William Clyde Elliott, Jr. scored a historic triumph Sunday, prevailing in his third straight road-course event to win the first NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. The dream has come true!
Elliott led a race-high 34 of the 65 laps in the inaugural Go Bowling 235 on the 3.61-mile road circuit. Chase drove the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevolet to his second win of the season and the eighth of his Cup Series career.
Denny Hamlin clinched second place in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, just a car-length behind at the checkered flag. Martin Truex Jr. took third with Jimmie Johnson fourth and Chris Buescher completing the top five.
Elliott won Stage 1, and Hamlin prevailed in the second stage.
Points leader and pole-starter Kevin Harvick spun from fifth place after the start of Stage 3 when his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was bumped from behind by the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota of rookie Christopher Bell. Harvick slid to a stop in Turn 3 and continued on, but in 37th place — last on the lead lap.
He spun again on Lap 43, continuing after looping the No. 4 car in Turn 6. Harvick rallied to finish 17th, ending a streak of 10 straight top-10 results.
Kyle Busch had adventurous day, even before a brake issue sent his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota behind the wall for lengthy repairs. He locked up the brakes entering the frontstretch chicane on Lap 2, forcing an unscheduled pit stop to change tires. He also spun in Turn 6, and the brief off-course excursion knocked him back to 13th on Lap 25. When his brakes gave out with 17 laps to go, Busch steered the No. 18 to the Cup Series garage, where he lost six laps to the front-runners while his crew worked. His return to the track was a brief one, and he retired after blowouts of both rear tires forced him to crash with five laps left in regulation. Busch placed 37th, his fifth finish outside the top 30 this year.
Kaz Grala finished an impressive seventh in his Cup Series debut, leading three laps during a pit-stop cycle in the final stage. He was picked by Richard Childress Racing as a late replacement in the No. 3 Chevrolet for Austin Dillon, who was sidelined after reporting a positive COVID-19 test Saturday.
The race was halted by a roughly 30-minute delay for a late-afternoon lightning strike in the vicinity of the speedway.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Well, to start off this 3rd segment Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff and Linda The Cookie Mom looks as though they were shot out of a cannon! Both players were all in and most definitely betting the farm that Chase Elliott could make it three in a row road course victories for the HMS No. 9 crew. For their loyal support at the Daytona road course these two players deposited a cool 54 points into their bucket. No, Chase Elliott was not dreamin’, but if he was dreamin’ then he may want to “dream on”!
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
Doing almost as good as The Cookie Mom and Your Most Humble Sheriff this week was Jim, aka Chiefy, and Bernie the Bay Area Bandit. This unlikely pair were riding tall in the saddle with The Delivernator Sunday. I guess both players thought that, just because Denny Hamlin won the last two Daytona 500’s, that he could pull off the first Cup road course victory as well. They dang near were successful with their expectations! Hamlin stalked Elliott for more than the last dozen plus laps, getting to Elliott’s rear bumper on several occasions, but was unable to surpass him. Nonetheless, this pair put a nifty 45 points into their bucket to start off this segment.
Meanwhile, Amber the Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head continues to amaze the entire fantasy league with her run of great luck this season. It seems like she just keeps getting it right week in and week out! Does anybody else think that maybe she is involved in some underworld or covert operations this season? I mean think about it. She won the first segment. She is leading the second segment with just one race left in that segment, and starting out the 3rd segment The Cheddar Head is the 3rd highest scorer. (I’m asking for a friend)
Carole, aka Rudy, really lit it up at Daytona! Rudy was the only player who was hanging with Sliced Bread this race. Joey Logano really flew way below the radar for most of the race, but when the pay window opened up he “let the big dog eat” and finished up in 9th place, rewarding Rudy with 37 points.
Rounding up the top five scorers this week is Jeremy The Coach. In spite of his 2nd segment nose dive, The Coach walked away with 32 points today with his man Clint Bowyer’s 6th place finish.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
As it always happens at the beginning of a segment the player(s) who are awarded The Crappiest Pick of The Week will alway get a two-fer! That two-fer includes a weeks all expense paid trip, including room and board, to our luxurious Outhouse, which I keep repeating for those who have not experienced The Outhouse yet, is located down at the end of Lonely Street across the street from The Heartbreak Hotel! This week the husband and wife team of Snoopy Dawn and Carlton The Doorman begins the 3rd segment as roommates in The Outhouse because of their microscopic one (1) point score!
Next week NASCAR slides over to another Dover International Speedway for a weekend doubleheader.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!