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NASCAR: Chase Elliott snaps 42-race winless streak

In Sports
April 15, 2024
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - APRIL 14: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Hooters Chevrolet, and Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR Cup Series AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, 2024 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott pulled past Ross Chastain on the race’s final restart to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott’s winless streak is over.

Elliott made it through multiple overtime restarts at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday to get his first win since 2022. Elliott got past Ross Chastain on the penultimate lap after the two drivers restarted on the front row and had the lead when Chastain went crashing off William Byron’s bumper down the backstretch on the final lap.

The 2020 Cup Series champion hadn’t won a race since he took the checkered flag at Talladega in October of 2022. It was a streak of 42 races.

Sunday’s race featured 16 cautions including the yellow flag for Chastain’s crash on the final lap. That ties a track record that was set in 2022 despite Sunday’s race being 100 miles shorter than every other Texas race until 2023.

Two of the cautions came as drivers were battling for the lead, including with less than three scheduled laps to go. Denny Hamlin crashed while he was on the outside of Elliott as his car suddenly lost traction and hit the wall.

After the race, Elliott called Texas “sketchy,” and that’s a good way to describe the track since it was reconfigured in 2017. The track is slick and has never been able to consistently produce multiple grooves in the corners for drivers to go side-by-side. Over 100 laps before Hamlin crashed in Turn 4, Michael McDowell crashed out of second place when his car wasn’t on the bottom of the track.

Kyle Larson’s dominance disappears with his right rear wheel

Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson started first and was the strongest driver throughout the opening stage. But his right rear wheel came off the car under a caution flag during the second stage and he never recovered the track position he lost.

Larson was penalized two laps for the wheel coming off his car and he got those laps back before he spun with less than 10 scheduled laps to go. However, Larson never showed the speed that he had early in the race when he was back in the pack and he ended up finishing 20th.

Jimmie Johnson spins again

Jimmie Johnson has made five Cup Series starts since he returned to NASCAR on a part-time basis in 2023. He has been involved in a caution in all five of those races.

Johnson brought out the first caution of the day on lap 49 when he spun off Turn 4. He went on to finish 26th and did finish on the lead lap.

It’s safe to say that Johnson’s post-retirement foray back into driving has been a massive disappointment. He detailed his difficulties with the way the current Cup Series car drives ahead of Sunday’s race and his results have showed it.

Race results

1. Chase Elliott

2. Brad Keselowski

3. William Byron

4. Tyler Reddick

5. Daniel Suarez

6. Chase Briscoe

7. Austin Dillon

8. Bubba Wallace

9. Kyle Busch

10. Carson Hocevar

11. Joey Logano

12. Ryan Preece

13. Ty Gibbs

14. Martin Truex Jr.

15. Ty Dillon

16. Noah Gragson

17. Daniel Henric

18. Chris Buescher

19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20. Kyle Larson

21. Kaz Grala

22. Erik Jones

23. Christopher Bell

24. Zane Smith

25. Corey LaJoie

26. Jimmie Johnson

27. Austin Cindric

28. Justin Haley

29. Harrison Burton

30. Denny Hamlin

31. Todd Gilliland

32. Ross Chastain

33. Ryan Blakey

34. John Hunter Nemechek

35. Michael McDowell

36. Josh Berry

37. Alex Bowman

38. Austin Hill

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