Chase Elliott continued to show his dominance on road courses in the NASCAR Cup Series as the 24-year-old for Hendrick Motorsports would pick up the win on the Daytona road course Sunday evening.
The win is Elliott’s first since the All-Star Race and his second during the regular season (Charlotte on May 28). With the win, Elliott has won the past three road course races in the Cup Series dating back to last season (Watkins Glen on Aug. 4, 2019 and the Charlotte Roval on Sep. 29, 2019).
Denny Hamlin would take the lead over Kevin Harvick through the first lap until Kyle Busch would overtake the former through the second lap. Busch’s lead would be short-lived as Hamlin would take back the lead once more after Busch picked up a flat front tire and had to pit.
Hamlin would lead the field over the next seven laps until Martin Truex Jr. would take the lead on lap 10. Truex Jr’s. lead would only last for three laps as Chase Elliott would gain ground and overtake the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing on lap 13. Elliott would lead for the remainder of stage one and pick up his sixth stage win of the season.
After the ensuing pit stops, Hamlin and Joey Logano would lead the field at the start of stage two. Hamlin prevailed over the No. 22 of Team Penske and lead the field for four laps until Truex Jr. would once again take the lead.
Several of the drivers in the top 10 would make pit stops before the conclusion of stage two. Truex Jr., who went to the pits with three to go, would be forced to the rear after he was too fast exiting pit road. As a result, Hamlin would win stage two. The stage win would be Hamlin’s fifth of the season.
Elliott would lead the field at the beginning of the final stage. Although Christopher Bell would spin Harvick, there would be no caution and the field would continue to race with Elliott leading. The first non-stage caution of the day would occur soon after lightning was spotted near the track.
The red flag would be lifted after 30-plus minutes and would see Elliott continue to lead the field. After Elliott pitted on lap 48, Truex Jr. would briefly reclaim the lead until he would pit one lap later.
After all remaining drivers cycled through pit road, Elliott would lead the field once more by over 11 seconds. A Busch spin-out with five to go, however, would erase Elliott’s lead and pile the field together on the restart with three to go.
Although Hamlin would loom close behind Elliott on the restart, the latter would clear the field and hold off the former to pick up the victory.
Hamlin finished second. The finish extends Hamlin’s top-10 finish streak to five.
Jimmie Johnson finished fourth. The finish for Johnson would be his first inside the top five since he finished third at Bristol Motor Speedway on May 31.
Kaz Grala, who was subbing for Austin Dillon, finished seventh. It was Grala’s first race in the Cup Series.
Harvick finished 17th. The finish snaps the 44-year-old’s top-10 finish streak at 10.
The Cup Series heads to Dover, Delaware next weekend for a doubleheader slate on Aug. 22 and 23.