Chase Elliott's no. 9 car takes the checkered flag to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Talladega, Ala.
Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Dawsonville’s Chase Elliott wins at Talladega

Chase Elliott won the Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, giving Chevrolet its first victory of the season.

Elliott took the lead shortly after a restart with four laps to go and worked with three other Chevy drivers to hold off the rest of the field. He won for the first time since October and went to victory lane about 100 miles from his hometown in Georgia.

Elliott, 23, NASCAR’s most popular driver, is the son of Georgia racing legend Bill Elliott.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman finished second, followed by rookies Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric.

“What a day,” Elliott said.

Elliott is the sixth driver to win through 10 Cup races this season and locked up a playoff spot.

Elliott credited a meeting with all Chevy drivers for the late-race teamwork.

The race ended under caution after David Ragan hit William Byron, who tagged Kyle Larson and sent him sliding across the track. Larson then flipped half a dozen times before coming to a stop.

“It was a little bit scary, but thankfully I’m all right,” Larson said.

The 2019 aerodynamics package had cars reaching higher speeds than NASCAR wanted in practice, so officials tried to slow them down with a late rules tweak. But the changes made the cars go even faster, leaving many veterans wary of the closing speeds and potential for chaos and high-speed crashes.

But the race was mostly wreck-free — until the final lap.

Elliott’s victory ended a seven-race winning streak for Ford at Talladega. Penske Racing had won six of the last nine.

The Cup Series moves to Delaware next Sunday for the Dover 400. Elliott is the defending race winner.


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