Talladega NASCAR: Chase Elliot gets Chevrolet’s first 2019 win

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott scored his and Chevrolet’s first win of the NASCAR Cup Series season at Talladega in a race blighted by two big accidents.

As the Chevrolet runners grouped together in their green-flag pit strategy, Elliott was able to rise from 13th on the grid to take fourth in stage one, before going on to win the second 55-lapper.

With the Ford and Toyota teams pitting a lap after their rivals, Elliott was able to cycle to the lead of the pack, and engage in a slipstreaming battle with the likes of Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s Roush Fenway Racing machine and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch.

This continued until lap 182 of 188, when the race was red-flagged following a violent accident involving Chris Buescher’s JTG Daugherty Racing car and Matt DiBenedetto of Leavine Family Racing.

The #37 of Buescher was tipped into the outside wall by the Stewart-Haas Ford of Aric Almirola, and was subsequently rammed broadside by DiBenedetto, with Buescher’s car riding over the top of the #95 Toyota.

Martin Truex Jr and Justin Haley were also involved, with the 2017 champion being the only one able to take the restart.

After a short delay, racing resumed, with Elliott in fifth place and reigning champion Joey Logano leading.

Elliott hit the front with three laps to go, before a caution on the final lap secured his victory as Kyle Larson’s #42 Chip Ganassi Chevrolet somersaulted on the infield.

Larson and Jeffrey Earnhardt had been fired across the track as William Byron rebounded into them after being tapped into the wall, with Larson’s car then becoming airborne.

All the drivers involved managed to extricate themselves from their car.

Elliott’s Hendrick team-mate Alex Bowman took second, as rookie Ryan Preece made it a Chevrolet 1-2-3 by taking third for JTG Daugherty.

Daniel Hemric was fourth for Richard Childress Racing, ahead of Logano, who led 37 laps – the second highest after Elliott’s 44.

Kurt Busch (Chip Ganassi), Ryan Newman (Roush Fenway) Brendan Gaughan, Almirola and Kyle Busch (the leading Toyota runner) rounded out the top 10.

Stage one fell to German Racing underdog Ty Dillion, who was able to save fuel after an early caution to narrowly pip Bowman.

That caution was caused by Darrell Wallace Jr spinning and sending Michael McDowell into the wall, with Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin also unable to continue much further having sustained heavy damage in the ensuing pile-up.

Race results

POSDRIVERTEAMCARLAPS
1Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet188
2Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet188
3Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet188
4Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord188
5Daniel HemricRichard Childress RacingChevrolet188
6Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet188
7Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord188
8Brendan GaughanBeard MotorsportsChevrolet188
9Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord188
10Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota188
11Corey LaJoieGo FAS RacingFord188
12Daniel SuarezStewart-Haas RacingFord188
13Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord188
14Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet188
15Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord188
16Paul MenardWood Brothers RacingFord188
17Ty DillonGermain RacingChevrolet188
18Reed SorensonPremium MotorsportsChevrolet188
19Erik JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota188
20Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota188
21William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet188
22Jeffrey EarnhardtXCI RacingToyota187
23David RaganFront Row MotorsportsFord187
24Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet187
25Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway RacingFord187
26Ross ChastainPremium MotorsportsChevrolet187
27Parker KligermanGaunt Brothers RacingToyota186
28Cody WarePetty Ware RacingChevrolet184
29Clint BowyerStewart-Haas RacingFord182
30Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet181
31Matt DiBenedettoLeavine Family RacingToyota181
32J.J. HaleySpire MotorsportsChevrolet180
33Jimmie JohnsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet178
34Landon CassillStarCom RacingChevrolet154
35Stanton BarrettRick Ware RacingChevrolet132
36Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota80
37Matt TifftFront Row MotorsportsFord11
38Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord11
39Darrell Wallace Jr.Richard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet10
40Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord10

Drivers’ standings

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Kyle Busch430
2Joey Logano415
3Denny Hamlin367
4Kevin Harvick350
5Brad Keselowski337
6Martin Truex Jr.328
7Chase Elliott324
8Kurt Busch323
9Ryan Blaney306
10Clint Bowyer288
11Aric Almirola288
12Daniel Suarez266
13Austin Dillon253
14Ryan Newman251
15Alex Bowman239
16Jimmie Johnson238
17Paul Menard234
18Erik Jones230
19William Byron226
20Ricky Stenhouse Jr.223
21Kyle Larson221
22Ty Dillon202
23Chris Buescher174
24Ryan Preece160
25Matt DiBenedetto149
26Daniel Hemric132
27David Ragan123
28Darrell Wallace Jr.111
29Corey LaJoie107
30Michael McDowell95
31Matt Tifft81
32Reed Sorenson26
33Jamie McMurray19
34Quin Houff15
35Stanton Barrett2
36Casey Mears1
37Brendan Gaughan0
38Ross Chastain0
39Parker Kligerman0
40B.J. McLeod0
41Jeffrey Earnhardt0
42Landon Cassill0
43Tyler Reddick0
44Cody Ware0
45Bayley Currey0
46Jeb Burton0
47Garrett Smithley0
48D.J. Kennington0
49J.J. Haley0
50Joey Gase0
51Timmy Hill0
52Gray Gaulding0
53Ryan Truex0

Talladega NASCAR: Chase Elliot gets Chevrolet’s first 2019 win

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