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Chase Lassoes Texas Grand Prix

photo by Nigel Kinrade Photography

Elliott wins rain-shortened Inaugural Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas

Austin, Texas – May 23, 2021 – Anthony Holbrook

The NASCAR Cup Series 14th point’s race of the season traveled to Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, May 23, for the first-ever “Grand Prix.” The race is 68 laps (231 miles) on the 3.41-mile road course with stages ending on laps 15, 32 and 68.

Tyler Reddick with a lap of 92.363 mph won the pole in dry conditions. Remarkably, Tyler’s pole was the first for a Richard Childress Racing driver on a road course since August 1996 at Watkins Glen.

EchoPark Texas Grand Prix – Stage 1 recap:

Before  NASCAR Cup  drivers lined up on the starting grid at COTA, they  first had the option of running race slicks or rain tires. while attempting their pace laps. After survey of the track during initial pace laps, most experienced drivers, return back to pit road requesting rain tires to equalize grip. 

Austin Cindric stuck with his original tire choice (slick composite) extended a massive lead while others pit, before hitting the pits for rain tires on lap 5.

Martin Truex Jr. inherits the lead on wet tires on lap 7, followed by Michael McDowell, Bubba Wallace, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Preece.

Joey Logano controls the point and Stage by muscling inside Michael McDowell on lap 11 onward to checkers.

EchoPark Texas Grand Prix – Stage 1 results:

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Michael McDowell
  3. Kurt Busch
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Austin Cindric
  6. Chris Buescher
  7. Chase Briscoe
  8. Ross Chastain
  9. Kyle Busch
  10. Matt DiBenedetto

EchoPark Texas Grand Prix – Stage 2 recap:

Visibility and or lack thereof would contribute to three separate alterations spotlighting concerns of driver safety. The first involved Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell while the second  incident involved Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace, dampering any prosperous finish. The third major wreck involved Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., and Cole Custer battling for position on the straightway.  Martin Truex tags McDowell from behind collecting Custer, sending them both into the safety barrier wall triggering a fireball surrounding accident.  Safety personal addressed to wreck while drivers involved issued to care center. The rain ceased enough for the drivers to complete Stage 2.

Kyle Busch wins the second stage at Circuit of the Americas checking off his second stage win on a road course.

EchoPark Texas Grand Prix – Stage 2 results:

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Chase Elliott,
  3. Tyler Reddick,
  4. Austin Cindric,
  5. Corey LaJoie,
  6. Kyle Larson,

      7.    Ryan Preece,

      8.    A.J. Allmendinger,

      9.    Chase Briscoe

      10.  Alex Bowman

EchoPark Texas Grand Prix – Final Stage recap:

Chase Elliott running low on fuel and relying on weather radar to assist upon his pitting strategy, benefitted with a safety decision issue by NASCAR Officials in final Stage.

With 54 lap’s completed and heavy rain falling, NASCAR called the race and declared current leader Chase Elliott the winner.

Chase Elliott ‘s decision to stay out during a devastating weather window would allow  the defending NASCAR Cup Series Chap to punch his 2021 playoff ticket. 

Kyle Larson’s plan to a pass Elliott for the marbles only to be interrupted by as NASCAR race decision.  Larson finishes 2nd on the rain shorten event.

Stage 1 winner Joey Logano crosses the checkers 3rd, Ross Chastain finished 4th, and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top five.

Kyle Larson still posted an astounding 7th top-five finish of the 2021 season for the Hendrick driver.

Chase Elliott wins his sixth career road course NASCAR Cup win and his first NASCAR Cup race of the 2021 season which joined him within HMS teammates in the playoffs.

Hendrick Motor Sports earned its 268th NASCAR Cup Trophy with latest victory to tie (Richard) Petty Enterprise’s record.

EchoPark Texas Grand Prix – Final Stage results:

Finish – Driver –  Car – Distance Leader

1 Chase Elliott 9 —

2 Kyle Larson 5 15.656

3 Joey Logano 22 27.331

4 Ross Chastain 42 33.696

5 AJ Allmendinger 16 47.118

6 Chase Briscoe 14 52.74

7 Michael McDowell 34 54.488

8 Alex Bowman 48 56.859

9 Tyler Reddick 8 58.889

10 Kyle Busch 18 61.557

11 William Byron 24 63.37

12 Austin Dillon 3 75.418

13 Chris Buescher 17 75.88

14 Denny Hamlin 11 83.545

15 Ryan Preece 37 84.849

16 Erik Jones 43 86.265

17 Ryan Blaney 12 88.864

18 Anthony Alfredo 38 91.221

19 Brad Keselowski 2 102.037

20 Corey LaJoie 7 106.867

21 Ty Dillon 96 109.225

22 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 110.201

23 Matt DiBenedetto 21 119.723

24 Ryan Newman 6 130.427

25 Austin Cindric 33 134.703

26 Aric Almirola 10 141.869

27 Kurt Busch 1 142.785

28 Garrett Smithley 53 167.385

29 James Davison 15 168.899

30 Josh Bilicki 52 173.38

31 Kyle Tilley 78 207.398

32 Cody Ware 51 -1

33 Daniel Suarez 99 -8

34 Quin Houff 0 -16

35 Martin Truex Jr. 19 -30

36 Cole Custer 41 -30

37 Kevin Harvick 4 -35

38 Christopher Bell 20 -36

39 Bubba Wallace 23 -36

40 Justin Haley 77 -42

The NASCAR Cup Series  celebrates the  Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600  Sunday,  May 30rd   2021     6:00  p.m. E.T.      (FOX / MRN / SiriusXM – NASCAR)

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