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Race report

Chase Elliott earns first NASCAR Xfinity win since 2016

Chase Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports team used a masterful tire strategy and avoided the on-track melees to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Elliott, making his first start of the season with Hendrick’s No. 17 Chevrolet team, struggled from the start but was among a handful of teams that held a set of four new tires late into the race.

A caution for a spin by Ryan Ellis sent most teams down pit road on lap 171 of 200 but most did not have a complete set of new tires. Elliott did and with 17 laps remaining, he powered around Mayer – who was on scuff tires – to take the lead for the first time.

From there, Elliott had to navigate one more restart and fend off a fast-approaching Brandon Jones. Elliott edged him by 0.500 seconds at the checkered flag to take a win – his first in the series since 2016 and sixth of his career.

 

“My team did a really good job. Greg (Ives, crew chief) made a good call on the tires, and I think ultimately that was what won us the race,” Elliott said. “I felt I needed a little bit with my balance and make as much pace as (Justin Allgaier) and a couple of those other guys.

“Hats off to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. It’s super-special to win with the No. 17 on the car for the boss (Rick Hendrick) and Linda. Obviously, a great honor with the Ricky Hendrick (paint) scheme. It means a lot to all of us to be a part of this.”

Sammy Smith ended up third, Mayer was fourth and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Kyle Busch, Ryan Sieg, Josh Williams, Ty Gibbs and Noah Gragson.

Stage 1

Justin Allgaier cleared Gibbs with four of 45 laps remaining and held him off by 0.932 seconds to take the Stage 1 win. Busch was third, Jones fourth and Allmendinger was fifth.

After contact with Allmendinger, Riley Herbst wrecked off Turn 2 on lap 30 and was knocked out of the race.

 

Stage 2

Allgaier traded the lead late in the stage with Busch but held him off by 0.995 seconds to complete a sweep of the stage victories in the race. Austin Hill was third, Mayer fourth and Sheldon Creed rounded out the top five.

Stage 3

During the break between Stages 2 and 3, most of the lead lap cars elected to pit with Allgaier first off pit road. Both Allgaier and Hill, however, were penalized for speeding and had to restart from the rear of the field.

That left Gragson – who stayed out – leading the way when the race returned to green with 103 laps remaining. Jesse Love, however, quickly powered to the front on the restart.

Just after Busch reclaimed the lead, Kyle Sieg spun off Turn 2 to bring out the caution and set up a restart with 87 laps remaining,

With 74 laps to go, Mayer made his way around Busch to take over the race lead as Gibbs moved to third.

Allmendinger, Shane van Gisbergen and Love were among the first to hit pit road on lap 143 for their final green flag pit stop to take on new tires and fuel to make it to the finish. Once the cycle of stops was completed, Mayer returned to the lead with 44 laps to go.

Ellis spun around on the backstretch on lap 169 to bring out a caution that prompted several drivers to hit pit road for newer tires. Gragson elected not to pit and inherited the lead, but Allgaier lined up alongside him with two new tires when the race resumed with 25 to go.

Exiting Turn 4 on the restart lap, Gibbs hit the wall and then ran into Allgaier just as he was trying to take over the lead.

 

Mayer inherited the lead following the wreck and led Elliott, Jones and Busch when the race resumed with 18 laps remaining. On newer tires, Elliott took over the top spot.

On the same lap, Hill and Cole Custer collided in Turn 1. After cutting a tire, Hill appeared to stay in the gas and connected to Custer before eventually spinning out Custer’s No. 00 Ford on the backstretch.

Elliott led Mayer, Jones and Busch on the restart with 12 to go. Jones quickly moved into second to challenge Elliott one lap later.

CLA DRIVER # MANUFACTURER LAPS TIME INTERVAL PITS POINTS
1 C. ElliottHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 17 Chevrolet 200

2:36'27.100

  6  
2 B. JonesJR MOTORSPORTS 9 Chevrolet 200

+0.500

2:36'27.600

0.500 12 42
3 8 Chevrolet 200

+1.836

2:36'28.936

1.336 7 39
4
S. MayerJR MOTORSPORTS
1 Chevrolet 200

+2.666

2:36'29.766

0.830 8 40
5 A. AllmendingerKAULIG RACING 16 Chevrolet 200

+3.688

2:36'30.788

1.022 9 38
6 K. BuschRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 33 Chevrolet 200

+4.740

2:36'31.840

1.052 8  
7 R. SiegRSS RACING 39 Ford 200

+5.364

2:36'32.464

0.624 9 36
8 J. WilliamsKAULIG RACING 11 Chevrolet 200

+6.318

2:36'33.418

0.954 7 29
9 20 Toyota 200

+7.589

2:36'34.689

1.271 9  
10 N. GragsonRETTE JONES RACING 30 Ford 200

+8.108

2:36'35.208

0.519 8  
11 K. WeathermanDGM RACING 91 Chevrolet 200

+8.145

2:36'35.245

0.037 8 26
12
T. GrayJOE GIBBS RACING
19 Toyota 200

+8.173

2:36'35.273

0.028 8  
13 J. ClementsJEREMY CLEMENTS RACING 51 Chevrolet 200

+8.787

2:36'35.887

0.614 9 24
14
P. RetzlaffJORDAN ANDERSON RACING
31 Chevrolet 200

+9.782

2:36'36.882

0.995 8 23
15 S. van GisbergenKAULIG RACING 97 Chevrolet 200

+10.589

2:36'37.689

0.807 8 22
16
A. AlfredoOUR MOTORSPORTS
5 Chevrolet 200

+12.034

2:36'39.134

1.445 9 21
17 J. BurtonJORDAN ANDERSON RACING 27 Chevrolet 200

+12.157

2:36'39.257

0.123 9 20
18
C. SmithJOE GIBBS RACING
81 Toyota 200

+13.560

2:36'40.660

1.403 9 25
19
K. SiegRSS RACING
28 Ford 199

+1 Lap

2:36'41.399

1 Lap 10 18
20 H. DeeganAM RACING 15 Ford 199

+1 Lap

2:36'41.821

0.422 9 17
21 J. YeleySS-GREEN LIGHT RACING 14 Chevrolet 199

+1 Lap

2:36'42.174

0.353 8 16
22 4 Chevrolet 199

+1 Lap

2:36'43.118

0.944 9 15
23 42 Chevrolet 199

+1 Lap

2:36'44.256

1.138 10 14
24 G. SmithleyJD MOTORSPORTS 6 Chevrolet 199

+1 Lap

2:36'57.479

13.223 9 13
25 A. HillRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 21 Chevrolet 198

+2 Laps

2:36'34.089

1 Lap 9 24
26 M. DiBenedettoRSS RACING 38 Ford 198

+2 Laps

2:36'41.529

7.440 9 11
27 R. EllisALPHA PRIME RACING 43 Chevrolet 198

+2 Laps

2:36'47.302

5.773 11 10
28 2 Chevrolet 198

+2 Laps

2:36'53.039

5.737 11 11
29 N. DeckerDGM RACING 92 Chevrolet 196

+4 Laps

2:36'53.187

2 Laps 10 8
30
E. PatrickSS-GREEN LIGHT RACING
07 Chevrolet 191

+9 Laps

2:37'00.235

5 Laps 9 7
31 B. PooleALPHA PRIME RACING 44 Chevrolet 190

+10 Laps

2:36'42.596

1 Lap 8 6
32 C. CusterSTEWART-HAAS RACING 00 Ford 184

+16 Laps

2:24'29.003

6 Laps 12 6
33 J. AllgaierJR MOTORSPORTS 7 Chevrolet 176

+24 Laps

2:13'43.332

8 Laps 14 24
34
D. ThompsonSAM HUNT RACING
26 Toyota 137

+63 Laps

1:47'44.814

39 Laps 6  
35
B. PerkinsRSS RACING
29 Ford 135

+65 Laps

1:53'21.450

2 Laps 7 2
36 S. CreedJOE GIBBS RACING 18 Toyota 119

+81 Laps

1:35'51.767

16 Laps 6 7
37 P. KligermanBIG MACHINE RACING TEAM 48 Chevrolet 71

+129 Laps

51'06.239

48 Laps 4 1
38 R. HerbstSTEWART-HAAS RACING 98 Ford 29

+171 Laps

15'57.278

42 Laps 3 1

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