Race Report- Dover: Chase Elliott Wins Rain Delayed Thriller at the Monster Mile

2 MAY 2022
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

DOVER, DELAWARE — MAY 02: Chase Elliott, driver of the Hendrick Motorsports № 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, earned his first win of the season in Monday‘s weather-delayed DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway. Elliott led the final 53 laps to win with a comfortable margin over runner up Ricky Stenhouse Jr in the № 47 Frozen Farmer Chevrolet and Ross Chastain in the № 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet. For Toyota, Christopher Bell finished P4 and for Ford, their top car was Chris Buscher finishing P8.

Credit: DOVER, DELAWARE — MAY 02: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway on May 02, 2022 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

HISTORIC WIN
Monday’s win at Dover was the 14th career victory for Chase Elliott and for Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet it was a historic fifth win for the organization in 2022, all but assuring all 4 Hendrick cars will be in the playoffs. It is the first time in NASCAR history a team has had all four of its drivers win races in the opening 11 races of a season.

Credit: DOVER, DELAWARE — MAY 02: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and veteran crew chief Alan Gustafson in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway on May 02, 2022 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

POST RACE INTERVIEWS
“Just had some good circumstances finally,” said Elliott. “Just really appreciate [crew chief] Alan [Gustafson] and our entire team for just sticking with it.”

“We had some tough races over the last four or five months and just great to get NAPA back to Victory Lane and great to get Hendrick Motorsports in Victory Lane. So proud. This means a lot in a lot of different ways. Just appreciate all the effort.”

“It‘s been a fun day and we‘re certainly going to enjoy this,” Elliott continued. “Like I told them after the race, those guys, they‘ve been deserving of one for a while so glad we could get across the line first. We‘ll enjoy it for a few days and then go to work next week.”

Last Lap Contact
Last week‘s winner Ross Chastain finished third in the № 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet but there was contact with three-time Dover winner Martin Truex Jr. On the final lap Chastain was blocking to hold his P3 position. Truex drove his № 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into the back of Chastain and spun himself out, recovering fast enough to finish 12th, and the two drivers exchanged words post race on pit lane.

Photo Credit: Torey Fox | NASCAR Digital Media

Asked about the last-lap incident and the encounter after the checkered flag with Truex, Chastain smiled and said, “We were talking about where we were going fishing next week.‘‘

Another Tough Day for Denny Hamlin
Hamlin looked to be strong early in the race, leading 67 laps and winning Stage 1. Then it all came apart for the № 11 team. Hamlin entered pit lane the leader, but in yet another single lug wheel incident, the left-front tire came off as he exited pit road. The lost wheel set him back to 29th place, and the radio lit up with the understanding that penalties from NASCAR will be coming.

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Hamlin recovered, driving his № 11 FedEx Toyota back into the top 5 only to collide with a spinning Cody Ware in the № 51 Ford. The two incidents resulting in Hamlin finishing P21.

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Chase Is Number 1
With the win, Chase Elliott expands his lead in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Standings, now 50 points up on Ryan Blaney and 65 points up on Willam Byron. In our Go Full Throttle AI Driver Rankings after Dover, Chase also moves to P1 in our models, with Byron P2, Chastain P3, Blaney P4, and Kyle Busch P5.

Up Next: Throwback weekend at Darlington
SUNDAY, MAY 8 — Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina
293 laps / 400.2 miles

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association