Elliott wins rain-shortened Texas GP at COTA

Gavin Baker/Motorsport Images

Elliott wins rain-shortened Texas GP at COTA


Elliott wins rain-shortened Texas GP at COTA


Chase Elliott was in the right place at the right time when NASCAR officials deemed the inaugural EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix official after 54 laps.

The race leader at Circuit of the Americas under the red flag, Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team were declared the winners of the race. It is Elliott’s first win of the season and sixth on a road course. The reigning Cup Series champion makes it back-to-back wins for Rick Hendrick, who tied Petty Enterprises for the most wins in the series (268).

“(I) couldn’t be more excited,” Elliott said. “I’ve never won a rain race before, so it’s kind of cool and just super proud of our team for continuing to fight. At the start of the day, we weren’t very good, and I kept pushing myself, kept making some good changes throughout the day, and got to where I thought we were on pace with those guys there at the end. Really proud of that.

“It’s not the greatest thing ever to have a rain race win if it’s your first one, but I think it’s OK if it’s down the road. So, I’m pretty excited about that and looking forward to next week and trying to keep it rolling.”

Elliott took the lead on lap 50 after the final round of pit stops cycled through. Pitting with Kyle Busch, who was leading at the time, on lap 45 put the two in position to reclaim the top spots following the cycle. Elliott got around Busch on lap 47 to be in the catbird seat for when the running order shook out.

Hendrick Motorsports finished first and second Sunday afternoon with Kyle Larson the runner-up to Elliott. Larson pitted for the last time on lap 44 and then drove to second place before the red flag.

Joey Logano finished third, and Ross Chastain finished fourth. AJ Allmendinger and Kaulig Racing completed the top five.

Logano led a race-high 14 laps and won the first stage.

Chase Briscoe finished sixth, Michael McDowell was seventh, and Alex Bowman was eighth. Pole-sitter Tyler Reddick finished ninth, and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10.

Busch ended up pitting one more time (with 17 laps to go) after losing second place to Larson and complaining of the tires being bad and hydroplaning on the backstretch. Busch won the second stage and led 12 laps.

William Byron’s streak of 11 consecutive top-10 finishes came to an end as he finished 11th. Points leader Denny Hamlin finished 14th. Austin Cindric finished 25th after spinning late, but he led three laps at the start of the day and ran with the leaders throughout the race.

COTA featured 11 lead changes among 10 drivers and six caution flags.

Elliott also delivered Chevrolet its 800th win in the Cup Series.