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NASCAR Cup: Chase Elliott wins at Dover

DOVER, DELAWARE – MAY 02: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, (L) and crew crew chief Alan Gustafson celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway on May 02, 2022 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


Chase Elliott claimed his first NASCAR Cup Series win of 2022 Monday in the DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway on Monday. After the completion of 78 laps Sunday, rain resulted in the delay of the remainder of the 400-lap race to Monday afternoon.

Elliott’s win Monday was the fifth for Hendrick Motorsports in the first 11 races of the season and Elliott’s first on an oval since the 2020 season finale at Phoenix Raceway. It also was Elliott’s second-career win at Dover and a series-leading 22nd at the track for HMS.

“Just so proud. This one means a lot in a lot of different ways,” Elliott said. “Just appreciate all the effort. But thanks to all the fans for coming out. You’re always awesome. Hope to see this big crowd here next year. Just a huge thanks to everybody involved. It’s been a fun day and we’re certainly going to enjoy. 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.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second, and Ross Chastain was third for a Chevrolet top-three sweep. Christopher Bell finished fourth and one of Elliott’s Hendrick teammates, Alex Bowman, rounded out the top-five to give Chevrolet four spots inside the top-five of the finishing order.

Martin Truex Jr. challenged Chastain for third on the final lap, but a spin resulted in a 12th-place finish.

Kyle Busch gave up the race lead to pit under green on lap 323. While he was on pit road, the yellow flag waved for the 10th time when A.J. Allmendinger lost a wheel. Elliott and Chastain were among the drivers who had yet to pit in the cycle. After pitting during the caution, Chastain led laps before losing the position to Elliott just before the 12th and final caution of the race for a Tyler Reddick spin on lap 342.

“Had some good circumstances, finally,” Elliott said. “Really appreciate Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and our entire team No. 9 Chevrolet team for just sticking with it. We’ve 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.”

Busch wound up seventh at the checkered flag after leading a race-high 103 laps.

Denny Hamlin won stage one at lap 120 but lost a wheel right after making a pit stop during the caution that followed the stage. Chastain inherited the lead while Hamlin restarted 30th after leading 67 laps. After working his way back toward the front, Hamlin was collected in an incident also involving Cody Ware on lap 241.

One of Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Bell, was forced into an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel soon after the race restarted for stage two.

“We had an outstanding DeWalt Camry that’s for sure,” Bell said. “Just very, very frustrating to have those issues and get put behind, because I feel like if we could have stayed up front, we could have possibly contended for the win. We were able to get back up there in that third stage, and I’ll take it. I’m really proud of this 20 group.”

Hamlin led 55 laps Sunday after taking the lead from pole sitter Chris Buescher on lap 19. He gave up that lead to pit, though, during the caution that came out for rain on lap 68.

Kyle Larson was the leader at Sunday’s red flag and for Monday’s first restart after being the first of seven drivers to stay out when rain arrived at the track. He lost the lead to Hendrick teammate Elliott, who also stayed out during the final caution on Sunday, the second of the race, on lap 93.

On newer tires, after restarting eighth Monday, Hamlin retook the lead on lap 112. After restarting with the lead Monday, Larson spun with a flat tire and backed into the wall, bringing out the fifth caution of the race on lap 156.

Ryan Blaney won stage two at lap 250 after staying out during the eighth caution of the race for the Ware/Hamlin crash. He inherited the lead from Busch for a three-lap sprint to the end of the stage.

Chastain led the first half of the stage before Justin Haley was the first of eight drivers to stay out during a caution for a Kurt Busch spin on lap 189 — the sixth yellow flag of the race. 

After Bowman, who also stayed out, led a couple of laps, Kyle Busch, on newer tires, took the lead on lap 212.

After the stage win, Blaney pitted, turning the lead back over to Kyle Busch.

Other top-10 finishers Monday included Larson in sixth, Buescher in eighth, Kevin Harvick ninth and Erik Jones in 10th.

Below, are the results of the DuraMAX Drydene 400:

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Posted by on May 2, 2022. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.