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Elliott Captures the Victory at Texas

  • Chase Elliott scored his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, snapping a 42-race winless streak
  • The win is Elliott’s 19th career Cup Series victory in his 295th start, his third at a 1.5-mile track and his first at Texas
  • It was the Dawsonville, Georgia, native’s first victory with Hooters as the primary partner on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • Elliott led three times for a total of 39 laps, including the final 17 circuits
  • The 28-year-old driver now sits fourth in the Cup Series point standings, just 32 markers behind the leader

Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Hooters team qualified 24th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Once the green flag dropped, Elliott improved to 21st and remained there until the first round of green-flag pit stops got under way. As part of the team’s strategy to try to gain track position, Elliott ran long and eventually took over the lead. Crew chief Alan Gustafson was close to calling his driver to pit road, but the caution flag waved at an opportune time with Elliott still out front when the yellow flag waved on lap 50. Under the caution, Elliott brought the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. He restarted in the ninth position and advanced to seventh to end the first stage at lap 80.

During the stage break, Elliott relayed that the Hooter’s Chevrolet was a little edgy late in the run and could use a little bit of security. After a fast stop for four tires and fuel, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native lined up seventh to start the second stage and was up to fifth when the race was slowed for a caution on lap 101. Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for right-side tires and fuel. The driver of the No. 9 was fifth to line up for the restart. He got shuffled back to 10th early in the run and was in that same spot when the caution came out on lap 114. Staying out, Elliott restarted ninth and remained inside the top 10. He came to pit road for four tires and fuel when the race fell under caution on lap 137. With varying pit strategies, Elliott restarted in 13th and drove to 10th to finish stage two at lap 165.

Under the stage-ending caution, the team opted not to pit. Elliott took the green flag for the final stage from the fifth position on lap 172 and advanced to fourth before the caution came out for an incident the very next lap. Once again, Elliott stayed out on the track and was fourth for the restart on lap 177. He was in that same position at the time of the next caution on lap 181. After choosing not to pit, he was in fourth for the restart and moved into third on lap 185. A long green-flag run ensued, and Elliott pitted from the third position with just over 50 laps remaining in the race. He was scored in 15th when a caution came out on lap 230 before the field had cycled through pit stops. Once the teams that hadn’t pit yet made their stops under the yellow, Elliott moved up to third for the restart. The 28-year-old driver made a power move to the lead. He held point until the driver of the No. 11 worked his way by with 22 laps to go. An on-track incident brought out the yellow flag with just 13 laps remaining, giving Elliott another shot at the lead on the ensuing restart. Once the race was back under way with eight laps to go in regulation, Elliott was battling for the lead and was scored ahead when another caution flag came out. He led the field to the green flag with just two laps remaining, but an incident brought out the caution again and sent the race into overtime. Elliott held off the competition through multiple overtime restarts to earn his first victory of the season.

It was his 19th career Cup Series victory and his first premier series win at Texas. With the win, Elliott and the No. 9 team moved up to fourth in the Cup Series points standings, just 32 markers behind the leader.

“First off, thanks to everybody that came out today. You guys are unbelievable,” Elliott said following the win.

“Hooters has been a partner of ours for a number of years now. It’s been a dream of mine to pay respect to the late Alan Kulwicki. Driving this car to a victory and do a Polish victory lap, just really crazy how things came full circle there in that moment. It was pretty emotional for me. He beat dad back in the day. Here we are sharing his sponsor and having an opportunity to win today. 

So just, man, couldn’t be more grateful for this journey and kind of the path that hasn’t always been fun, but certainly have enjoyed working with our guys. We’ve been working really hard and really well together. Like I said, hasn’t always been fun, but we’ve enjoyed the fight together.

Couldn’t be more proud of our team. Thanks to our partners at NAPA, Chevrolet. Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. Had a big week last week. Boss, thank you for sticking with me. Really, really proud of this. Appreciate all the folks back home that have stuck with me and helped us get back on track.”

Start / Finish: 24 / 1
Points Standing / Total: 4th / 303 pts. (-32)

Next Race: Sunday, April 21, Talladega Superspeedway
How to Watch or Listen: 3:00 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN or SiriusXM

Chase Elliott: @ChaseElliott
Hendrick Motorsports: @TeamHendrick
No. 9 Team: @Hendrick9Team

Hendrick Motorsports View All

Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (291) and laps led (over 77,000). Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, the team fields four full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.

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