AUSTIN, TX (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chase Elliott, the defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion, is in good shape to defend his title after winning the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas.
NASCAR officials called the race with 14-laps remaining due to wet track conditions and standing water on the backstretch.
“Yeah, super proud just of our whole group,” said Elliott. “I feel like we really kind of persevered through multiple challenges today. I didn’t think we started the day off great, but we were able to kind of fight back, get to where we had a lot of pace there at the end. Really proud of that.”
Elliott started eighth in the 40-car field and fell out of the top 10 at the end of the races first stage. The No. 9 Chevrolet finished second in stage two and that track position proved to be key as Elliott was out front when NASCAR through the final caution due to the track and weather conditions.
“Obviously I was on the good end of the call, so I’m okay with the race ending,” said Elliott. “But actually I think a lot of guys would say the standing water was getting pretty serious. I think where it got to there at the end was just there were puddles of standing water. I think that was where NASCAR got to and they’re like, ‘Hey, this is not good’. Visibility is one thing, but when you hydroplane going however fast we’re going, that’s probably not good.”
The victory was Elliott’s 12th career win and sixth on a road course. The win was also the 800th for Chevrolet and the 268th for Hendrick Motorsports, which ties the record held by Petty Enterprises.
“I really don’t know what to say other than Richard Petty and that organization have been the backbone of the sport,” said Hendrick. “Richard has done so much. It’s quite an honor to even be in the same series with him. Never thought we’d get here. But real proud of the guys. They worked really hard. That’s been something we’ve had in our sights. Really happy for Chevrolet with 800 wins. It’s just been a great day.”
Hendrick’s Kyle Larson finished second followed by Team Penske’s Joey Logano in third and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ross Chastain in fourth. Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 5.
Kyle Larson Wins NASCAR All Star Race
Kyle Larson held off teammate Chase Elliott and Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski to win the NASCAR All Star race on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
The victory was Larson’s second in the event, Hendrick Motorsports 10th and 2nd in-a-row. Chase Elliott won the event last year.
“That restart just worked out perfect where Chase kind of got choked up and I was able to get to his back bumper and push him past the 12 to get him a little bit clearer, and he kind of shaded left a little bit much, and I poked through the outside and had about — almost all fours but both right sides above where we had been running and I kind of eyeballed it under yellow and I was like, you know what, we have a 10-lap run and there’s no points on the line, I’m going to go for it if I get the chance, and if I wreck, I wreck. But I think there will be enough grip. It worked out there was,” Larson explained about the final restart where he eventually took the lead.
Keselowski finished second and was thrilled to be able to do that considering Larson was coming off wins at Charlotte and Sonoma. .
“It feels like just to run second to the Hendrick cars right now is kind of an accomplishment,” said Keselowski. “They’re just stupid fast, and I had him off of Turn 4 but they just have so much speed. He just motored right on back by me.”
Elliott finished third followed by Joey Logano in fourth and Ryan Blaney in fifth.
Kyle Larson dominates Coca Cola 600
CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Larson led 327-of-400 laps and picked up his second victory of the year Sunday winning the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“My car was really, really good,” remarked Larson after the race. “I didn’t have many complaints tonight, but I just think with the grip in the track and all that, my teammates were just as good as I was.”
The victory was the eighth of Larson’s career and the 269th for Hendrick Motorsports, the most Cup Series wins for a single organization.
“From really humble beginnings and not having money to buy tires and riding in the back of a truck in Trenton, New Jersey, to watch a modified race to today, I was thinking out there on pit road hoping it wasn’t going to be a caution and we could get it done tonight, how fortunate I’ve been to have the talent that’s been at our organization,” reflected Hendrick.
That talent was on display Sunday night when four of the top five cars were Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets, including Chase Elliott who finished second.
“We absolutely got beat tonight, no question,” said Elliott matter of factly. “They (Larson and the No. 5 team) did a better job. The only thing you can do is just look for more opportunities, be excited for another chance, and fortunately we have that next week, next Sunday, and the Sunday after that.”
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch spoiled the Hendrick party by finishing third in the M&M’s Toyota followed by HMS’ William Byron in fourth and Alex Bowman in fifth.
Larson moved up one spot in the Driver’s standings and trails leader Denny Hamlin by 76-points heading into next Sunday’s race on the road course at Sonoma.
NASCAR Charlotte Notebook: Gibbs wins Xfinity Series race; Larson wins Cup Series pole position
CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs took the lead on a restart with 7-laps to go and held off Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Gibbs had a hand in the caution preceding the restart when he got together with Chase Briscoe coming off turn two, sending Briscoe into a spin who remarkably didn’t hit anything.
“I just want to say sorry to them,” remarked Gibbs about the incident with Briscoe. “This is awesome, I’ll take it. It’s definitely nice to win on an oval in my hometown.”
Briscoe wasn’t mad at Gibbs about the incident, he was more frustrated about losing the lead after some late race adjustments.
“We just made the wrong adjustment there at the end, we were too tight,” said Briscoe. “I felt like he was going to get me either way. I don’t know if he got into me or got aero loose or what. It’s definitely frustrating we ended up sixth. Felt like we were going to, for sure, be second at worse.”
Team Penske’s Austin Cindric finished second followed by Gibbs’ JGR teammate Harrison Burton in third.
The race was slowed by 10-caution flags for 51-laps including four over the last 66-laps. There were 12-lead changes among seven drivers.
Kyle Larson Wins Cup Series Pole:
Kyle Larson led a Hendrick Motorsports barrage in qualifying for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Larson’s fast lap of 180.282 mph (29.953-seconds) put the No. 5 Chevy on the pole and led the HMS squad, who all qualified in the top 7.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr will start second in the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet. Stenhouse turned a lap of 180.240 mph (29.960) to earn the spot on the outside of the front row.
HMS teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron will start on row two after turning quick laps of 180.186 (29.969) and 180.180 (29.970) respectively.