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Chase Elliott Gets NASCAR Cup Win Thursday Night At Charlotte

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Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chase Elliott had a chance to grab victories in both NASCAR Cup races since the Series returned from the COVID-19 shutdown, but fate denied the Hendrick Motorsports driver the wins.

Thursday night Elliott and the No. 9 team took care of business winning the Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Elliott beat Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Denny Hamlin to the checkered flag by 2.208-seconds to pick-up his 7th career Cup Series win in 157-starts.

“We battled hard and finally got our car good enough there at the end,” said Elliott.  “I’m not sure that we had it exactly perfect, but the guys did a great job making good adjustments and good pit stops there to put us in a position. Finally good to get a Kelley Blue Book win. That’s our first win together, so hopefully many more.”

It could’ve been two-in-a-row for Elliott if a caution flag would not have flown a lap and-a-half from the end of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.  Elliott was leading when the caution came out.  Crew Chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for new tires while eight lead-lap cars stayed out, including eventual winner Brad Keselowski.

“I feel like we were in a lose-lose position there on Sunday, so it’s not his fault that the caution came out with two laps to go, and when you’re in a position like that you have to make a decision and stick with it,” said Elliott.  “I’m not going to question him. I don’t fault him.  It’s not his fault.  It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to make a gut call and go with it, and heck, we drove back to third.”

Three Rivers Karting

Elliott started Thursday’s race in the 19th spot and drove to a 9th place finish in the races first stage.  The No. 9 Kelly Blue Book team made adjustments during the subsequent pit stop and Elliott raced to a fourth place finish in the second stage.  Elliott says that hard work needs to continue.

“We’re still very early in the year, and I challenge all of the people at HMS, myself, the road crew, the pit crews to stay hungry because the season is very long, a lot of racing left, and we just need to keep pushing,” said Elliott.  “No reason to get content right now.”

Team Penske‘s Ryan Blaney finished third followed by JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in fourth.  Chip Ganassi Racing‘s Kurt Busch rounded out the top 5 in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet.

Quick turnaround for the Cup Series as the next race is Sunday, May 31 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“500 laps at Bristol is a really physical event,” said Elliott.  “We’ve raced a lot throughout this week. I’m tired, and I want to rest tomorrow and Saturday and get ready to go. It’s going to be a tough one on Sunday, especially in the afternoon.”

Charlotte Thursday Cup Results

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NASCAR

A.J. Allmendinger wins on ‘The Roval’….again!

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CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A.J. Allmendinger’s run towards a NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship is continuing into the Round of 8 after his third-straight win on ‘The Roval’ at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It’s special to win this race three years in-a-row,” said Allmendinger.  “Do we go for the win during the race’s second stage by pitting early? We decided to do that. Once we got in the lead the Hyperice Chevy was so fast.”

Team Penske’s Austin Cindric finished second after starting from the pole position and having an eventful day.  Cindric led the first seven laps of the race before missing the backstretch chicane.  Cindric and his team went off strategy and by the end of the recovered and was in second place on the final re-start.

“I spun my tires like crazy on that last restart,” said Cindric, who already clinched a spot in the Round of 8. “I was worried about that, but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad. I feel like I could have tried a second gear restart. I think that would have helped me out at least maintaining some track position, but it was just not meant to be today.”

Three Rivers Karting

Daniel Hemric finished third followed by Justin Haley and Brandon Jones.  All three also advanced into the Round of 8.

The other drivers advancing to the Round of 8 included Noah Gragson (sixth Saturday), Justin Allgaier (ninth) and Harrison Burton (15th).

The race featured six lead changes among five drivers, with Allmendinger leading the final 21 circuits. There were seven cautions for 13 laps.

The fourth caution also caused a brief stoppage when the brakes failed on the No. 07 Chevrolet of Josh Bilicki, with the car plowing through the backstretch chicane and dislodging pieces of curbing in its path.  Track workers had to remove the exposed bolts that had held the curbing in place before the race could continue.

Xfinity Roval Results

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NASCAR

Brandon Brown gets Xfinity Series win at Talladega

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

TALLADEGA, AL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Brandon Brown picked up his first Xfinity Series victory winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Brown was racing three-wide for the lead with Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones when the No. 20 of Harrison Burton broke loose in turn four triggering a multi-vehicle accident on lap 102 of the 113-lap event.

NASCAR officials reverted back to the last completed scoring loop to determine Brown was slightly ahead when the caution came out.

“Everything I’ve ever wanted to do is take the trophy home to Mom and Dad,” said Brown, who drives for his family owned team. “Oh my god, it’s a dream come true. A Talladega winner. Oh my god, Dad, we did it!”

Three Rivers Karting

Jones was credited with a second place finish and Allgaier came home in third position.  Daniel Hemric finished fourth followed by Jordan Anderson in fifth.

Defending Xfinity Series Champion Austin Cindric remains atop the drivers standing following his 8th place finish.  Allgaier is in second place followed by Hemric in third.

A.J. Allmendinger took a hit in the points after being involved in an accident and fell to fourth, 44-points out of the lead and 25-points above the 8th place cutoff to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Burton fell to eight in the points after his accident and sits only 8-points ahed of Jeb Burton for the final playoff transfer spot.

Xfinity Talladega Results

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NASCAR

Kyle Larson wins at Bristol after Harvick & Elliott incident

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BRISTOL, TN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Larson passed Kevin Harvick with three-laps-to-go and went on to win Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“Have always wanted to win here, so cool to finally do it,” said Larson. “We were able to stay close enough to Kevin. Chase was obviously upset with the contact, was just making things kind of tough on him. It kept me in the game.”

Elliott certainly made it tougher on Harvick after contact between the two, as they were fighting for the lead, sent the No. 9 Hooters Chevy to pit road with a flat left front tire.  Elliott returned to the track a couple of laps down but on the same part of the track as the leaders and the defending Cup Series Champion ran the No. 4 up against the wall in frustration.

Elliott eventually passed Harvick but did not pull away with the fresher tires, instead Elliott took the racing line away from Harvick as Larson continued to close in.  Larson caught and passed Harvick, who blamed Elliott.

“I just told him it was kind of a chicken-shit move he did there at the end,” fumed Harvick. “I was just trying to get the lead and race him hard. Then he pulls up in front of me and sits there till I lose the whole lead.”

Three Rivers Karting

“Well, it’s something he does all the time,” said Elliott of the contact from the No. 4.  “He runs into your left side constantly at other tracks. Did it to me in Darlington a few weeks ago because he was tired of racing me. Whether he did it on purpose doesn’t matter. At some point you have to draw a line.”

The line to the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs was drawn after Bristol with four drivers falling out the playoffs.

Chip Ganassi’s hopes of winning that elusive NASCAR Championship ended Saturday night when Kurt Busch was one of those four drivers eliminated.  Busch finished 19th at Bristol.

Aric Almirola, Michael McDowell and Tyler Reddick were also eliminated.

Bristol Cup Results

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