NASCAR Sports Update: Million-Dollar "Chase" cashes in at Bristol (7/15/20) By: Josh Scott
Chase Elliott held off Kyle Busch by .418 seconds to win NASCAR's All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday. It was the Dawsonville, GA native's first All-Star win in just his fifth try. As tradition, Elliott was awarded a prize of $1 million.
Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick finished third, Brad Keselowski fourth, and Denny Hamlin fifth. Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola, and polesitter Martin Truex Jr finished out the top 10. Matt DiBenedetto (13th place), Justin Haley (14th place), and rookie Cole Custer (16th place), all competed in their first All-Star race. Jimmie Johnson finished 17th in his final All-Star race.
DiBenedetto was one of four drivers to race their way into the event after competing in The Open, which proceeds the All-Star Race. The other drivers were Almirola, Elliott's teammate William Byron (12th place), and Clint Bowyer (15th place) who won the fan vote. Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr, the Cup Series' lone black driver, was predicted to win the fan vote after having amassed a large following over the last few months. However, while running third in Stage One of The Open, he and Michael McDowell made contact which sent Wallace's number 43 car careening into the outside wall. Bubba's car was too damaged to continue, thus ridding his chance of competing in his second straight All-Star event.
The race was divided into four stages. Blaney won Stage 1, but Elliott took over and dominated en route to winning the last three segments.
Since the inaugural All-Star event in 1985, the race has been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in Concord, NC. Wednesday's race took place at Bristol Motor Speedway, which snapped a streak of 33 years that the event was held at a venue other than CMS. In 1986, however, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Chase's father, Hall-of-Famer Bill Elliott, was victorious.
NASCAR travels to Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at 3 pm on NBCSN. Denny Hamlin will look to go back-to-back after capturing the checkered flag at the "Great American Speedway" last year.