A lousy starting position proved to be no problem for Chase Elliott as the road-racing ace deftly worked his way up through the field, took the lead for the first time on Lap 38 and drove to victory in Sunday’s Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Road racing ace?
Oh yeah, the victory at the Road America road circuit — which hosted its first Cup event since 1956 — was the Hendrick Motorsports star’s seventh in a Cup car and his sixth in his last eight starts.
Elliott led a race-best 24 laps. His margin of victory was 5.7 seconds.
The victory was his second of the season — his other coming at Circuit of the Americas, which, like Road America, is a natural-terrain road course.
Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing finished second.
Kyle Busch, who started from the rear of the field because he was forced into his backup for the start, finished third in his Joe Gibbs Toyota.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch finished right behind his younger brother. Denny Hamlin of JGR was fifth.
Elliott started 34th after he was unable to complete a lap as cautions came out during the two times he was attempting his full speed lap.
The 4.048-mile RA track, which features several long, high-speed straightaways followed by brake-eating downhill 90-degree turns, took a toll on the NASCAR machinery.
It may have cost Austin Cindric a chance at victory. Cindric, who drives full-time in the Xfinity Series and part-time in Cup for Team Penske, was leading late in the second stage when his Ford Mustang broke a drive-train component and that ended his day.
“I only had one-wheel drive and when you only have two other ones spinning with 750 horsepower it is a bit challenging,” Cindric said. “It was quite dramatic taking the lead and then immediately losing everything. Not a weekend I am necessarily happy about.”
Forced to start from the rear with Busch were Ryan Preece (backup car), Justin Haley (engine), Bubba Wallace (transmission), Kyle Tilley, Josh Bilicki, Quin Houff (unapproved adjustments).
The Series heads next to the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway oval.