Elliott name back in victory lane at Talladega

With four different crashes in the final seven laps, Chase Elliott emerged victorious in the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.

“Obviously it could have gone both ways but fortunately everybody stayed together and stayed the course and had some help on that last lap with the caution,” Elliott said. “I just appreciate all the support. This is unbelievable. This is special. This is close to home for me. It feels a little bit like a home race.

“We’ll take it. Unbelievable feeling. The crowd was intense. We’re proud to get it done for them.”

Elliott is the first driver for the 2019 season to break the win streak by Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske. He edged his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman, who was disappointed to not have a chance at the win coming to the line despite scoring his career-best finish.

“I’m not just going to let him win, right?” Bowman asked rhetorically. “I’ve got to try. I knew I could get to his quarter panel. I was pretty confident I could get to his quarter panel through the tri-oval. Who knows who is going to get to the line first? At that point, I thought I could do it. Depends on the car behind you, where he goes.

“It would have been fun to try, but happy for Chase, Nationwide (Bowman’s sponsor), everybody that lets us keep doing this thing. I’m glad to kind of turn the season around. It’s been a rough start to the year. These guys deserve way better than the finishes they’ve had. To come home second, it’s not a win, but headed in the right direction.”

Ryan Preece also scored his best career Cup series finish with a third place run. Upon further video evidence, Joey Logano unofficially finishes in fourth just slightly ahead of Daniel Hemric, who also got his best career finish. The rest of the top 10 finishing positions were Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Brendan Gaughan, Aric Almirola and Kyle Busch. Busch now extends his top-10 finishing streak to 10 for the 2019 season.

Three Multi-Car Wrecks at Talladega

The race officially ended under caution on the final lap as William Byron tangled with David Ragan on the back stretch. The two drivers collected Kyle Larson and Jeffrey Earnhardt. Both Larson and Earnhardt spun toward the inside wall, with Larson beginning to flip moments before impact with the inside SAFER barrier. The No. 42 Chevrolet tumbled and began to flip multiple times before finally coming to rest on the wheels. However, with Stenhouse spinning on the front stretch as the field took the white flag, the combination of debris on the track a few hundred feet before the start-finish line and Larson’s flip on the back stretch, NASCAR had to throw the yellow. Erik Jones spun in Turns 3 and 4 with two laps to go, but was able to continue on right away.

“That was probably the longest flip I’ve ever had,” Larson said after he was checked out of the infield care center. “I didn’t know if it would ever stop. It was a little bit scary, but thankfully I’m all right.”

A separate incident occurred with just seven laps remaining, as Chris Buescher’s No. 37 Chevrolet got turned by Aric Almirola on the backstretch. For the majority of that previous lap, Almirola kept looking to the inside to make a three-wide pass, but tucked back in line. However, on the back stretch, Almirola made contact with Buescher as he fell back in line and started a five-car crash. Buescher’s car hit the outside wall, then was t-boned by Matt DiBenedetto’s No. 95 Toyota, lifting Buescher’s car in the air. Martin Truex Jr. made slight contact, but avoided most of the wreck and was able to continue in the race. Justin Haley, who was making his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut, was not so fortunate and had his great debut end after hitting DiBenedetto in the side.

“We just got turned,” Buescher told FOX. ”Good position there with just a handful of laps to go. Just got turned right, destroyed our race car.”

The red flag lasted for 8 minutes and 47 seconds.

Back in the first stage, another multi-car wreck took out a few other major contenders as well. Just 10 laps into the race, Bubba Wallace had a strong run on Ryan Blaney. While the two bump drafted around, Blaney’s car got sideways but he was able to correct it. Wallace was not, and spun toward the inside across traffic. Clint Bowyer’s car slid up and collected his Stewart-Haas teammate Kevin Harvick. Michael McDowell and Matt Tifft were also collected, and those four retired from the race immediately.

“The No. 22 (Joey Logano) pulled up and he checked up a little bit,” Wallace said of the crash. “I went to go to the bottom, where I was safe. I don’t know if I crossed (Blaney’s) bumper or whatever. But it got him wiggled down and shoved me even farther down than I wanted to go.

“So I went back up just to stay off the apron and it just unloaded. It’s just unfortunate, but I tried not to wreck my buddy, Ryan, and it cost our day and some others’.”

Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota also received damage, and went a few laps down early. After hitting the wall on Lap 83, Hamlin took his car to the garage with mechanical failures and would not return to the race. Jimmie Johnson received damage after running over debris from McDowell’s car. On Lap 25, Johnson hit the wall in Turn 3. He was able to get his Chevrolet to pit road, but was out of contention after finishing nine laps down.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competes next at Dover International Speedway on May 5.

Monster Energy Cup Series Race Number 10
Race Results for the 50th Annual GEICO 500 – Sunday, April 28, 2019
Talladega Superspeedway – Talladega, AL – 2.66 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 188 Laps – 500.08 Miles

1119Chase ElliottMountain Dew/Little Caesar’s Chevrolet1884157Running
2988Alex BowmanNationwide Chevrolet1882253Running
33047Ryan Preece #Kroger Chevrolet1880034Running
4822Joey LoganoMoneyLion Ford1880935Running
558Daniel Hemric #Caterpillar Chevrolet1880835Running
6141Kurt BuschMonster Energy Chevrolet1880636Running
7246Ryan NewmanAcorns Ford1886035Running
82962* Brendan Gaughan(i)BeardOilDstrbtng/SthPntHtl&Casino Chevrolet188000Running
9210Aric AlmirolaSmithfield Ford1880028Running
102218Kyle BuschM&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota18891030Running
113632Corey LaJoieSchuler Systems Ford1880026Running
121641Daniel SuarezCoca-Cola Orange Vanilla Ford1885031Running
1342Brad KeselowskiSnap On Ford1880024Running
1413Austin DillonDow Chevrolet1883537Running
15712Ryan BlaneyMenards/Knauf Ford1880429Running
161721Paul MenardQuick Land Tire & Auto Center Ford1880021Running
171313Ty DillonGEICO Chevrolet1881030Running
183727* Reed SorensonLow-T Centers Chevrolet1880019Running
192720Erik JonesSTANLEY Toyota1880018Running
202019Martin Truex JrBass Pro Shops Toyota1880017Running
212524William ByronHertz Chevrolet1887328Running
223381* Jeffrey Earnhardt(i)Xtreme Concepts Toyota187000Accident
231538David RaganShriners Hospital for Children Ford1870014Accident
241042Kyle LarsonClover Chevrolet1870717Accident
25617Ricky Stenhouse JrFifth Third Bank Ford1878015Accident
263415Ross Chastain(i)Chevrolet187000Running
273596* Parker Kligerman(i)TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota186000Running
284051Cody Ware(i)JACOB Companies Ford184009Running
29314Clint BowyerToco Warranty Ford182008Running
303137Chris BuescherTide Pods Chevrolet181007Accident
312695Matt DiBenedettoProcore Toyota1811007Accident
323877Justin Haley(i)Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet180000Accident
332148Jimmie JohnsonAlly Chevrolet178004Running
34320Landon Cassill(i)Home Town Lenders Chevrolet154000Running
353952Stanton BarrettHUSKI CHOCOLATE Chevrolet132002Suspension
362311Denny HamlinFedEx Express Toyota80001Accident
371836Matt Tifft #Surface Suncreen/Tunity Ford11001Accident
38194Kevin HarvickBusch Beer Flannel Ford11001Accident
392843Bubba WallaceWorld Wide Technology Chevrolet10001Accident
401234Michael McDowellLove’s Travel Stops Ford10001Accident

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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