Chase Elliott wins Talladega Cup race
Chase Elliott won Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway as the race finished under caution because of two wrecks on the last lap.
Elliott led 44 of 188 laps, including the final four laps. He beat Alex Bowman, Ryan Preece, Joey Logano and Daniel Hemric.
The win is the fourth of Elliott’s Cup career and came after a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 13. It’s also the first win for Chevrolet in 2019 and ends Ford’s streak of seven consecutive Talladega victories.
“What a day,” Elliott told Fox Sports. “We just had a plan and executed it really well. Obviously, could have gone both ways. Fortunately, everybody stayed together and stayed the course. Had some help on that last lap with the caution. ... This is unbelievable. This is special. This is close to home for me. Kind of feels like a home race.”
Hendrick Motorsports is just the third organization to win this season, joining Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Bowman’s runner-up finish is his first top 10 of the season and his best result in 127 career Cup starts.
“There was no plan coming off of Turn 4, but unfortunately we didn’t get there before the caution came out,” Bowman told Fox Sports. “I am glad to kind of turn the season around. It has 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 (we’re) headed in the right direction.”
The final run was set up by a wreck with seven laps to go that involved Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, Chris Buescher and Justin Haley. Truex was the only one able to continue, and he finished 25th. Haley, making his Cup debut, finished 32nd.
The wreck on the final lap included William Byron, Paul Menard, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ryan Blaney, David Ragan and Kyle Larson. It ended with Larson sliding toward the inside wall, going airborne, hitting the wall and then flipping multiple times. Larson was able to exit the car under his own power.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Ty Dillon
STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Elliott
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Rookies Ryan Preece (third) and Daniel Hemric (fifth) each earned the best finishes of their career ... Ryan Newman finished seventh for his third straight top 10 and his best result of the season ... Brendan Gaughan placed eighth for his sixth career top 10 ... Corey LaJoie placed 11th, tying his career-best result.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Matt Tifft and Michael McDowell were eliminated via a six-car wreck on Lap 11 … Jimmie Johnson finished 33rd after he cut a tire on debris and hit the Turn 3 wall on Lap 24 … Denny Hamlin exited the race in Stage 2 with damage from the Lap 11 wreck ... Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led 16 laps but finished 25th after he wrecked on the last lap, separate from the incident on the backstretch.
NOTABLE: With a new rules package that includes a tapered spacer and a taller spoiler, there were 37 lead changes, the most at Talladega since May 4, 2014 (48) ... Chase Elliott’s four Cup wins account for Hendrick Motorsports’ last four wins overall ... Kyle Busch (10th) has finished in the top 10 in every race this season. It’s the first time a driver has top 10s in the first 10 races of the season since Morgan Shepherd in 1990
WHAT’S NEXT: Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on May 5 on Fox Sports 1