Chase Elliott wins the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Grand Prix at COTA in Austin, Texas in a weather-shorten race on Sunday afternoon.
For the first time, Circuit of the Americas hosted a NASCAR Cup Series Event. A new circuit for teams to challenge themselves to understand. With this being a new test on the season, teams were granted practice and qualifying as preparation for Sunday’s race. Despite all of this, Sunday afternoon proved to be difficult for many.
Tyler Reddick on the Pole
Tyler Reddick was fastest on Sunday morning and started on the pole coming to the green flag. He was quickly passed by Austin Cindric coming into the first turn.
Many teams came down pit road on the first lap to put on rain tires. Cindric stayed out on slick tires, which paid off for a short bit. Austin Cindric was forced to come down pit road as the rain worsened. He was overtaken by Martin Truex Jr.
Daniel Suarez ran off course on lap eight when his car stalled out and this brought out the first caution of the day. Joey Logano made the pass for the lead on the following restart.
Logano was able to hold off the field during the final five laps of the first stage to win the opening segment.
The Red Flag Waves Early in the Second Stage
The second stage was forced into a red flag early in the stage. Primarily due to the rain creating low visibility for drivers. Cole Custer ran right into the back of Martin Truex Jr. on the first lap of the stage, bringing out the caution and red flag.
On the following restart, Kyle Busch made the pass for the lead with five laps remaining. Kyle Busch was able to hold off the field and win the second stage.
Chase Elliott Wins at COTA
Kyle Busch continued to lead into the final stage with the rest of the field in pursuit. Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott both came down pit road on lap 41. With the rain picking up, Chase Elliott and his team planned to gain track position. They pit for fuel only and come out ahead of Kyle Busch and move into the lead.
Ten laps later, the caution came out due to bad track conditions. Race moved into another red flag and was eventually called. Chase Elliott’s move paid off, and he picks up his first win of the year.
Hendrick Motorsports Puts Four Drivers into Post-Season Playoff
Chase Elliott is the fourth and final Hendrick Motorsports driver to pick up a win on the year. The former series champion finally earned his checkered flag, which must be a relief for him and his team. With the win in the bag, they can focus on how to earn as many points as possible throughout the remaining races left on the schedule. Chase Elliott has proved his worth on road courses, and there are still four more left on the regular-season schedule. All of which, are sure to be circled on his calendar.