Chase Elliott wins Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway

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TEXAS – LEBANON Chase Elliott beat a group of Toyota drivers that displayed early dominance in a race that was twice postponed by lightning.

(Getty Images)

Elliott stayed on the track and led the pack to a restart with four laps remaining in Sunday’s Ally 400 after a late caution halted the action at Nashville Superspeedway.

Elliott gained up on Kurt Busch, who finished in second place, and drove his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to victory by a margin of 0.551 seconds.

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Elliott survived a lengthy pit stop on Lap 120 that put him to 25th in the running order to produce his second NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season, his first at Nashville, and the 15th of his career.

Elliott exclaimed, “I’m extremely proud of our crew. We experienced a setback around the halfway point, but we managed to correct the NAPA Chevy’s settings and rejoin the race. It was a long and enjoyable day. I’m really pleased with our group. It’s been a challenging month or month and a half for us. Simply put, it feels good to turn things around.

A victory is always significant. It’s much better to do it in a place like Nashville, which is incredibly hip. That guitar (award) is something I’m anticipating.

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Elliott defeated three Toyota drivers who together led 250 of the 300 laps at the 1.33-mile concrete track: pole-sitter Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch.

The fact that the Toyota drivers pitted during the 10th and final yellow on Lap 293 due to Josh Bilicki’s Chevrolet blowing an engine might be a better way to put it.

Kyle Busch, Truex, and Hamlin all stopped at pit road for tires as Elliott and Kurt Busch remained on the road under caution with with eight other drivers. Only Hamlin of the three made it past the final four laps, finishing sixth behind Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Blaney.

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On the final lap, Kyle Busch and Truex encountered heavy traffic and finished 21st and 22nd, respectively.

Before lightning stopped the race for one hour and 28 seconds, Hamlin, who led a race-high 114 laps, led the opening 41 circuits. Truex overtook Hamlin for the lead on Lap 66 and maintained it through the conclusion of Stage 1 following the restart and two additional cautions.

Truex dominated the second stage as well, taking the lead six times for a total of 82 laps. However, Elliott’s car gained steam in the latter third of the race. When Bilicki’s engine failure brought out the last caution with nine laps left, Elliott led Kyle Busch by one second, Hamlin was in third, and Truex was in fourth.

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The one thing Kurt Busch regretted about coming in second was that he wasn’t more aggressive on the final restart.

The driver of the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota remarked, “I wanted to fling some fenders, but I didn’t get the job done. “Everyone will be grinning, but I disappointed them. I ought to have thought of a better strategy.

We had to stay outside, so I had to start tossing fenders to get people moved around. I didn’t pursue it, I erred too frequently, and I abandoned our advantages. I won’t tell what our strongest points were, but we did a lot of things well.

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“We didn’t have a single standout item. With our Toyota Camry, we come in second. I wish I could go back and change it, but at this great level, Chase handled it.

Two hours, eight minutes, and 35 seconds passed during the second lightning delay, which also brought rain and required track drying. Just 11 circuits shy of the halfway point, it happened on lap 139.

Running sixth through tenth, respectively, were Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and Kevin Harvick. Elliott has a 30-point advantage over Chastain in the series standings.

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Shortly after the first delay, on lap 50, Alex Bowman’s day ended prematurely. His No. 48 Ally Chevrolet spun into the Turn 2 SAFER barrier after making contact with Corey LaJoie. Although Bowman was able to drive away from the accident, a flat right front tire severely damaged certain body components. The team was unable to complete the repairs before the damaged vehicle policy’s six-minute time limit ran out, adding to Bowman’s list of unsatisfactory summer outcomes.

While tussling with Ty Dillon on lap 61, Chase Briscoe’s No. 14 Ford slipped sideways approaching Turn 1. Both vehicles spun into the exterior retaining wall but managed to move on.

At Nashville, a 1.33-mile concrete oval in Lebanon, Tennessee, this will be the second Cup event. Kyle Larson claimed the first victory at Nashville in 2021, and Hendrick Motorsports has since won every race there.

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