Elliott holds off Busch; wins Charlotte truck race and bounty

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

With 20 to go, it would be Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch battling it out for the win. In the end, Elliott would hold off Busch to win his third-career truck series race and claim the $100,000 bounty after beating Busch.

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series returned to racing for the first time in over three months. The bounty for a regular Cup Series driver to beat Busch in the series began Tuesday evening. Elliott, John Hunter Nemechek and Garrett Smithley were among those that were eligible for the $100,000 bounty that would go to the driver’s choice of COVID-19 relief effort.

Stage one would be controlled by Austin Hill prior to the competition caution. Xfinity regular Ross Chastain would later take over and win the stage after passing Hill with six laps to go in the stage.

Busch suffered issues with his truck early on, but would be able to gain momentum and work his way from 33rd to a top-five finish in the second stage. Busch’s teammate Raphael Lessard would hold the lead for two laps at the beginning of stage two, but would be taken over by two-time Charlotte Motor Speedway winner Matt Crafton. It wouldn’t be much longer until Elliott would take over the lead for the final 20 laps of the stage and earn the stage win.

Up until the third stage, the race was clean and incident-free. The race did not see its first caution for an accident lap 79 that saw Stewart Friesen run into the back of a slow Jesse Iwuji entering turn one. Brennan Poole and Tyler Ankrum would also be involved in the wreck.

Under ten laps later, Natalie Decker would spin in turn three and collect Poole, who would exit the race after. Cup regular and bounty-eligible Smithley would wreck under a caution for debris on lap 95.

On the restart with 34 laps to go, Crafton would come down pit road with a track bar mount issue. He would return to the track with eight to go and finish 35th. With 32 laps to go, Todd Gilliland would slam the wall to bring out the seventh caution of the night.

Johnny Sauter would take the lead on the final restart before Elliott wound up passing him for the win.

20-year-old rookie Zane Smith finished third, while his GMS Racing teammates Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed would round out the top five. Nemechek, Sauter, Majeski, Hill and Ben Rhodes would round out the top 10 respectively.

The truck series will return to action on Jun. 6 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Post-race stats:

  • Zane Smith scored his best career truck series finish with a third-place run
  • GMS Racing has four trucks finish in the top-five
  • Ty Majeski scored his first career top-10 in the truck series with an eighth-place finish

Race results: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/05/27/2020-03ngrots-results.pdf

Driver points: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/05/27/2020-03ngrots-points.pdf

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