NASCAR Cup Talladega: Elliott beats Blaney for crucial victory

Chase Elliott profited from an Erik Jones shove on the final lap to beat Ryan Blaney to win the NASCAR Cup race at Talladega and book his place in the next stage of the playoffs.

After a late caution for a stalled car at the end of the pitlane, Blaney led the way with two laps to go and remained in front at the start of the final of the 188 laps.

As the field came off Turn 4, Blaney was on the inside with Michael McDowell behind him, while Elliott ran up top with Jones behind him.

Jones gave Elliott a shove to push him past Blaney for the lead and the two ended up racing side-by-side to the chequered flag, with Elliott winning by 0.046 seconds.

Elliott becomes the first playoff-contending driver to win one of the playoff races this season, and automatically advances to the semi-final round regardless of how he finishes in next weekend’s race at the Charlotte Roval.

The win is the fifth this season for Elliott, the most of any driver, and 18th of his career.

“It was a wild last couple laps. I wasn’t super crazy about being on the bottom [lane] and fortunately I got just clear enough off of [Turn] 2 to slide up in front of Erik.

“He gave me some great shoves. He’s a Team Chevy partner there. Just had a good enough run to get out front and then was able to stay far enough in front of Ryan at the line to get it done.

“These things are so hard to win and you have to enjoy them. I just appreciate everybody’s effort today. We’re getting ready to go to the Roval and try to grab another one.”

Race winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

Race winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Tucked up behind Blaney saw McDowell take third, clear of Ross Chastain in fourth, as Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Having played an assisting role in Elliott’s win, Jones faded to the line in sixth place but ahead of Todd Gilliland and Daniel Suarez, as Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe completed the top 10 in Talladega.

With one race remaining in the second round of the playoffs, the four drivers lowest in the points and in danger of elimination next week at Charlotte are Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Cindric.

NASCAR Cup Talladega II - Race Results

Cla Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval
1 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.307    
2 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 188 3:15'23.353 0.046 0.046
3 United States Michael McDowell Ford 188 3:15'23.401 0.094 0.048
4 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.467 0.160 0.066
5 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 188 3:15'23.490 0.183 0.023
6 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.558 0.251 0.068
7 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 188 3:15'23.591 0.284 0.033
8 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.603 0.296 0.012
9 United States Austin Cindric Ford 188 3:15'23.619 0.312 0.016
10 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 188 3:15'23.629 0.322 0.010
11 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.651 0.344 0.022
12 United States William Byron Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.688 0.381 0.037
13 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.714 0.407 0.026
14 United States Aric Almirola Ford 188 3:15'23.753 0.446 0.039
15 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.770 0.463 0.017
16 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 188 3:15'23.771 0.464 0.001
17 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 188 3:15'23.838 0.531 0.067
18 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.841 0.534 0.003
19 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 188 3:15'23.906 0.599 0.065
20 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 188 3:15'23.908 0.601 0.002
21 United States Cole Custer Ford 188 3:15'24.222 0.915 0.314
22 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 188 3:15'24.683 1.376 0.461
23 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 188 3:15'24.812 1.505 0.129
24 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 188 3:15'25.087 1.780 0.275
25 United States Chris Buescher Ford 188 3:15'25.239 1.932 0.152
26 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 188 3:15'25.655 2.348 0.416
27 United States Joey Logano Ford 188 3:15'26.369 3.062 0.714
28 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 187 3:15'28.473 1 Lap 1 Lap
29 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 187 3:15'29.074 1 Lap 0.601
30 United States Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 186 3:15'35.052 2 Laps 1 Lap
31 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 184 3:15'29.759 4 Laps 2 Laps
32 United States Cody Ware Ford 184 3:15'31.620 4 Laps 1.861
33 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 182 3:15'33.000 6 Laps 2 Laps
34 United States Daniel Hemric Chevrolet 180 3:06'38.724 8 Laps 2 Laps
35 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 44 49'03.236 144 Laps 136 Laps
36 United States Harrison Burton Ford 23 23'32.693 165 Laps 21 Laps
37 Ty Gibbs Toyota 23 23'32.975 165 Laps 0.282
 

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