Chase Elliott snaps oval drought with Dover win

Chase Elliott It is regarded as one of the top road course racers in the NASCAR Cup Seriesbut also has a pretty solid oval résumé with six wins on such tracks entering the DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway, the site of his maiden oval triumph in 2018. However, he had not won on an oval since the final race of the 2020 season at Phoenix to claim the chanpionship. Over a year and thirty-nine oval starts later, he returned to Dover and finally snapped that drought as he led the final fifty-three laps of a rain-delayed event to win for the first time in 2022.

Stages #1 and 2

Kyle Larson inherited the top spot from a pitting Denny Hamlin shortly before the race was red flagged on Sunday and pushed to Monday following seventy-eight laps for rain. He continued to lead when it resumed twenty hours later on lap 84, only for another pause four circuits later when Austin Cindric and Todd Gilliland spun. A good restart by Elliott propelled him past his Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Larson.

Hamlin reclaimed the lead on lap 113 and eventually the stage win ahead of Elliott, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr.Larson , William Byronpole winner Chris Buescher, Kyle Buschand Brad Keselowski. However, the leader’s race collapsed between segments when his left-front tire came off as he was exiting pit road, which will result in a four-race suspension for crew chief Chris Gabehart and the crewmen who failed to tighten its lug nut.

With Hamlin penalised, Chastain assume the lead alongside Bell, only for the latter to suffer the same fate as his Joe Gibbs Racing ally Hamlin as he pitted for a loose wheel. Larson crashed on lap 156 for the first caution of Stage #2, followed by Kurt Busch hitting the wall thirty laps later and Joey Logano on the ensuing restart.

Brief periods of Justin Haley and Bowman leading ended upon Kyle Busch, who was celebrating his thirty-seventh birthday, taking the spot on lap 212. As the end of the stage approached, Tyler Reddick and Ty Dillon suffered downed tires that forced them to pit. With nine laps remaining, Cody Ware spun off turn four and Hamlin attempted to avoid him by ducking to the apron, but Ware’s car slid down the racing surface and contact occurred anyway.

Despite having older tires, Blaney led for the green flag and until the stage’s conclusion. Busch, Bowman, Truex, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Chastain, Eric Jones, Harrison BurtonBuescher, and Elliott rounded out the top ten.

Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Stage #3

Busch and Bowman led the field to the restart, and the former remained in front until a debris came out for AJ Allmendinger losing his right-front wheel lap 325. Hamlin’s day worsened when he was caught speeding on pit road during following stops.

Contact between Daniel Suárez and Corey LaJoie led to the former’s spin and a lap 335 caution. Suárez’s Trackhouse Racing Team partner Chastain led before another yellow flag for Reddick’s crash on lap 343, from which Elliott cleared Chastain for first on the ensuing green.

Truex spun on the final lap to end the race under caution and secure Elliott his fourteenth career victory and second at Dover.

“Had some good circumstances finally,” said Elliott. “Really appreciate Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and our entire team for just sticking with it. We”e had some tough races over the last, I don’t know, four, five months. Just great to get NAPA back to Victory Lane, great to get Hendrick Motorsports back to Victory Lane.

“Just so proud. This one means a lot in a lot of different ways. Just appreciate all the effort. […] Like I told them after the race, those guys, they’ve been deserving of one for a while. Glad we could get across the line first. We’ll enjoy it for a few days and go to work next week.”

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 400 Running
2 15th 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 400 Running
3 7 1 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 400 Running
4 17 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 Running
5 6 48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 400 Running
6 3 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 400 Running
7 10 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 Running
8 1 17 Chris Buescher RFK Racing Ford 400 Running
9 11 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 400 Running
10 25 43 Eric Jones Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet 400 Running
11 14 31 Justin Haley Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 400 Running
12 18 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 Running
13 23 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 400 Running
14 8 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 400 Running
15th 30 41 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 400 Running
16 9 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota 399 Running
17 29 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 399 Running
18 21 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 399 Running
19 27 10 Arik Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 399 Running
20 20 6 Brad Keselowski RFK Racing Ford 399 Running
21 2 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 399 Running
22 33 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 399 Running
23 24 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 398 Running
24 35 21 Harrison Burton Wood Brothers Racing Ford 398 Running
25 13 15th Ryan Prece* Rick Ware Racing Ford 398 Running
26 5 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 397 Running
27 31 42 Ty Dillon Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet 396 Running
28 34 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 396 Running
29 22 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 396 Running
30 26 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 390 Running
31 16 45 Kurt Busch 23XI Racing Toyota 388 Running
32 36 77 Josh Bilicki* Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 381 Running
33 19 16 AJ Allmendinger* Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 321 Brakes
34 28 51 Cody Ware Rick Ware Racing Ford 238 DVP
35 32 78 BJ McLeod Live Fast Motorsports Ford 167 Brakes
36 12 2 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 91 DVP
Italians Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points

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