CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott won the Bank of America Roval 400 after recovering from an embarrassing crash earlier in the race while leading.
Elliott won the race’s second stage and on the ensuing restart misjudged his speed going into turn one, and when he hit the brakes they locked-up, sending the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet straight into the tire barrier.
“Holy moly talk about throwing it away,” said Elliott about that eventful restart. “I just didn’t compensate for the faster pace and it was nobody’s fault but mine.”
“As soon as he backed it out, I was like ‘man it looks pretty good’,” said Elliott’s Crew Chief Alan Gustafson. “We got lucky on that. I don’t know how we didn’t have more substantial damage than that. I think that went our way.”
“I thought it was over,” said Team Owner Rick Hendrick. “I thought if he could get back to the top-10 that would be really good but the car was really fast and I thought it was hurt when he went into that barrier. I’m really proud, three of the last five road courses he’s won, that’s pretty sporty.”
The victory enabled Elliott to automatically advance to the second round of the NASCAR Playoffs, even though the Stage 2 win locked him into the second round via points.
The win was Elliott’s third of the season, sixth of his career in 142-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Elliott’s teammate Alex Bowman finished second, 3.024-seconds behind Elliott, a finish that allowed Bowman to advance to the second round on points.
“He just didn’t give up,” said Hendrick. “He refused to lose. Proud of him.”
Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick finished third followed by teammate Clint Bowyer. Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski rounded out the Top-5.
Hendrick’s William Byron finished sixth followed by Joe Gibbs Racings Martin Truex Jr in seventh. Penske’s Ryan Blaney finished eighth followed by Hendrick’s Jimmie Johnson in ninth and Joey Logano rounded out the Top-10.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson won the race’s first stage and finished 13th. The finish enabled Larson to advance to Round 2 of the Playoffs.
Larson took to Social Media after the race to say the finish was not as good as it could have been.
Had another great car just didn’t work out for us to get a better finish. Ready for round 2! Owen did a great job during intros! https://t.co/8Hmb3J1BlU
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) September 30, 2019
Larson’s teammate Kurt Busch was not as fortunate. Busch finished 20th but did not score any stage points and failed to advance.
The next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is Sunday October 6, 2019 at Dover International Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr Victorious At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Martin Truex Jr passed teammate Denny Hamlin on lap 485 and went on the win the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The victory was Truex’s second of 2021 and 29th of his Cup Series Career.
“He (Hamlin) started getting tight, our car was getting better and better,” said Truex of the late race pass. “We were able to take advantage of it. Really happy. For whatever reason our car really turned on when the lights went down. Always good when a plan comes together and it works out the way you hoped it would.”
Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott finished second, his seventh top-10 finish in 13-races at Martinsville and fourth top-10 of 2021.
“Really, really hard-fought second actually for us,” said Elliott. “We were not great, but had some, I guess our strong suit was kind of early on in the run, then really faded hard, too hard there in the latter part of a run. But we never got one of those super long runs, which is probably a good thing for us because we were struggling on that end. But, yeah, proud we could fight back.”
Hamlin settled for third after leading the most laps in the race (267).
“Had a really good car on the short run all day,” said Hamlin. “Got great restarts. Was fast for 25, 30 laps. Then it seemed like guys would start catching us. Unfortunately it was just too many laps there at the end that we couldn’t hold those guys off.”
Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson finished fourth and fifth respectively, giving HMS three cars in the top 5.
The race featured 18-lead changes among 7-drivers and was slowed by 15-caution flags for 105-laps.
The next NASCAR Cup Series race is April 18, 2020 at Richmond Raceway.
Josh Berry Gets First Career Xfinity Series Win At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Josh Berry passed Ty Gibbs for the lead on lap 223 and stayed out front for the final 27-laps to get his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway. The victory was the first career victory for Berry in 13 Xfinity Series starts.
“Man, I wanted to win so bad for these guys,” said Berry referring to his No. 8 JR Motorsports team. “They’re such a great group. I knew this would be a good opportunity to win. (Crew chief) Taylor (Moyer) called a perfect race. The car was good, and we just kept tweaking on it. The tires were pretty worn out there at the end. I was struggling a little bit with wheel-hop. This is just unbelievable.”
Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson finished second and picked up a $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus, which eased the pain of being the runner-up.
“One hundred thousand dollars richer,” said Gragson. “Great 1-2 finish for our team at JR Motorsports. I really wanted to win there, but I was having to protect the bottom to keep the guys behind me from moving me out of the way. I couldn’t open up my arc the way I needed to and make speed.”
Daniel Hemric finished in third position followed by Gibbs, who faded to a fourth place finish. Gibbs’ teammate Brandon Jones finished fifth. Jones was the leader Friday night when storms red-flagged the event after completing 91-laps.
The race featured 13-lead changes among 9-drivers. The race was slowed by 12-caution flags for 75-laps.
The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is April 24, 2021 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Mother Nature Wins At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is throwing a wrench into this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series Schedules at Martinsville Virginia.
Friday’s Xfinity race is under a red flag following 92-laps of the scheduled 250-lap event after rain showers put an end to NASCAR’s attempt to get the event finished. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones is scored as the leader of the race.
NASCAR has rescheduled the remainder of the event for Sunday at Noon ET.
The Cup Series race was red flagged on lap 43 because of showers. JGR’s Denny Hamlin is scored as the leader. Hamlin has led 38-laps. Team Penske’s Joey Logano started on the pole position and led the other laps.
NASCAR will restart the event on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
Per NASCAR rules, an event is considered official after half of the scheduled distance has been completed.
Both races will be broadcast live on FS1, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.