Chase Elliott emulates father as Georgian winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Chase Elliott became just the second Georgia born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta, the Hendrick Motorsports man emulating his five-time winning father Bill to take the white flag first at the 1.54-mile track.

It was a dramatic end to a dramatic race, Elliott leading a race high 96 laps but still having to force his way past Corey LaJoie with two laps to go, the latter making contact with the wall to end the race.

“Obviously I knew he was going to have a big run,” Elliott is quoted on the official Hendrick website of LaJoie’s last-lap move. “I didn’t really want to give him the bottom, and I tried to give it one real good aggressive block. I felt like I had enough room to kind of give it a second one, and he was just right there on the right side of my back bumper.

“So was far enough to the backside of the bumper to launch me forward. I hate I tore up some cars, but I don’t know what you do. Either go for the win or don’t. I’m going to choose option A every day of the week.”

All in all, it was a dominant weekend for the race victor, Elliott sweeping the stages en route to picking up his third win of the season – the most of any driver this season.

It also means that Elliott leaves Atlanta having extended his point lead to 47 markers over Ryan Blaney following his 16th Cup Series win.

“This one is up there for sure,” added Elliott. “To win at your home track is a really big deal. I think to any race car driver. I’ve watched a lot of guys do it over the years; Jimmie (Johnson) out in California. We haven’t really had a very good run here, so I felt like today was a great opportunity for us.

“This is obviously home for me. Home to a lot of great fans who made a lot of noise today. Home for NAPA right down the road in Atlanta. Couldn’t be more proud of our team. What a car. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a speedway car that good.

“I feel like I gave one away last week, and to come back and to put on a performance like that, I’m really proud of that.”

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Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.