Chase Elliott Overcomes Head-On Crash To Win Charlotte NASCAR Playoff Raceby Hunter Thomas September 29, 2019 1 comment
CONCORD, N.C. – Chase Elliott rebounded from a head-on crash into the Turn 1 barrier to win the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Elliott’s chances of winning the second-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL appeared to be over after Elliott overshot Turn 1 on a restart and crashed head-on into the tire barrier on lap 66; however, Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet team never gave up.
“I mean, I couldn’t believe I did that,” Elliott said. “That was just so stupid. “I mean, if you could ‑‑ I don’t know that you could have done anything more stupid leading this race than what I did right there. Obviously, I was just really pissed off, and luckily our car wasn’t too bad, and our NAPA Camaro was fast enough to drive up through there, got the cautions at the right time, and just didn’t quit. If there’s ever a lesson to not quit, today was the example.”
On lap 104, Elliott chased down Kevin Harvick and muscled his way by to take the lead for the final time. The Georgia native kept the lead on a restart with just six laps to go as he went on to win his third race of the season.
“A win is awesome,” Elliott said. “It doesn’t get any better than that. There’s no feeling like winning one of these races.
“Appreciate all our partners, everybody that helps us on this car, Hooters, Mountain Dew, Kelley Blue Book, Valvoline, Chevrolet. Obviously had great power today to drive back up through there. What a day. Somebody in the media the other day asked me if this would be like an upset if a guy from Georgia came up here to North Carolina and won, and I never really thought about that, but now that he says that, I kind of like it. We’ll take this one back to Georgia. For me and all my guys here, we’re going to celebrate and enjoy it. These wins are too hard to get not to enjoy, and just happy we could overcome a lot of adversity.”
Finishing second on Sunday was Elliott’s teammate, Alex Bowman who was in threat of not making the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Bowman had raced his way into second in the final laps, but he needed some luck to transfer into the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs, because he was one point out. Ryan Newman, who was ahead of Bowman in points overshot the chicane on the backstretch in the final laps and was forced to serve a penalty. That mishap solidified Bowman’s chances at advancing.
Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR Playoff contenders, Harvick and Clint Bowyer finished third and fourth respectively. Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Pole-sitter William Byron finished sixth, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano.
The Bank of America ROVAL 400 was the final race of the Round of 16. Aric Almirola (16th), along with Kurt Busch (20th), Ryan Newman (32nd) and Erik Jones (40th) were eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs.
Advancing to the Round of 12 is Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman.
There were 13 lead changes among nine drivers on Sunday. Elliott was out in front of the field on four occasions for a race high of 35 laps.
The caution flag flew 10 times from 23 laps. A four-car crash on lap 100 brought the red flag out for 8 minutes and 22 seconds.
The first race of the Round of 12 will take place at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, October 6. Live coverage of the Drydene 400 will broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET.