CONCORD, N.C. – NASCAR's grueling return to racing finally ended with a Cup victory for Chase Elliott.
Elliott raced to his first win of the season Thursday night in the rain-delayed event at Charlotte Motor Speedway to close a frantic 12 days for NASCAR. The event, postponed Wednesday night, was the fourth Cup race since the series resumed racing May 17.
Elliott had two frustrating losses in that span.
“Man this is a tough week, we've had some tough losses," Elliott said from the frontstretch.
He was trying to race for the lead at Darlington Raceway last week when Kyle Busch wrecked him, and a caution with two laps remaining Sunday night in the Coca-Cola 600 cost Elliott the victory. He pitted from the lead, took four tires and couldn't get back to the front in the two-lap overtime sprint.
There was little suspense in this one. Elliott reeled in Kevin Harvick with 27 laps remaining and closed out the victory. Elliott also won the Truck Series race Tuesday night at Charlotte to give him a pair of victories in a four-race stretch at the track located just a few minutes away from Hendrick Motorsports headquarters.
Elliott was charging hard on Harvick with about 35 laps remaining when he asked if he had enough fuel to make it to the finish. Crew chief Alan Gustafson replied, “Yup. Go hard.”
Elliott did just that.