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Elliott wins at Road America to start new Hendrick streak

Chase Elliott (9) celebrates his victory in a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, July 4, 2021,...
Chase Elliott (9) celebrates his victory in a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, July 4, 2021, at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)(Jeffrey Phelps | AP)
Published: Jul. 4, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America on Sunday to continue his uncanny success on road courses and wrap up a playoff spot.

Kyle Busch took a brief lead on a restart on the 46th of 62 laps, but Elliott caught up to him at Turn 11 and had passed him by Turn 12. The restart followed a caution that came when Anthony Alfredo spun off course.

Elliott stayed in front the rest of the way for his second road-course victory of the year and seventh overall. He won by 5.705 seconds over Christopher Bell. Busch was third, followed by Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin.

Elliott won after starting way back in the 34th position as a couple of cautions hampered his qualifying attempts.

“I just never felt like I got in a real good rhythm all of yesterday,” Elliott said. “For whatever reason there, about halfway through the race, I started finding some of that rhythm and was able to put it together.”

His seven victories on road courses put him in sole possession of third place in NASCAR history. Jeff Gordon won nine times, and Tony Stewart eight.

NASCAR had three road courses on its Cup Series schedule from 2018 to 2020, and never had more than two in any year before that. This year’s schedule features seven races on road courses.

Elliott, the 2020 series champion, gave Hendrick Motorsports its seventh victory in its last eight Cup races. Hendrick had its six-race winning streak snapped last weekend when Kyle Busch won at Pocono for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Hendrick drivers have combined for 10 wins through 20 races this season.

This marked the first time NASCAR has brought its premier series to Road America since Tim Flock won a rainy Grand National race in 1956, and the long-awaited return attracted over 100,000 spectators for the entire four-day event.

Road America, which opened in 1955, is located on 640 acres about halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay. The 4.084-mile course features 14 turns and is surrounded by about 1,600 campsites.

The course wasn’t unfamiliar to the entire field since Road America has hosted an annual Xfinity Series event since 2010. Kyle Busch won Saturday’s Xfinity Series event at Road America, giving the Joe Gibbs Racing driver four Xfinity wins this year in as many starts.

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