Ally 400: Chase Elliott hits the night with victory in Nashville

Via Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports NASCAR writer

LEBANON, Tenn. – Chase Elliott It’s been a rough couple of months, so he’s willing to take over six hours to earn his second win of the 2022 season.

Elliott led the final 39 laps, including a four-lap run to the finish line after a late caution, to win 400 . ally at the Nashville Superspeedway on a Sunday night, where the two weather delays lasted more than three hours.

“It’s been a long day,” Elliott said. “A happy day.”

The win kept Elliott 2-vs-2 on the concrete track this year with his first win of the season coming in May at Dover.

The takeaways after a long night in Nashville.

Elliott got off the sled

After victory at DoverElliott finished fifth the following week and then had three consecutive finishes outside the top 20. An eighth at Sonoma was a bit of a rebound, but Elliott desperately needed a good result.

Maybe it’s an understatement to say he desperately needs a good result – he’s still the point-to-point lead of the series. He increased the lead in the series ranking by more than 30 Ross Chastain.

But Elliott says the win is important.

“The last month and a half, the last two months that we’ve been through have been horrible,” Elliott said. “I collided about 10 times, and we had a lot of things happen that didn’t end well.

“I’m proud to be able to come back from a really tough stretch.”

Chase Elliott conquers concrete to win Nashville

Chase Elliott still uses old tires after a late caution to win a delayed Cup race in the rain at Nashville.

Winning key:

Elliott came back from the pit stop early, where he had a loose wheel, and he had to turn around, pushing him to the bottom of the field.

He kept Kyle Busch As they battle for the top spot there are 30 rounds left.

And then Elliott was wary of 11 others, giving him enough space that no one who had been pitted against the new tire could catch him in the final four laps.

Points of return to note

Ryan Blaney spins with 95 laps remaining as he fights a car that is difficult for him to control. A few tweaks and a good pit call for him to avoid late caution put him in position to finish in third.

“We went back and forth with it all night,” Blaney said. “We really couldn’t seem to get it right where we needed it. … You wanted to win every week and that’s what we were meant to do and we didn’t finish.”

Another driver whose comeback is Kyle Larsonwho took an early penalty and, like Blaney, the decision to stay out helped him finish well and cross the finish line in fourth.

This is Larson’s first race with captain Cliff Daniels sidelined as part of a four-race suspension for one wheel about to break out at Sonoma. Larson said Daniels remains in touch with the team, which is being led by engineer Kevin Meendering.

“It’s really quiet,” Larson said. “The cliff is [there] almost, and we talked to him every time we watched the trailer [weather delays]. It doesn’t sound different – just a different voice in my headphones.

“That just goes to show how prepared Cliff is for this team.”

Toyotas lead but empty

Denny Hamlin led 114 laps, Martin Truex Jr. led both stages and led 82 laps and Busch led 54 laps. But the only Toyota in the top 5 is Kurt Buschwho was among those who cautiously arrived late and restarted a second time next to Elliott and ended up there.

“I had a plan and I didn’t execute it,” said Kurt Busch, noting that he could have raced Elliott a little rougher in the final laps. “You were going to throw the fender, but I didn’t throw the fender.

“I wanted to rinse and cut to the bottom and I didn’t finish either… I just didn’t get the job done.”

Hamlin, Truex, and Busch were all cautious in the end, Truex and Busch were all mixed up when Truex got into an incident with Brad Keselowski and Busch eventually pivoted, bringing them down to 21 (Busch) and 22 (Truex). Hamlin on Friday.

Bob Pockrass has spent decades in the service of motorsports, including 30 former Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 after working at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. Looking for more NASCAR content? Subscribe to the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!

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