Elliott kicks off new streak with Hendrick with Road America win – CBS Detroit


Even a start close to the back of the field couldn’t stop Chase Elliott from continuing his odd success on the road circuits.

Elliott started at 34, but still found a way to win the NASCAR Cup Series at Road America on Sunday to clinch a playoff berth. Hendrick Motorsports, 25, has seven career Cup Series wins on road circuits, which puts him in possession of third place in NASCAR history.

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FORT WORTH, TX – JUNE 13: NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) chats with the media ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race on June 13, 2021 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas . (Photo by Matthew Pearce / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I really have no idea,” Elliott said of his success on the road courses. “I feel like they’re just good cars. Our team as a whole was also good on the road courses, Kyle (Larson) won in Sonoma. I feel like the drivers are as good as they get to drive. Luckily, I feel like I have the best and just need to make it work.

Elliott started this far off because a few warnings hampered his qualifying attempts on Sunday morning.

It didn’t really matter as Elliott won by 5.705 seconds over Christopher Bell. Busch was third, followed by Kurt Busch and points leader Denny Hamlin.

Kyle Busch took a brief lead on a restart on the 46th of 62 laps, but Elliott caught him at Turn 11 and passed him at Turn 12. The restart followed a warning when Anthony Alfredo swerved of the course.

Elliott stayed in front the rest of the way. His only problem came as he was celebrating his victory.

DAYTONA, FL – AUG 16: Fans celebrate as # 9 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro driver Chase Elliott burns out after winning Go Bowling 235 on August 16, 2020 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by David Rosenblum / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After already doing a celebratory burnout on the front stretch, Elliott overheard fans asking him to do another one Elliott then said: “I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that much peer pressure in my life to burn out. “

Elliott therefore suffered a second burnout and destroyed his tires in the process.

“All these people were chanting ‘Burnout!’ to me, ”Elliott said. “I wasn’t going to say no. So I did. I blew up the rear tires, then ran out of gas and had to push.

Elliott, the 2020 Series champion, gave Hendrick Motorsports their seventh victory in their last eight Cup races. Hendrick saw his six-game winning streak interrupted last weekend when Kyle Busch won at Pocono for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The Hendrick drivers have won 10 of the 20 Cup Series races so far this year.

FORT WORTH, TX – JUNE 13: NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) on the grid before the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race on June 13, 2021 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Elliott only needs two more road wins to catch up with Jeff Gordon, who holds the record nine. Tony Stewart has won eight Cup Series races on road courses.

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He’s already the first person to win Cup Series races on five different courses: Watkins Glen, Charlotte, Circuit of the Americas, Daytona and Road America.

“I think he’s a very smart race car driver,” said Elliott crew chief Alan Gustafson. “I think that’s what puts him in a very good position on the road circuits, where there’s a lot to deal with and a lot going on. It takes a little while for him to put it all together and figure it out, and when he does, it’s not just a feeling. He knows what he’s doing. There is a lot of thought and process behind what he does, so it’s very repeatable.

NASCAR had three road courses on its 2018-2020 Cup Series schedule and had never had more than two in a year before. This year’s program includes seven road races.

ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN – JULY 04: Denny Hamlin, driver of Toyota FedEx Freight # 11, and Bubba Wallace, driver of Dr. Pepper Toyota # 23, race during NASCAR Cup Series Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip to Road America on July 04, 2021 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton / 23XI Racing via Getty Images)

This race also offered good news for Bell, who secured their first top five since fourth in Richmond in April.

“The past two months have been tough, but we feel like we’re getting back on track here,” said Bell. “There’s no reason we can’t run past every week.”

It was the first time that NASCAR presented its first series on Road America since Tim Flock won a rainy Grand National race in 1956, and the long-awaited return drew over 100,000 spectators for the entire event. four days.

These fans braved the July 4th temperatures that reached the 90s.

“It’s a huge road course, and there were people all around the course,” said Elliott. “This is exciting, man. When we change the schedule and go to new places, you bring the energy and excitement that our series deserves. I think we saw it today.

Road America, which opened in 1955, is located on approximately 640 acres midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay. The 4,084 mile course has 14 turns and is surrounded by approximately 1,600 campsites.

The course was no stranger to the peloton as a whole as Road America has hosted an annual Xfinity Series event since 2010. Kyle Busch won the Xfinity Series event on Saturday at Road America, giving rider Joe Gibbs Racing four Xfinity wins this year. in as many departures.

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