Redemption at Charlotte: Chase Elliott wins his first Cup race of 2020

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Chase Elliott has faced a lot of adversity since NASCAR resumed after the two-month suspension. He was taken out by Kyle Busch at Darlington and he had a win in the bag at the Coca-Cola 600 race before a late caution came out. Then, after winning the truck series race over Kyle Busch, he had to go through two rain delays. Wednesday’s race was postponed to Thursday and Thursday’s race went through a 74-minute rain delay as well. Despite all of that, Elliott finally picks up his first win in the Cup Series this season.

With 28 laps to go, Elliott passed Kevin Harvick, who led the majority of the final stage, for the lead and never looked back. Elliott won by 2.2 seconds over second place Denny Hamlin. Entering this race, Elliott led the third-most number of laps and finally finished the job where in previous races, a occurrences in the final stage would deny him races that looked like it was his to win.

Hamlin climbed his way up into second place after starting 29th. With strong pit stops and good runs, Hamlin improved dramatically throughout the race to earn his fourth top-five finish this season.

Ryan Blaney hung around the top five and picked up his third top-five finish this season and his second consecutive top five after finishing third in Sunday’s race. This was the second straight race for Blaney where he finished third.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth, which was huge as he finished in the bottom 20 in the first three races since the season resumed. This was his second top-five finish this season. Kurt Busch picked up his third top-five finish this season as he finished fifth.

Joey Logano finished sixth but picked up a stage win as he stayed out after the rain delay to gain track position. He would stay in the top 10 to finish sixth. Logano picked up his fourth top-ten finish. Logano’s Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, who won Sunday’s race, finished seventh despite bumping the wall in stage one and falling all the way to 31st position. This was Keselowski’s fifth top-ten finish this season.

Austin Dillon finished eighth to pick up his second top-ten finish this season. Martin Truex Jr., despite having an unstable car most of the night and riding around the 25th position most of the night, climbed his way up into the top 10 and finished ninth. This was his second straight finish in the top ten at Charlotte after finishing sixth on Sunday. Harvick, who led the most laps with 63, tried to conserve fuel as the leader with the final restart coming with 59 laps left. Harvick would fade late and finish 10th. Despite this, Harvick’s undefeated run of top-10 finishes in 2020 continues as he has now finished in the top 10 in all eight races this season.

The most notable finish outside the top 10 was Alex Bowman, who won stage two and led 51 laps. With about 70 laps to go in the race, Bowman was trying to catch up to Harvick but he slammed into the wall, damaging his car. He was forced to pit and ended up finishing 31st. Bowman has finished 19th and 31st at Charlotte this season, despite leading a combined 215 laps. He has finished outside the top-10 in six out of the eight races.

NASCAR will rumble on as we head to Bristol, Tennessee for another Cup Series race this Sunday. The starting lineup will be determined with a draw.

Race results: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/05/29/2020-08cup-results.pdf

Driver points: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/05/29/2020-08cup-points.pdf

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