NASCAR at Daytona Road Course 2020 Results: Chase Elliott Edges Hamlin for Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

Chase Elliott drives through turn 3 during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
Terry Renna/Associated Press

Chase Elliott collected his second victory of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, winning the Go Bowling 235 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin was 0.202 seconds behind in second, while Martin Truex Jr. claimed third place.


WINNER - @chaseelliott gets it done! He WINS at @DISupdates' road course. 🏁 https://t.co/jmFhYHhCYm

Go Bowling 235 Leaderboard

1. Chase Elliott

2. Denny Hamlin

3. Martin Truex Jr.

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Chris Buescher

6. Clint Bowyer

7. Kaz Grala

8. William Byron

9. Joey Logano

10. Michael McDowell

Full leaderboard available at NASCAR.com

As the race inched toward its conclusion, Elliott appeared to have an unassailable lead, with around 12 seconds separating him from the next car. That's a sizable gap under normal circumstances and is even bigger on a road course, where drivers don't have the same ability to build a head of steam on straightaways.

However, a caution came when Kyle Busch blew his right rear tire and hit the wall.


Take a look at what happened to the No. 18. 👇 https://t.co/q4wqEdPPWx

That gave Hamlin the lifeline he needed to salvage any hopes of a comeback. The race restarted with three laps to go, but Hamlin was unable to overtake Elliott.

The final three laps became a head-to-head battle between the two. Hamlin would make up ground as the cars headed into the tight horseshoe turns, but Hamlin accelerated quickly out of the turns to keep the No. 11 car at bay.


Woo, what a finish! Three road course wins in a row for @chaseelliott 🏁 https://t.co/GKXIdrqDhO

Early into the third stage, lightning in the area forced all of the drivers onto pit road. It looked like rain would become a factor as well, but the skies remained clear for the remainder of the race.

The new road configuration didn't prove too troublesome, either, with only four cautions over the 65 laps.

Busch won't remember the first road race at Daytona too fondly.

Before his crash, he had to head to the garage to address an issue with his braking system, which looked bad enough to end his day.


It’s still 2020. Another rough weekend for Kyle Busch ends early. Watch the finish on @nbc. https://t.co/eNZF7OFvM7

The No. 18 car returned, but only briefly to continue the general trend of the 2020 season. Busch is the reigning series champion yet still hasn't reached Victory Lane.

The likelihood of him missing the playoffs altogether is slim.

Nick Bromberg @NickBromberg

Kyle Busch still has to lose 33 points a race — with multiple drivers between him and the cut line — to 17th place to miss out on the playoffs. Pretending he’s close right now is kinda farcical.

The fact that it's even on the table, though, illustrates how badly Busch's title defense has unfolded.

Jimmie Johnson needs far more help in order to close out his legendary career on a high note. He remains 25 points off William Byron for the final postseason berth. A fourth-place finish Sunday did little to improve his position since Byron was only four spots back in eighth.

Three races remain before the playoffs begin Sept. 6. Drivers will travel to Dover International Speedway for a pair of events next weekend, and the postseason field will be locked in following the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 29.