After a grueling 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, drivers had an unexpected extra day of rest due to extensive rain from Tropical Storm Bertha. Despite the Alsco Uniforms 500 taking place a day late, Elliott returned to the track and capitalized at the end of the 310.6-mile race.
Aside from an impressive win after his pass on Harvick, Elliott was able to break his streak of bad luck. Elliott was taken out by Kyle Busch at Darlington, when it appeared as though he was a contender to win. Then, as he was leading the Coca-Cola 600, the caution flag flew, and his competitors stayed out on the track as he pitted. Thus, Elliott seemed incredibly relieved to improve upon his second place finish from Sunday.
“It’s been a tough week for sure. That deal on Sunday night was a heartbreaker. It’s not the 600, but it’s a win,” Elliott said of the victory. “I was just waiting for the caution to come out to be honest with you. I surely did not think it was going to go green until the end,” said Elliott.
As far as cautions went, the first one appeared rapidly in turn four during lap 1 as contact was made between Joey Gase and Garrett Smithley. Just shortly after, the competition caution followed on lap 20. During their pit stops, William Byron and Corey LaJoie had a minor collision. A few laps after going green, both Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski cut a tire on lap 29, which brought out the third caution. Lightning entered the area immediately after, generating a red flag.
Once the cars were back on the oval, the remainder of stage one was completed with no cautions. The first caution in stage 2 came on lap 74 when Quin Houff was tapped by Brennan Poole, which led him to make contact with the wall. With 64 laps left, the yellow flag flew for the final time for Timmy Hill.
Though it was Elliott that came out on top, Hamlin managed to finish second. The remainder of the top-five consisted of Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Kurt Busch. Of the top-five, three of them were Chevrolets. Notably, the stage one winner, Joey Logano, finished sixth. Meanwhile, Alex Bowman took home stage two, and a thirty-first place finish after making contact with the wall in the final stage.
Luckily, the NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action in just three short days at Bristol Motor Speedway. Catch all the action from Thunder Valley on Sunday, May 30 at 3:30 PM on FS1.