Chase Elliott Wins YellaWood 500 at Talladega, Advances to NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott is the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. A long and hard-fought battle for the driver and his team. His fifth win, the most of any Cup driver this season.

The afternoon started off with a big crash that collected a number of drivers. It left Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier unable to continue and led to a lot of laps of clean driving. Stage 1 was taken by Ryan Blaney. The drivers gave us a taste of what was to come in the final stage as each round wrapped up. Collecting those stage points is so important for these playoff drivers.

In the second stage, drivers made mistakes. Some on pit road like Christopher Bell, and others on the track in general. However, nothing really big happened through this stage. We saw some good superspeedway driving and some lead changes. These teams were racing fast, hitting pit road quickly, and gave the more detail-oriented fans a show. Chase Elliott was the winner of the second stage in another tease of the final dash for the checkered flag.

There wasn’t a lot of three-wide racing here, perhaps the drivers were nervous about wrecks and injuries. Between the NFL’s controversy with Tua Tagovailoa to Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch in the Cup Series – it’s been a hot topic. The broadcast team on NBC was quick to mention the overlap between the two.

Of course, the final stage is where it all counts. Getting into the final laps, drivers get nervous they get antsy and someone out there has to be the first to make a move. The Xfinity Series gave us a little taste of how close things can get at the end of a Talladega race. These Cup drivers make it even more intense.

Chase Elliott Dives for the Win

Six laps to go, Daniel Hemric had an incident and was unable to continue. When his car stalled, it brought out the caution so they could clear him off the track. This late caution with just six laps to go was a major issue for some, but a breath of new life for others.

Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney swapped the lead a few times over the last 40 laps or so. Jones was the leader coming off the restart. However, that No. 9 of Chase Elliott was waiting and made some great moves to finish the race. NASCAR’s most popular driver takes the win at Talladega and advances to the Round of 8 in the Cup Series Playoffs.

He is still making a strong case for his second NASCAR Cup Series Championship.