Chase Elliott wins rain-shortened NASCAR Cup debut in Austin
Elliott’s teammate, Kyle Larson, and Team Penske’s Joey Logano rounded out the top three.
“It’s not the ideal way to win, but we’ll take it,” said Elliott, who said he also had several close calls in the tricky conditions. “If they say race, we’re going to go. If they make the call to say its not doable, or not smart, that’s what we’ll do.”
Elliott earned his sixth career road course victory, and has won five of the last six road races in the Cup Series. He has 12 Cup wins overall.
The race call was a disappointing finish to the series’ first run at a track built for Formula One, and organizers will have to decide if they want to make the Austin track a regular stop.
The rain started on the opening lap. The trickiest section to drive was the long, high-speed straight as the drivers risked hydroplaning or not being able to see through the spray kicked up by the cars around them.
The worst crash came when Cole Custer, seeking a visible racing line, smashed into the back of Martin Truex Jr. — who had just hit Michael McDowell — and Custer’s front end briefly burst into a fireball on lap 25. Both drivers were checked at the medical center an released.
“We don’t have any business being out in the rain, period,” said veteran driver Kevin Harvick. “All I can say is this is the worst decision that we’ve ever made in our sport that I’ve been a part of, and I’ve never felt more unsafe in my whole racing career, period.”