's disappointment, Elliott now has plenty of momentum following Tuesday's NASCAR Truck Series race win in Charlotte as well.
Next up in the NASCAR Cup Series is the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday.