He didn’t lead every lap. But, he led a lot of laps that mattered. NASCAR favorite Chase Elliott didn’t just win the Quaker State 400 — he dominated. Due to rain on Saturday, no qualifying laps were run. So, the grid was broken down by standings, and Elliot once again started on the pole. While he let the win slip from his fingers at Road America, he wouldn’t do that in front of a very friendly home state crowd in Atlanta.
The first stage was the Chase and Ryan Blaney show. These two drivers are sitting at the top of the points standings, and they were atop the field to start this race. Elliott went on to take the stage and then things got interesting. While the first 60 laps were more or less without issue, Stage 2 changed things.
A big wreck that took out a few drivers shook things up. Just as we thought it would be an easy cruise to the second stage win, Chase Elliott had to start towards the back of the top 10. Tempers flared with the wreck, and Austin Dillon blamed Ross Chastain for causing it. Although, it feels like it was just hard, fast driving on a newly worked track.
Even with this big moment, Elliott kept at it. His car was so fast today and he was able to work his way back through traffic to the front of the field. Just as the second stage was coming to an end, that NAPA Auto Parts Chevy got to the front and was able to once again claim a stage win.
When the final 100 laps got going, you better believe that Chase Elliott was right there in the front ready to give those Georgia fans a show.
Chase Elliott Pulls off the Hat Trick
After an incidental caution flag was started from some drivers in the rear of the field, Chase Elliott was ready to get back to it. He got off pit road in third place and was ready to make some noise in the final stage. Elliott got to the front quickly, too. With a lead over Corey LaJoie, Chastain, and others he looked ahead and didn’t let up.
This newly renovated Atlanta track is just awesome. Naysayers can keep it to themselves if they haven’t already been convinced. Two races into the Next Gen era, and it might be my favorite track of the season.
Watching Chase absolutely dominate from flag to flag was amazing. To do it in front of his home crowd for the first time ever was priceless. He took off with three laps to go after a late caution and cleared the field in order to take the checkered flag.
Let it be known, Chase Elliott is the points leader and he is the hottest driver in the Cup Series right now. Could a second Cup Series championship be in his future?