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NASCAR Cup Dover: Elliott holds off Stenhouse to win rain-delayed race

Elliott powered past Ross Chastain on a restart with 53 of 400 laps remaining to grab the lead and kept Stenhouse at bay - having gone into the race leading the series standings for six consecutive weeks, while remaining the only Hendrick Motorsports driver without a win this season.

The victory, the 11th of his career, is also his first win on an oval track since November 2020 – when he won the 2021 title at Phoenix Raceway.

Daniel Suarez had spun in Turn 3 after making contact with Corey LaJoie to bring out the 11th caution of the race on lap 335, although most lead-lap cars remained on the track rather than pit and Chastain remained out front when the race resumed on Lap 340.

While Elliott and Chastain raced side-by-side for the lead, Tyler Reddick spun off Turn 2 seven laps later to bring out a further caution. The race returned to green-flag conditions on lap 348 with Chastain still the leader, followed by Elliott, Truex and Stenhouse.

Elliott quickly cleared Chastain for the lead on the restart as Stenhouse moved to third, and the JTG Daugherty driver then powered into the runner-up position on Lap 351 as Chastain dropped to third. With five laps to go, Elliott’s lead over Stenhouse remained at a comfortable 2 seconds.

“Had some good circumstances finally. Really appreciate Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and our entire team for just sticking with it,” Elliott said. “We’ve had some tough races over the last, I don’t know, four, five months.

“Just great to get back to Victory Lane, great to get Hendrick Motorsports back to Victory Lane. This one means a lot in a lot of different ways. I just appreciate all the effort.

"Huge thanks to everybody involved. It’s been a fun day and we’re certainly going to enjoy it. Like I told them after the race, those guys, they’ve been deserving of one for a while, and I'm glad we could get across the line first.”

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Office Toyota Camry, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Fastenal Ford Mustang, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro (Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images)

Elliott is now the ninth different winner in the season’s first 11 races. Elliott took the chequered flag 2.577 seconds ahead of Stenhouse but a caution was displayed on the final lap after Chastain and Martin Truex Jr. made contact while racing for third.

In the opening third of the race, Elliott had been in contention to secure the first stage win, but was beaten to the punch by Denny Hamlin with eight laps remaining in the stage, as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver went to the inside of Elliott to pick up the lead.

Ryan Blaney won the second stage after electing not to pit after Hamlin crashed on the front stretch while trying to avoid a spinning Cody Ware, who was three laps down at the time.

Hamlin, whose difficult season continues after finishing 21st, was the first out of the pits following the break between Stages 1 and 2, where the lead-lap cars all came in, but his left-front tyre fell of his #11 Toyota.

He later received a penalty for speeding in the pitlane following a Stage 3 caution brought out by AJ Allmendinger, whose wheel had also escaped.

Chastain ended up third, Christopher Bell fourth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five. 2021 Cup champion Kyle Larson collected sixth ahead of Kyle Busch.

Poleman Chris Buescher was eighth, having led the first 18 laps until Hamlin worked his way around him to move into the top spot on lap 19.

Kevin Harvick was ninth, with Erik Jones completing the top 10. Truex, who was running fourth on the final lap, ended up 12th after his contact with Chastain.

NASCAR Cup Dover race results - 400 laps

Cla Driver Manufacturer Time Gap
1 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 3:49'38.708  
2 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 3:49'41.285 2.577
3 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 3:49'42.387 3.679
4 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 3:49'42.768 4.060
5 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 3:49'44.037 5.329
6 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 3:49'50.640 11.932
7 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 3:49'50.872 12.164
8 United States Chris Buescher Ford 3:49'52.845 14.137
9 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 3:49'53.257 14.549
10 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 3:49'56.983 18.275
11 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 3:49'57.450 18.742
12 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 3:49'58.859 20.151
13 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 3:50'02.427 23.719
14 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 3:50'06.174 27.466
15 United States Cole Custer Ford 3:50'07.088 28.380
16 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 3:49'39.988 1 Lap
17 United States Michael McDowell Ford 3:49'40.518 1 Lap
18 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 3:49'48.610 1 Lap
19 United States Aric Almirola Ford 3:50'04.420 1 Lap
20 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 3:50'08.043 1 Lap
21 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 3:50'09.602 1 Lap
22 United States William Byron Chevrolet 3:50'10.317 1 Lap
23 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 3:49'45.273 2 Laps
24 United States Harrison Burton Ford 3:50'01.143 2 Laps
25 United States Ryan Preece Ford 3:50'04.561 2 Laps
26 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 3:49'42.149 3 Laps
27 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 3:49'50.114 4 Laps
28 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 3:49'51.858 4 Laps
29 United States Joey Logano Ford 3:49'56.281 4 Laps
30 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 3:49'40.975 10 Laps
31 United States Kurt Busch Toyota 3:50'12.728 12 Laps
32 United States Josh Bilicki Chevrolet 3:49'53.911 19 Laps
33 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 3:10'19.146 79 Laps
34 United States Cody Ware Ford 2:20'55.975 162 Laps
35 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 1:46'57.158 233 Laps
36 United States Austin Cindric Ford 58'34.396 309 Laps