Torrential rainstorms stayed away from Sunday’s (Oct. 11) Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. The storm that is Chase Elliott’s road-course dominance, however, did not.
Elliott tied Jeff Gordon with his fourth road-course victory in a row, taking the lead on lap 92 of the 109-lap race to go on to win.
Elliott, who also won this year on the Daytona International Speedway road course, also won last year at Watkins Glen International and at the ROVAL.
“Road courses have been fortunate to us. We just try to get a little better each time,” Elliott said after the race. “It’s always special to win here at Charlotte with the shop being across the street. The best way to get to the next round is to win. Hopefully we can do something with it.”
The race saw the caution flag wave seven times for on-track incidents, with the lead shared by 12 different drivers.
Elliott etched a sizeable lead after his pass with 18 to go via a crossover move to get by Jones, including withstanding a restart following a caution with 12 laps to go. The best chance that the rest of the field had to pass Elliott was a caution flag, and a decision by Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson to stay out and not pit during that caution ensure that track position was retained by the No. 9 car.
Leading after the restart, Elliott pulled away, and when the caution failed to fly for three separate spins inside the final two laps, it ensured Elliott’s latest victory.
The win earned Elliott a spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs, while two other drivers who contended earlier and needed a win to advance, Bowyer and Kyle Busch, fell short. Busch rallied after a flat tire in the second stage, leading with three laps to go. But with 18 laps to go, Elliott and Bowman got by for the lead, and Busch did not challenge for the lead again, finishing 30th.
With the setback, Busch becomes the first defending series champion to not advance past the Round of 12.
— #NASCARPlayoffs on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 11, 2020
Bowyer raced his way into the top five early on and became a factor, leading twice for nine laps. Hopes of a win came undone with less than 40 to go when multiple cars stacked up on a restart, resulting in front-end damage for Bowyer, who ended up 10th.
I’m good. Was definitely outta gas!! Another couple three laps and I’d have been on the ground after race crappie floppin’
Self inflicted, I shouldn’t have knocked the Power Steering out.
— Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) October 11, 2020
The NASCAR Cup Series returns on Oct. 18 for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.