Chase Elliott snaps one-year winless drought by claiming a wild Cup victory at Texas

After striving to rebound on the track following a difficult 2023 season, Chase Elliott made a triumphant return to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Cup Series division for the first time in over a year after motoring his way to win the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 14, amid two overtime shootouts.

The 2020 Cup Series champion from Dawsonville, Georgia, led three times for 39 of 276 over-scheduled laps in an event where he qualified 24th but implemented an early strategic move by remaining on the track during an early cycle of green flag pit stops and leading for the first time on Lap 41. An ensuing caution on Lap 50 for an on-track incident played into the favors for Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team, where they then pitted and proceeded to claim a top-10 result and a handful of stage points during the first stage period.

Then amid a bevy of on-track chaos, caution periods and dramatic restarts, Elliott, who maneuvered his way through the chaos, was left to fend off Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain through three late-race restarts, the latter two being overtime shootouts. After Hamlin wrecked during the first restart with two laps remaining, Elliott managed to muscle ahead of Chastain during the second overtime shootout and take the white flag to start the final lap before Chastain got wrecked by William Byron, which concluded the event under caution and delivered Elliott an emotional return to the Cup Series Victory Lane for the first time both at Texas and in 42 races.

With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Saturday, April 13, Kyle Larson notched his third consecutive Cup pole position in recent weeks and the 250th series pole for Hendrick Motorsports after he posted a pole-winning lap at 190.369 mph in 28.366 seconds. Joining him on the front row was Ty Gibbs, who clocked in the second-fastest qualifying lap at 190.134 mph in 28.401 seconds. 

Prior to the event, Kyle Busch dropped to the rear of the field in a backup car after he wrecked his primary car during Saturday’s practice session. Kaz Grala and Jimmie Johnson, who also wrecked during the practice session, also dropped to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments made to their respective cars. 

When the green flag waved and the event commenced, Kyle Larson muscled ahead in his No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with the lead through the first two turns. With the field behind fanning out and jostling for early positions, Larson proceeded to lead the first lap ahead of Ty Gibbs while Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe trailed in the top five. Larson would proceed to lead by eight-tenths of a second over Gibbs by the fifth lap mark. 

Through the first 10 scheduled laps, Larson was leading by a second over Gibbs followed by Bell, Reddick and Briscoe while Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Austin Cindric, Bubba Wallace and Michael McDowell followed suit in the top 10. Behind, Martin Truex Jr. occupied 11th place ahead of teammate Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain and rookie Carson Hocevar while Chris Buescher, Austin Dillon, Noah Gragson, Daniel Suarez and rookie Zane Smith were running in the top 20. 

Ten laps later, Larson stabilized his advantage to a second over Gibbs while Bell, Reddick and Briscoe continued to run in the top five ahead of Blaney, Byron, Cindric, Wallace and McDowell.  

Just past the Lap 30 mark, Larson continued to lead by nearly a second over Gibbs as Bell, Reddick and Blaney trailed in the top five. Behind, Byron occupied sixth place ahead of Briscoe, who was running ahead of Cindric while Wallace and Hamlin were in the top 10 ahead of Bowman, McDowell, Chastain, Truex and Hocevar. 

By Lap 35 and with the leader Larson starting to approach lapped traffic, a cycle of green flag pit stops commenced as Hamlin, who was running 10th, pitted his No. 11 Yahoo! Toyota Camry XSE. More names including Cindric, Wallace, McDowell, Truex, Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece and Noah Gragson pitted during the proceeding lap before the leader Larson led a bevy of front runners to pit road for service by Lap 37.  

On Lap 40 and with the cycle of green flag pit stops still occurring, Gibbs, who led the previous five laps, pitted as Chase Elliott cycled into the lead. Behind, Todd Gilliland, Austin Hill and Daniel Hemric, all of whom have yet to pit, were running second to fourth, respectively, while Larson was running fourth as he was trying to cycle his way back to the front. 

Then on Lap 50, the event’s first caution period flew after Jimmie Johnson, who was running 36th, got sideways and spun his No. 84 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE in Turn 4. The caution occurred as Elliott, Todd Gilliland, Hill and Hemric had yet to pit. During the caution period, select names that included Elliott, Gilliland, Hill, Wallace, Blaney, Hemric, Truex, Chastain and McDowell pitted while the rest led by Larson remained on the track. Truex would then pit for a second time to address a loose wheel along with teammate Gibbs. 

As the event restarted under green on Lap 55, Larson muscled ahead from Bell to retain the lead as the field fanned out through the first two turns and the backstretch. With Reddick, Hamlin and Briscoe trailing in the top five as Byron dropped to sixth, Larson would continue to lead just past the Lap 60 mark. 

Nearing the Lap 75 mark, Larson was leading by eight-tenths of a second over Bell while Hamlin, Reddick and Briscoe continued to run in the top five ahead of Elliott, a hard-charging Blaney, McDowell, Byron and Wallace. By then, Truex was in 13th and Gibbs was mired in 21st ahead of Nemechek. 

When the first stage period concluded on Lap 80, Larson captured his fifth Cup stage victory of the 2024 season. Bell settled in second ahead of teammate Hamlin, Reddick and Briscoe while Blaney, Elliott, McDowell, Byron and Wallace were scored in the top 10. By then, 32 of 38 starters were scored on the lead lap. 

Under the stage break, select names led by Blaney remained on the track while the rest led by Larson pitted for service, where Truex would then manage to beat Larson off of pit road following his pit service. Amid the pit stops, Gilliland was penalized for equipment interference while Zane Smith was also penalized for removing equipment from his pit stall. 

The second stage period started on Lap 88 as Blaney and Hill occupied the front row. At the start, Blaney and Hill battled for the lead through the first two turns. Blaney would then muscle his No. 12 Menards Ford Mustang Dark Horse ahead with the lead from Hill as Gibbs and Buescher followed suit in third and fourth, respectively, while Larson was scored in fifth place on four fresh tires. As Blaney led through the Lap 90 mark, Elliott occupied sixth place ahead of teammate Byron and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Hamlin, Truex and Bell while Larson overtook Buescher and Gibbs to boost up to third place. 

At the Lap 100 mark, the caution returned when Bell, who was running 10th, snapped sideways and backed his No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry XSE into the outside wall in Turn 4. Amid Bell’s incident, a chain reaction within the middle of the field ensued as Alex Bowman got turned before he received a hard hit by John Hunter Nemechek, thus leaving all three competitors with significant damage to their respective cars. By then, Blaney was leading by a narrow margin over a hard-charging Larson while Hamlin, Gibbs and Elliott were running in the top five. In addition, Hill, who was running towards the front, had pitted his No. 33 United Rentals Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entry due to a steering issue, an issue that would send Hill to the garage. 

During the caution period, nearly the lead lap field led by Blaney pitted for service while Gilliland remained on the track. Following the pit stops, Larson exited with the lead followed by Hamlin, Truex, Elliott, McDowell, Reddick and Chastain, respectively, as Blaney exited out of pit road in eighth place ahead of Byron and Wallace. Amid the pit stops, Buescher was penalized for equipment interference.  

As the event restarted on Lap 106, the field fanned out through the first two turns, where Wallace lost a bevy of spots as he went wide through the turns following contact with Gibbs. Back at the front, Larson would overtake Gilliland to reassume the lead through the frontstretch and during the following lap. Truex and Hamlin would follow suit in second and third, respectively, while Reddick and Chastain battled for fifth. Meanwhile, Larson retained the lead by nearly a second over Truex by the Lap 110 mark. 

Then following another caution period that started on Lap 113 after Hocevar, who was mired in 23rd, spun in Turn 1, trouble struck for the leader Larson, who lost a right-rear wheel on the track entering Turn 1. The issue cost Larson two laps for a penalty as Hamlin cycled into the lead followed by teammate Truex, Gilliland, Reddick and Chastain. 

During the following restart period on Lap 118, the field fanned out again through the first two turns as teammates Hamlin and Truex battled for the lead. Hamlin would fend off Truex to retain the lead by the Lap 120 mark, where Larson then returned following his two-lap penalty. By Lap 121, however, the caution returned after rookie Josh Berry spun his No. 4 Miner Ford Mustang Dark Horse in Turn 2 after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came across Berry’s nose, which got the latter loose, from 12th place. 

With the event restarting on Lap 125, teammates Hamlin and Truex battled for the lead for a second time, with Hamlin prevailing after nearly a full lap of battle while the rest of the field behind also fanned out and jostled for positions. Behind, Ross Chastain nearly made contact with Reddick as he claimed third place followed by Gilliland while Reddick was overtaken by Gilliland, McDowell, Blaney and Elliott amid his near-contact with Chastain. Amid the battles, Hamlin retained the lead by nearly a second over teammate Truex while third-place Chastain trailed by a second in third place by Lap 130. 

At the halfway mark in between Laps 133 and 134, Hamlin was leading by more than a second over Chastain, who overtook Truex for the spot, while Front Row Motorsports’ Gilliland and McDowell trailed in fourth and fifth ahead of Blaney, Elliott, Byron, Joey Logano and Reddick. Behind, Stenhouse occupied 11th place ahead of Ryan Preece, Briscoe, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson while Austin Cindric, Zane Smith, Gibbs, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski followed suit in the top 20. 

A few laps later, the caution returned after Berry spun and wrecked against the outside wall in Turn 2 for a second time. Compared to his first incident, Berry’s latest incident was enough for the Tennessee native to steer his car to the garage and retire with a DNF. During the caution period, some led by Chastain remained on the track while the rest led by Hamlin and Truex pitted. 

With the event restarting under green on Lap 142, Chastain and McDowell battled for the lead in front of a stacked field for nearly a full lap until the caution quickly returned after McDowell snapped sideways while running on the outside lane and backed his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stop Ford Mustang Dark Horse hard into the outside wall as the field scattered to avoid McDowell’s wrecked car. The caution enabled Larson to acquire one of his two lost laps in the process. 

With 18 laps remaining in the second stage period, the event restarted under green. At the start, Chastain muscled his No. 1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the lead through the first two turns while Stenhouse and Jones battled for second in front of Wallace, Keselowski, Hocevar and Hamlin. Jones would overtake Stenhouse during the following lap as Chastain extended his advantage to more than a second, all while Wallace retained fourth in front of Hocevar, Keselowski and Hamlin. 

By Lap 155, Chastain continued to lead by nearly a second over Jones while Wallace, Keselowski and Stenhouse trailed in the top five. Behind, Chase Briscoe, the first competitor running on four fresh tires, was mired in ninth behind Hocevar, Harrison Burton and Blaney while Hamlin was in 10th and trying to fend off teammate Ty Gibbs for the spot. 

When the second stage period concluded on Lap 165, Chastain captured his first Cup stage victory of the 2024 season. Wallace, who overtook Jones for the runner-up spot earlier, settled in second followed by Blaney, Erik Jones and Briscoe while Keselowski, Burton, Stenhouse, Gibbs and Elliott were scored in the top 10. By then, 32 of 38 starters were scored on the lead lap while Reddick, Hamlin and Byron mired from 11th to 13th, respectively. In addition, Truex was mired back in 21st in between Logano and Daniel Suarez. 

During the stage break, some led by Chastain pitted while the rest led by Wallace remained on the track. By then, Larson, who was the first competitor scored a lap down during the second stage’s conclusion, cycled back onto the lead lap. 

With 95 laps remaining, the final stage period commenced as Wallace and Briscoe occupied the front row. At the start, Wallace and Briscoe battled for the lead through the first two turns until Harrison Burton stretched the battle to three lanes as he made his bid for the top spot. Then through Turns 3 and 4, the caution returned after Wallace got loose and slipped his No. 23 Columbia Toyota Camry XSE up the track, where he slid sideways as Briscoe also got sideways in his No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang Dark Horse and was sent for a spin as both he and Wallace dropped within the leaderboard while Burton assumed the lead ahead of Reddick, Hamlin, Elliott and Zane Smith. 

During the following restart with 90 laps remaining, Burton rocketed ahead and retained the lead from both Hamlin and Reddick through the first two turns. Behind, Elliott fended off Zane Smith and Byron to retain fourth in front of a stacked field while Burton was trying to fend off Reddick for the lead, but Reddick prevailed with 88 laps remaining. The caution, however, returned a lap later after Blaney, who was running 15th, spun and wrecked hard against the Turn 2 outside wall amid contact with Preece. 

As the event restarted with 83 laps remaining, Reddick and Burton battled for the lead until Reddick retained the lead in front of the field. Behind, Hamlin would then move into the runner-up spot followed by Elliott, teammate Byron and Zane Smith while Burton dropped to sixth in front of Gibbs. With numerous contenders trying to aggressively carve their way back to the front amid a stacked field, Reddick retained the lead by six-tenths of a second over owner Hamlin with 80 laps remaining. 

With 70 laps remaining, Reddick was leading by a second-and-a-half in his NO. 45 The Beast Unleashed Toyota Camry XSE over Hamlin followed by Elliott, Byron and Smith while Gibbs, Gragson, Truex, Buescher and Stenhouse were running in the top 10 ahead of Erik Jones, Burton, Chastain, Keselowski, Preece, Logano, Austin Cindric, John Hunter Nemechek, Gilliland and Corey LaJoie. Meanwhile, Larson was mired in 23rd in front of Kyle Busch, Wallace and Briscoe, Jimmie Johnson was in 28th behind Hocevar and Austin Dillon was mired in 30th in between Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric. 

Ten laps later, Reddick extended his advantage to five seconds over Hamlin while Elliott, Byron and Smith continued to run in the top five, but trail by within 11 seconds. Behind, teammates Gibbs and Truex battled for sixth place in front of Stenhouse, Noah Gragson, Chastain and Jones while Logano, Keselowski, Preece and Nemechek occupied the top 15 spots. 

Then with approximately 55 laps remaining, a cycle of green flag pit stops commenced as Byron pitted followed by teammate Elliott and Gragson. By then, Cindric, Justin Haley and Buescher pitted before the leader Reddick pitted with 54 laps remaining along with Hamlin, Stenhouse, Smith, Gibbs and Jones. Amid the pit stops, Hamlin overtook Reddick and exited ahead of him on pit road after the latter endured a slow pit stop towards the right-rear end. With more names including Truex and Stenhouse pitting, Chastain, whose previous pit stop occurred with 99 laps remaining, was leading. Chastain would then pit with 50 laps remaining along with Larson as Joey Logano cycled into the lead. 

With 40 laps remaining, Logano, who last pitted with 92 laps remaining and has yet to make another pit stop to finish, continued to lead by three-tenths of a second over Keselowski followed by Preece, LaJoie and Busch while Briscoe, Suarez, Hocevar, Austin Dillon and Hemric were racing in the top 10. Behind, Reddick was running 13th ahead of Hamlin, both of whom were racing on four fresh tires, while Truex was mired towards the rear of the field after making a second pit stop under green to address a loose wheel. 

A lap later, the caution flew after Nemechek snapped sideways while battling Cindric and backed his No. 42 Romco Toyota Camry XSE into the outside wall in Turn 4, which sent him into the garage area and out of the event. During the caution period, some led by Logano pitted while the rest led by Reddick remained on the track as Reddick cycled back into the lead.  

Down to the final 33 laps of the event, the field restarted under green. At the start, Reddick received a push from Elliott to briefly muscle ahead of Hamlin until Elliott made his move and overtook both to assume the lead through the first two turns and the backstretch. With Elliott leading, Hamlin settled in second ahead of Chastain while Reddick slipped to fourth in front of a multi-car battle between Byron, Keselowski, Briscoe, Preece, Suarez and Busch. 

With 25 laps remaining, Elliott retained the lead by nearly a tenth of a second over a hard-charging Hamlin. Two laps later, however, Hamlin battled and overtook Elliott amid a fierce battle for the lead. Another lap later and just as Hamlin muscled ahead of Elliott entering the backstretch, Reddick, who was trying to muscle his way back to the lead, slid into the outside wall towards the backstretch and dropped from third to eighth, though the event remained under green flag conditions. 

Down to the final 15 laps of the event, Hamlin was leading by six-tenths of a second over Elliott while Brad Keselowski, who was slowly clocking in lap times that were faster than Hamlin and Elliott, trailed in third place by seven-tenths of a second. Meanwhile, fourth-place Chastain trailed by three seconds along with teammate Suarez while Byron, Reddick, Briscoe, Preece and Logano followed suit in the top 10.  

Then two laps later, the caution flew after Stenhouse, who was locked into a fierce battle with Ty Gibbs, went wide through Turns 1 and 2 before he slid his No. 47 Boost by Kroger Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the outside wall and spun before coming to a stop in Turn 2. During the caution period, select names including Wallace, Jones, Bell, Gragson, Burton, Truex and Jimmie Johnson pitted while the rest led by Hamlin remained on the track. 

Just as the event restarted under green with eight laps remaining, the caution quickly returned after Zane Smith and Larson made contact that sent Larson loose and sliding up toward the outside wall in Turn 1. At the moment of caution, Elliott managed to reassume the lead from Hamlin while Chastain, Keselowski and Byron were scored in the top five. 

Then during the following restart with two laps remaining, the event was sent into overtime after Hamlin, who battled dead event with Elliott for the lead through the first two turns and the backstretch, slipped sideways in between Turns 3 and 4 and spun as he backed his car into the outside wall. Amid the carnage, Elliott escaped with the lead while Chastain, Keselowski, Byron and Suarez were scored in the top five. 

The start of the first overtime period did not last long as Burton and Kaz Grala wrecked in Turn 1, where Elliott fended off Chastain to retain the lead followed by Keselowski, Byron and Suarez. The start of the second overtime period generated a different outcome as Elliott and Chastain battled dead even through the first two turns and the backstretch before Elliott cleared Chastain to assume the lead and have both lanes to his control entering the frontstretch. 

When the white flag waved and the final lap started amid a bevy of on-track battles, Elliott remained as the leader by a tenth of a second over a hard-charging Chastain. Then in the backstretch, Byron, who charged his way up to third, turned Chastain sideways into the outside wall in the backstretch as Chastain was left spinning across the middle of the track. The incident was enough for NASCAR officials to display the caution and conclude the event under caution as Elliott, who muscled his No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 away from the carnage, was able to coast his car back to the frontstretch and claim the checkered flag for a triumphant return to the Cup Series Victory Lane. 

With the victory, Elliott, who became the sixth winner through the first nine events on the 2024 schedule, recorded his 19th career win in the NASCAR Cup Series level, his first at Texas Motor Speedway and his first since winning at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2022 as he snapped a 42-year winless drought in the process. The victory, which also snapped a one-year winless drought for Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 9 team led by championship-winning crew chief Alan Gustafson, marks the sixth of the season for the Chevrolet nameplate and the fifth for Hendrick Motorsports as Elliott placed himself in a guaranteed spot of making the 2024 Cup Series Playoffs. 

During his victory celebration on the frontstretch, Elliott, who piloted his sponsor Hooters to the race win, took a moment to recognize the late Alan Kulwicki, who piloted his own-operated Hooters-sponsored entry to the 1992 Cup Series championship by beating Chase Elliott’s father, Bill, during the season-finale event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, by doing a Polish Victory Lap, Kulwicki’s on-track trademark victory celebration, across the frontstretch.  

Photo by Ron Olds for

“Man, [the win] couldn’t feel any better,” Elliott, who received a chorus of cheers from the grandstands, said on FS1. “[Sponsor] Hooters has been a partner of ours for a number of years now and it’s been a dream of mine to pay respect to the late Alan Kulwicki. Driving this car to victory and being able to do a Polish Victory Lap. Just really crazy how things came full circle there in that moment. It was pretty emotional for me. [Kulwicki] beat dad [Bill Elliott] back in the day and here we are sharing his sponsor and having an opportunity to win today. Just couldn’t be more grateful for this journey and the path that hasn’t always been fun, but certainly have enjoyed working with our guys. We’ve been working really hard and really well together. We’ve enjoyed the fight together.”

Following an extensive review of the finishing order amid the final lap caution, Brad Keselowski, who is still seeking his first Cup victory since 2021 and his first as a co-owner of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, ended up in second place followed by William Byron while Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez ended up in the top five.

Chase Briscoe and Bubba Wallace rallied from their on-track incident to finish sixth and seventh, respectively, while Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and rookie Carson Hocevar ended up in the top 10.

Notably, Joey Logano ended up 11th, Ty Gibbs settled in 13th ahead of teammate Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell finished 17th, Kyle Larson came home in 21st and Jimmie Johnson finished 29th in his second Cup start of the 2024 season. In addition, Denny Hamlin settled in 30th while Ross Chastain, who was unable to limp his damaged car to the finish line, ended up 32nd with a DNF.

There were 23 lead changes for 13 different leaders. The race featured 16 cautions for 72 laps. In total, 31 of 38 starters finished on the lead lap.

Following the ninth event of the 2024 Cup Series season, Kyle Larson leads the regular-season standings by 18 points over Martin Truex Jr., 29 over Denny Hamlin, 33 over Chase Elliott and 39 over William Byron. 


1. Chase Elliott, 39 laps led

2. Brad Keselowski

3. William Byron

4. Tyler Reddick, 37 laps led

5. Daniel Suarez

6. Chase Briscoe

7. Bubba Wallace, five laps led

8. Austin Dillon

9. Kyle Busch

10. Carson Hocevar

11. Joey Logano, 14 laps led

12. Ryan Preece

13. Ty Gibbs, five laps led

14. Martin Truex Jr.

15. Chris Buescher

16. Ty Dillon

17. Christopher Bell, one lap led

18. Noah Gragson

19. Erik Jones

20. Daniel Hemric

21. Kyle Larson, 77 laps led, Stage 1 winner

22. Corey LaJoie

23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24. Justin Haley

25. Austin Cindric

26. Zane Smith

27. Kaz Grala

28. Harrison Burton, seven laps led

29. Jimmie Johnson

30. Denny Hamlin, 37 laps led

31. Todd Gilliland, three laps led

32. Ross Chastain – OUT, Accident, 33 laps led, Stage 2 winner

33. Ryan Blaney, eight laps led, 17 laps led

34. John Hunter Nemechek – OUT, Accident 

35. Michael McDowell – OUT, Accident

36. Josh Berry – OUT, Accident

37. Alex Bowman – OUT, Accident

38. Austin Hill – OUT, Steering, one lap led

Next on the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. The event is scheduled to occur next Sunday, April 21, and air at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. 

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles