By Michelle R. Martinelli |
July 15, 2020 10:28 pm
The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports driver won his first All-Star Race after holding off Kyle Busch, who finished second, in the final laps of the exhibition event. And with the checkered flag, he also won the $1 million prize.
It was Elliott’s first win at the .533-mile Tennessee short track — even though there are no points attached to this race — and he and his father, Bill Elliott, are now the second father-son duo to win the All-Star Race, following Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“That’s super cool,” Elliott said about joining his dad as an All-Star Race winner on a Zoom press conference after the race. “Anytime you can join in anything racing is very special, so to join Dad in winning this event, heck, that’s not just special. That’s a lot of years and a lot of history for everything to come full circle like that. It’s pretty dang cool.”
And, as FOX Sports’ Jeff Gordon noted during the race broadcast, the Elliotts have now won the only two All-Star Races not held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since the race’s inception in 1985, it’s been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year, with the exception of the 1986 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which Bill Elliott won.
As far as points races go, Elliott won the Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte back in May, and that checkered flag automatically qualified him for the 16-driver, 10-race playoffs in the fall.
After the All-Star Race, Elliott seemed speechless for a moment as the crowd of about 20,000 cheered for the reigning most popular driver.
Elliott told FOX Sports:
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. What a better night to have fans back than tonight. I mean, y’all are awesome. There’s nothing like Bristol, there’s nothing like the lights here, there’s nothing like racing here. Never won here. What a race to do it.
“Just really proud of our team tonight and rebounding. We’ve had a really tough couple of weeks and just felt like we had kind of gotten off base and felt like I was struggling and just trying to hit the reset button this week and came out and put on a great performance, great car.”
About the fans, he continued:
“There’s no feeling like it. Nothing like it. This speaks for itself, and like I said, Bristol is an electric atmosphere that is unlike any other that we go to. So couldn’t be more excited. We’re going to celebrate this one for sure. And we’ll take that million dollars back to Georgia, why don’t we?”
Behind Elliott and Busch, Kevin Harvick finished third, Brad Keselowski was fourth and Denny Hamlin was fifth.
This was also the first All-Star Race at Bristol, on a short track and in the middle of the week.
Unlike regular points races, there is no reward for drivers winning the stages in the All-Star Race, so the final laps of each segment weren’t particularly thrilling. Still, Blaney won the first 55-lap stage, and Elliott won the second and third 35-lap stages.
Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR, NASCAR All-Star Race, MotorSports, NASCAR, Racing
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