Connect with us


Chase Elliott Scores Xfinity Win at Charlotte

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott celebrating in Victory Lane after winning the BetMGM 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

CONCORD, N.C. — The BetMGM 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway featured four Cup Series regulars in the field, Ty Gibbs, Kyle Busch, Noah Gragson and Chase Elliott.

A more than stacked field for the Xfinity Series regulars to face off against and through the first two stages veteran Justin Allgaier was up to the task, sweeping the stages.

When the race kicked into go time, Elliott decided to join the party. Due to good strategy during the race, Elliott stayed out during Stage 1 to save a set of tires, so when a caution came out on Lap 170 Elliott put the fresh sticker tires on along with two others.

Two timely cautions came out late that helped Elliott stay close to the leaders and knocked some of the best cars out of contention for the win. On Lap 177 Ty Gibbs and Allgaier made contact, forcing Allgaier to retire from the race. Eight laps later, on Lap 185 Cole Custer and Austin Hill got together, ending in Hill intentionally spinning Custer.

After all the chaos the final restart came on Lap 189 and Elliott pulled away. Brandon Jones had a late charge and caught Elliott but was unable to get close enough the attempt a pass and Elliott captured the win.

“Hats off to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports,” Elliott said post-race. “Super special to win with the (No.) 17 on the car for the boss (Rick Hendrick) and Linda (Rick Hendrick’s wife). It‘s a great honor here with the Ricky Hendrick scheme. It means a lot to all of us to be a part of this whenever it runs.”

This will be the second time the Ricky Hendrick No. 17 scheme goes to victory lane this season, with the first time in the Xfinity Series being with Kyle Larson at Circuit of the Americas in March.

The win for Elliott is the sixth career Xfinity Series win for the 28-year-old driver and the first since 2016 in the season opener at Daytona.

“Greg (Ives, Crew Chief) made a good call, and I think ultimately that‘s what won us the race,” said Elliott. “I felt like I needed a little bit with my balance to make as much pace as the 7 (Allgaier) and a couple of those guys.”

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott doing a burnout after winning the BetMGM 300. (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

It was also a big day for JR Motorsports, with three of their four cars finishing right behind Elliott inside the top five and Allgaier winning both stages.

Brandon Jones came home second, the first top five of the year for the No. 9 team and only the fifth top 10 overall.

The top-five finish was a hard-fought one, with Jones dealing with brake fluid problems and having to come down pit road numerous times, even losing a lap at one point.

“Talk about an up-and-down day and coming back from it, said Jones. “That was really fun to come from the back to the front, I think three or four times there.”

The result also propelled Jones back into the provisional playoffs and currently sits 10th in points. Just a season ago Jones was the lone JRM car to miss the postseason in which was a tough freshman season with the team.

“Wish we could have won, but were really, really close right now,” Jones said during his Fox interview post-race. “This team’s had some ups and downs all year and we just continue to fight. HMS (Hendrick Motorsports) stepped up and helped us out a little bit and Phillip Bell is a bad-ass crew chief and has been doing a great job so far. Looking forward to the rest of the races here and were going to get this thing in the playoffs soon.”

Teammate Sammy Smith scored a third-place finish, which is also the first top-five of the season for the No. 8 team. Smith was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Truck Series race at North Wilkesboro and carried the momentum over to Charlotte.

Like Elliott, Smith had an extra set of sticker tires saved up and put them on under the Lap 170 caution and made a charge toward the front to finish third.

“It feels great to walk away with a top-three finish today for Pilot Flying J and my guys,” Smith said. “That late-race caution, along with Adam’s (Wall, Crew Chief) tire strategy really played in our favor today and I’m happy that it did.”

Smith had a consistent start to the season scoring six top 10s in the first eight races but had three straight finishes outside the top 20 coming into Charlotte, making the third-place finish a huge result and momentum builder for the team.

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott (17) racing for position during the BetMGM 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: Phil Cavali | The Podium Finish)

“It was everything really,” Smith told reporters after the race. “I feel like we’ve had good cars all year and had a lot of issues and struggles, but I feel like this is a good start for what we need to be doing for the rest of the season.”

The other remaining JRM car, Sam Mayer came home in fourth and AJ Allmendinger finished fifth. Kyle Busch, Ryan Sieg, Josh Williams, Gibbs and Gragson then rounded out the top 10.

The big story though from the race was Hill versus Custer. Both drivers voiced their displeasure with one another post-race which leads to the birth of an interesting rivalry.

“I know it’s hard racing but and the end of the day I don’t like getting intentionally wrecked and killing the front-rear clip on a race car,” Custer said. “It’s just ridiculous. If he wants to drive like a pissed-off teenager, it’s ridiculous.”

Hill admitted that he got carried away by wrecking Custer on the back straightaway, but still deflected blame for the initial incident.

“It was very uncalled to door us as hard as he did down the front stretch cut our right front (tire) down and we take us both out,” Hill said. “It is what it is though.”

Stage 1 Top 10 Finishers

  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Ty Gibbs
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Brandon Jones
  5. AJ Allmendinger
  6. Sammy Smith
  7. Austin Hill
  8. Chandler Smith
  9. Ryan Sieg
  10. Cole Custer

Stage 2 Top 10 Finishers

  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Austin Hill
  4. Sam Mayer
  5. Sheldon Creed
  6. Ty Gibbs
  7. Ryan Sieg
  8. Chandler Smith
  9. Jesse Love
  10. Noah Gragson

BetMGM 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Results

Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor/Make Status
1 30 17 Chase Elliott (i) Chevrolet Running
2 10 9 Brandon Jones Menards/CharBroil Chevrolet Running
3 16 8 Sammy Smith Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Running
4 13 1 Sam Mayer Tire Pros Chevrolet Running
5 11 16 AJ Allmendinger LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Running
6 2 33 Kyle Busch (i) BetMGM/Rebel Bourbon Chevrolet Running
7 21 39 Ryan Sieg Sci Apps Ford Running
8 36 11 Josh Williams Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet Running
9 1 20 Ty Gibbs (i) He Gets Us Toyota Running
10 18 30 Noah Gragson (i) Auto Parts Centres Ford Running
11 27 91 Kyle Weatherman MyRadar/ Chevrolet Running
12 15 19 Taylor Gray (i) Operation 300 Toyota Running
13 24 51 Jeremy Clements Spartan Waste/Fox Sports 98.3 Chevrolet Running
14 12 31 Parker Retzlaff FUNKAWAY Chevrolet Running
15 29 97 Shane van Gisbergen (R) Focused Health Chevrolet Running
16 17 5 Anthony Alfredo DUDE Wipes Chevrolet Running
17 5 27 Jeb Burton Pure Year Tank Lines Chevrolet Running
18 3 81 Chander Smith QuickTie Products Toyota Running
19 34 28 Kyle Sieg Night Owl National Contractors Ford Running
20 32 15 Hailie Deegan (R) Airbox Ford Running
21 38 14 JJ Yeley Engine Parts Plus Chevrolet Running
22 33 4 Dawson Cram (R) Chevrolet Running
23 25 42 Leland Honeyman (R) Professional Builders Supply Chevrolet Running
24 20 6 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet Running
25 8 21 Austin Hill Bennet Transportation Chevrolet Running
26 14 38 Matt DiBenedetto Viking Motorsports Ford Running
27 22 43 Ryan Ellis MacLean Power Systems Chevrolet Running
28 4 2 Jesse Love Whelen Chevrolet
29 37 92 Natalie Decker Bikini Zone Chevrolet Running
30 35 07 Patrick Emerling Liberty Brew Chevrolet Running
31 23 44 Brennan Poole Macc Door Systems Chevrolet Running
32 6 00 Cole Custer Fanttik Ford Accident
33 9 7 Justin Allgaier Hellman’s/Round Canopy Team Chevrolet Accident
34 26 26 Dean Thompson (i) MCM Transportation Toyota Fuel Pump
35 31 29 Blaine Perkins Ford Suspension
36 7 18 Sheldon Creed Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota Oil Cooler
37 28 48 Parker Kligerman Spiked Lite Coolers Chevrolet Accident
38 19 98 Riley Herbst Monster Energy Ford Accident






Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *