Strum that guitar, Clyde!
Chase Elliott survived a ridiculously long weather delay (like, way, waaaaaaay too long. People have to work, you know!), a terrible car at the start, an onslaught of JGR fellas and a predictable late caution to win his second race of the season in front of a (un)packed Nashville house.
A pair of wins, a bunch of playoff points and the overall points lead with nine races to go in the regular season … not a bad year for the 2020 champ!
“We’ve had a pretty rough month and month-and-a-half, so just nice to get going back in the right direction,” the always-grounded Elliott said after the race. “Getting a win is always huge, but to do it in a really cool city like Nashville is even better. Looking forward to that guitar.”
Chase Elliott comes alive after Nashville weather delay
Let’s start here … nobody saw this one coming, right?
Chase was pretty awful at this place last season, has had some rotten luck over the past month, and, frankly, was pitiful for the first 100 laps or so Sunday.
Mother Nature gave the ‘ol No. 9 team a few hours to regroup, though. And when the race finally restarted (anyone else have to look up the USA channel?), Chase was fast — really, really fast.
“I think really we just talked about our balance, honestly,” Clyde said of the rain delay pow-wow. “We just talked about where we were at the start of the day, what we did in practice on Friday, how we landed in the position we landed in to start the event, why we chose that and why it wasn’t working.
“We tried to diagnose that to the best of our abilities, make a decision on which way we wanted to go, and we did that, and fortunately it was the right decision.”
Kurt Busch says he should have ‘thrown fenders’ with Elliott
All right, let’s talk about that late restart.
Chase led the field back to green with five to go, taking the high side with Kurt Busch to his left. The two were even going into Turn 1, but the Napa Chevy pulled away shortly after and cruised to the win.
Was that your best stuff, Kurt? Be honest!
“I got soft on him,” Busch responded. “I should have been throwing some fenders and moving some momentum around.”
Wait, what? Come again.
“I wanted to throw some fenders, but I didn’t get the job done,” Busch said. “Everybody will be smiling, but I let them down. I should have come up with a better plan.”
Bubba Wallace goes on tirade after bad pit stop
Thanks for the insight, Kurt. Now, let’s go to teammate Bubba Wallace!
“Leave me the (expletive) alone, dude. Don’t talk to me the whole (expletive) race,” Bubba radioed to his crew after a bad stop basically ended what was a surprisingly strong day.
“You (expletives),” Bubba added.
Yikes. Wonder how that Monday morning debrief went?
Finally, before we head to Road America, let’s get Kyle Busch’s thoughts after a strong 21st-place finish!
“These (next gen cars) are the biggest pieces of (expletive) in traffic,” Rowdy said.
NASCAR, Road America and Fourth of July
Now that we’ve gotten through the NSFW portion of the week, let’s head west to what was arguably the best weekend of the year last summer.
For those who don’t remember, Road America gave us some of the best images of 2021, with fans pouring into the popular Wisconsin road course to watch (spoiler alert!) Chase Elliott win in the Cup Series’ return.
From the scenic views, to the fans, to the racing. it all felt right. This guy was a skeptic (and a Daytona homer) at first, but I’ll be the first to admit Elkhart Lake is exactly where NASCAR should be for Independence Day weekend.
Happy birthday, America. Let’s go racing!