Elliott tames the Monster Mile, wins at Dover

DOVER, Del. – It was a monster Monday for Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team.

In a race that was postponed due to rain, Elliott powered his way to a record-setting victory at Dover Motor Speedway. The 26-year-old driver led three different times for a total of 73 laps to nab his second win at the 1-mile track and the 14th of his young NASCAR Cup Series career.

Thanks to Elliott’s performance, Hendrick Motorsports became the first team in history to produce four different winners in the first 11 points-paying races of a season. The victory was the organization’s fifth of 2022 and its record-extending 22nd at Dover.

“I really appreciate Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) and our entire No. 9 Chevrolet team for just sticking with it,” Elliott said. “We’ve had some tough races over the last four, five months. It’s just great to get NAPA back to victory lane (and) get Hendrick Motorsports back to victory lane.

“(I’m) just so proud. This one means a lot in a lot of different ways.”

Defending race winner Alex Bowman led two laps and came in fifth at Dover, marking his fifth top-five run in his last six starts there. Teammate Kyle Larson rallied from a spin in stage two to finish sixth and notch his third consecutive top-10 after leading 19 laps. Driving a backup car following an accident in Saturday’s practice session, William Byron raced to a 22nd-place result.

Chevrolets occupied five of the top six positions at Dover.

With their first victory and eighth top-10 finish of the 2022 season, Elliott and the No. 9 team stretched their lead in the championship standings to 21 points and all but guaranteed themselves a spot in the Cup Series playoffs. After 11 races, Byron ranks third with Bowman fifth and Larson seventh.

The race from Dover began as scheduled on Sunday and reached the 78-lap mark before rain forced it to a Monday finish. Darlington Raceway is next on the docket with a Mother’s Day start of 3:30 pm ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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