The NASCAR Cup Series held its fifth race of the season on Sunday, March 20 at the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500, hosted by the newly revamped Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliott found himself having a similar type of day as many of the other drivers, with significant swings in position as the race went along.
“It was crazy, for sure. Hopefully it was fun to watch because I felt like it was wild from my seat,” Elliott said to Sports Illustrated after the race. “It was very much so like a Daytona or Talladega. Just trying to position yourself there at the right spot and hope it goes your way.”
With the track’s steeper banks and narrower width since its recent reconfiguration, Sunday’s race presented 46 lead changes among 20 drivers.
Elliott remained relatively quiet in the opening 140 laps or so, keeping his distance from a slew of early wrecks that largely affected the front 10 cars.
Gradually, he worked his way into the top 10 and established himself in the top five around lap 200, when then-race leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. faced a wreck.
The race would see multiple leaders crash out and multiple wrecks occur immediately following the end of a previous caution.
This would not deter Elliott, whose consistency and patience would pay off after a post-caution wreck at lap 210.
After taking a pit stop at that point, Elliott started up in ninth position at lap 220 and quickly moved up the board.
Just 10 laps later, Elliott took the lead and remained there until a debris-related caution at lap 254.
The race would only become more hectic from there, as a wild final 50 laps resulted in more cautions and prevented any one driver from establishing a firm lead.
Elliott lost his lead during this final stretch but remained in the top 10, avoiding the finish line frenzy that resulted in several more wrecks.
His Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron won the race to secure his third career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
Elliott finished sixth for his best finish of the season so far and he has accumulated 171 points in the Cup Series standings to lead the pack.