NASCAR 2019: Chase Elliott wins the 2019 Geico 500 at Talladega
On Sunday afternoon, Chase Elliott took the No. 9 to Gatorade Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway in the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for his first ‘Dega win. The last time the notable number was in Gatorade Victory Lane, another Elliott was in the driver’s wheel, Chase’s father Bill, in 1987.
Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) executed a perfect strategy to end a seven-race Ford series of wins at Talladega Superspeedway. A few late-race crashes changed the appearance of what was a hard-battled race between three manufacturers – two edgy to end the other’s predominance at the acclaimed speedway. It came to the delight of a great crowd in the stands, who cheered loudly and let Elliott know their approval when it was all said and done.
“We just had a plan, executed it really well. Obviously could have gone both ways,” Elliott said after climbing from his car at the start-finish line. “Fortunately, everybody stayed together, stayed the course, and had some help on that last lap with a caution. This is unbelievable. This is close to home for me, so it feels a little bit like a home race.”
Elliott held off his teammate Alex Bowman and individual Chevy driver Ryan Preece, Joey Logano, a year ago’s GEICO 500 victor, was fourth with Daniel Hemric fifth – his best completion of his rookie campaign in NASCAR’s premier series.. With the Dawsonville, GA local’s success, owner Rick Hendrick is now the all-time winningest car owner at Talladega in the Cup Series with 13.
A keep going lap crash on the Alabama Gang Superstretch gathered a great part of the field and sent Kyle Larson tumbling after hard contact with the inside wall. Larson, alongside every single other drivers involved, were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
A multi-car occurrence additionally struck on Lap 182 of the planned 188-lap occasion, including Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr., Chris Buescher, Justin Haley, and Matt DiBenedetto, putting the field under a brief red flag and setting up the final wild dash to the checkered flag.
Logano led 37 laps in his No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang, yet offered approach to Elliott and his individual Chevrolet drivers in the race’s fading moments on lap 185.
“At the end, [Kurt Busch] had a big run and I felt like I had to block that. When I blocked that I can’t block both and [Elliott] got underneath me,” Logano said. “I really think even if it was green all the way to the end, it would have looked exactly the same.”
Ty Dillon, making his 100th career begin in the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet for Germain Racing, got the success in Stage 1. Elliott likewise drove a 1-2-3 finish for Hendrick Motorsports in Stage 2 for his first stage triumph of the 2019 season.
An incident on Lap 11 finished the day for four drivers – Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell, Mobile, AL local Bubba Wallace, and Matt Tifft, while additionally gathering Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin. Jimmie Johnson found the divider himself on lap 24, however had the able to continue and finished 33rd.
Sunday’s race saw 37 official lead changes.
Earlier Sunday, NASCAR’s biggest and baddest track detailed plans for Phase II of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar. The process of demolishing many of the pre-existing structures in the facility’s infield will begin next week, with an expedited construction timeline to follow, ensuring that all new amenities are prepared for fans’ arrival in October.