Chase Elliott wins rain-soaked Inaugural NASCAR Race at COTA
Updated: May 24
Chase Elliott led five laps and took the lead on lap 50 before NASCAR ended the rain-soaked race four laps later, to win the inaugural EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday. Last year's Cup Series champion captured his first win of the 2021 season and his 12th career win. Sunday's win was also Elliott's sixth road-course win in the last seven road-course races.
All four of Rick Hendrick's drivers at Hendrick Motorsports have now won a race in 2021.
Kyle Larson, one of Elliott's teammates at HMS, finished second, Joey Logano third, Ross Chastain fourth, and A.J. Allmendinger fifth. Rookie Chase Briscoe, Michael McDowell, Alex Bowman, polesitter Tyler Reddick, and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10.
William Byron came into the weekend with 11 straight top 10 finishes, the youngest driver in NASCAR history to achieve such a streak. Byron, another one of Elliott's teammates, saw his top 10 streak come to an end on Sunday after the Charlotte, NC native finished 11th.
A vicious crash occurred on lap 25, of the scheduled 68-lap event, after Cole Custer rammed into the back of 2018 Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. Due to the amount of rain throughout the race, drivers struggled to see just a few yards in front of them. Truex did not see Michael McDowell's 34 car slowing down causing him to hit McDowell and sustain heavy front-end damage. Custer didn't see Truex's damaged 19 car before it was too late, slamming into him at a high rate of speed, causing Truex's car to nearly flip over. Both drivers walked away under their own power and sustained no injuries.
NASCAR returns home next Sunday for the 61st running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The 334-lap race is widely recognized as NASCAR's most patriotic event, which honors past and present members of the United States military.