Chase Elliott Wins GEICO 500 At Talladega As Kyle Larson Flips On Last Lapby Camille Jones April 28, 2019 0 comments
TALLADEGA, Ala. – As Kyle Larson flipped down the backstretch, Chase Elliott was declared the winner of Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The high banks of Talladega Superspeedway provided a wild finish at the end of the 188-lap race, resulting in the race ending under caution with Elliott in the lead. On the final lap, following a single-car crash by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., multiple cars collided on the backstretch, including William Byron, Kyle Larson, David Ragan and Jeffrey Earnhardt. Larson went for a big tumble, rolling several times before his Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Clover Chevrolet came to a halt.
“Initially, I thought I was going to hit the inside wall pretty hard,” Larson said. “And then right before I got to it, I felt it lift and was just hoping it would set down; and then it just started tumbling. That was probably the longest flip I’ve ever had.”
Elliott was leading at the time of the caution, which froze the field for the finish. The 23-year-old led 45 laps throughout the afternoon. Sunday’s win marks Elliott’s fourth win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“That was one of the coolest things ever,” said Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Mountain Dew/Little Caesar’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. “This crowd was absolutely insane. Just glad we could get Mountain Dew, Little Caesars, and Chevrolet, a lot of Chevrolet teamwork done today. Hendrick power was incredible. NAPA, Kelley Blue Book, Valvoline and Hooters, all the people that make this deal go around.”
Elliott added, “It was a really crazy day, well‑executed day on the Chevrolet teams’ behalf. Proud of that effort. That last lap was going to get wild. I don’t know exactly what Alex (Bowman) had up the sleeve. I know he was coming with something. We’ll take it. Unbelievable feeling. The crowd was intense. We’re proud to get it done for them.”
Alex Bowman, driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet, was forced to settle for the second-place finish after the field was unable to finish the white flag lap. Bowman’s runner-up finish marks his first top-10 finish of 2019.
“Yeah, there was no plan coming off Turn 4, but unfortunately we didn’t get there before the caution came out,” Bowman said. “Big props to Chevrolet and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. They brought great race cars here. We had a great Nationwide Chevy from the time we unloaded. We showed a lot of speed. We all stuck to our plans and executed really well. Props to everybody back at home at Hendrick Motorsports and the fab shop and the engine shop and everybody that makes this deal possible.”
Rookie Ryan Preece grabbed third in the finishing order on Sunday. This was Preece’s first race at Talladega Superspeedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Joey Logano and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top-five, while Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Brendan Gaughan, Aric Almirola and Kyle Busch all finished in the top-10.
Ty Dillon won Stage 1 in the race, while race-winner, Elliott won Stage 2.
There were six cautions for a total of 21 laps under yellow-flag conditions in Sunday’s race.
The final lap mayhem wasn’t the first big crash of the race. On lap 183, five cars piled up on the backstretch. A bump draft went amiss between Aric Almirola and Chris Buescher. As Buescher spun, he was nailed by Matt DiBenedetto, who had nowhere to go. Martin Truex Jr. and Justin Haley were involved as well.
After 10 races, Kyle Busch leads the standings by 15 points over Joey Logano.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads on to Dover International Speedway next weekend for the Gander RV 400 on Sunday, May 5. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images