Chase Elliott Breaks Winless Streak at Dover

Chase Elliott Breaks Winless Streak at Dover

Dover Motor Speedway has always been kind to Hendrick Motorsports drivers – the organization has 21 victories at the track in total (11 of which belong to Jimmie Johnson), and last year the team swept the top 4 positions in a historic finish. The trend continued this past race with Chase Elliott taking the checkered flag on a Monday, after the scheduled race was post-poned due to rain.

GREEN FLAG – LAP 1: After securing pole position in a surprising qualifying run, Chris Buescher led the field to the green flag under dark and cloudy skies. Buescher managed to hold onto the lead until Lap 20, before he was passed by second-place starter, Denny Hamlin.

CAUTION – LAP 40: The yellow flag waved for the competition caution to allow teams to check tire wear and make adjustments. Hamlin remained in the top spot for the restart.

CAUTION – LAP 67: The caution flag was displayed for rain.

RED FLAG – LAP 78: After several pace laps of trying to wait-out the rain, the field was finally brought down pit road, where drivers were told to exit their cars. Over an hour past before NASCAR announced the race would be postponed to the following day (May 2nd).

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GREEN FLAG – LAP 82: Under sunny skies, the race resumed with Denny Hamlin’s #11 Toyota Camry still in the lead.

CAUTION – LAP 86: The first incident-related caution came out when two seperate accidents happened simultaniously. The #2 of Austin Cindric got loose in Turn 3 and spun, while the #12 of Ryan Blaney made contact with the rear of the #38 of Todd Gilliland on the backstretch. Cindric’s team tried to repair the damage, but NASCAR’s repair clock expired, forcing the #2 to retire from the race. Blaney and Gilliland both sustained damage from their collision as well, but were able to continue.

STAGE 1 END – LAP 120: Denny Hamlin won the stage and collected the playoff point. Behind him, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain, and Martin Truex Jr completed the Top 5 and collected points as well.

During pitstops under caution, Hamlin’s team made a costly error when they dropped the jack (the signal for him to leave the pit box) before the left-front tire was secured. As Hamlin exited pit road, the tire fell off the car, forcing them to make another stop and resulting in a steep penalty.

CAUTION – LAP 155: The #5 of Kyle Larson got loose in the middle of Turn 4 and spun sideways down the frontstretch. While sliding, both right-side tire blew out, causing damage to the #5. Larson went a lap down due to repairs, but later rebounded to race in the Top 10.

CAUTION – LAP 188: Kurt Busch brought out the fourth caution of the day when he got tagged by the #16 of AJ Allmendinger. Busch was already fighting a loose-handling #45 Toyota Camry when Allmendinger made contact with the rear, which sent the #45 around on the backstretch.

CAUTION – LAP 195: On the restart, Erik Jones in the #43 pushed the #22 of Joey Logano up the track and sent him spinning in Turn 1.

CAUTION – LAP 241: While exiting Turn 4, the #51 of Cody Ware got loose and spun down the frontstretch.  Denny Hamlin made an effort to avoid the #51, but wound up getting collected when Ware backed into Hamiln’s right-side panel, cauing major damage to the #11 that effected him for the remaining laps. During the caution break, several teams opted to pit for new tires, while a handful of cars stayed out including Ryan Blaney in the #12.

STAGE 2 END – LAP 250: Ryan Blaney held-on to the lead for the 3-lap shootout to round out the stage and collect the playoff point. Behind him, Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr also finished in the Top 5. Kyle Busch took over the lead after Blaney pitted under caution.

CAUTION – LAP 323: AJ Allmendinger in the #16 brought out the caution when the left-rear tire fell off the car due to a loose lugnut. Allmendinger then had to retire from the race after experience brake failure. The ill-timed caution affected Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman, who were both making a green-flag pit stop when the yellow came out. Busch and Bowman had to restart at the tail-end of the field. Ross Chastain in the #1 Chevrolet Camaro took over the lead.

CAUTION – LAP 333:  While racing for position in Turn 4, the #7 of Corey LaJoie did not hold his line and came down on the rightside of Daniel Suarez in the #99, causing the latter to spin.

CAUTION – LAP 341: The final caution of the day came when Tyler Reddick in the #8 suffered a flat right-rear tire, causing him to spin on the backstretch and make contact with the inside wall. Chastain was passed by Chase Elliott on the restart.

CHECKERED FLAG – LAP 400: Chase Elliott crossed the line over 2-seconds ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr to claim his first victory of 2022. This means all four Hendrick drivers already have a win in only 11 races so far this season.

RESULTS:

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
  3. Ross Chastain
  4. Christopher Bell
  5. Alex Bowman
  6. Kyle Larson
  7. Kyle Busch
  8. Chris Buescher
  9. Kevin Harvick
  10. Erik Jones
  11. Justin Haley
  12. Martin Truex Jr
  13. Chase Briscoe
  14. Daniel Suarez
  15. Cole Custer
  16. Bubba Wallace
  17. Michael McDowell
  18. Corey LaJoie
  19. Aric Almiorla
  20. Brad Keselowski
  21. Denny Hamlin
  22. William Byron
  23. Austin Dillon
  24. Harrison Burton
  25. Ryan Preece
  26. Ryan Blaney
  27. Ty Dillon
  28. Todd Gilliland
  29. Joey Logano
  30. Tyler Reddick
  31. Kurt Busch
  32. Josh Bilicki
  33. AJ Allmendinger
  34. Cody Ware
  35. BJ McLeod
  36. Austin Cindric
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