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Chase Elliott beats Kyle Busch to earn $100,000 bounty

by Pete McCole
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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Chase Elliott wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Just call him Chase Elliot – Bounty Hunter.

Elliott beat out one of the best in business Tuesday night after taking the checkered flag over Kyle Busch in the North Carolina Education Lottery 300 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Zane Smith, Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed rounded out the top five finishers

Elliott led the final 24 laps and held off Busch more than half a second to notch his third-career truck series victory and collect not one, but two $50,000 bounties placed on Kyle Busch – earning Elliott a $100,000 bonus for charity to benefit COVID-19 relief.

"It was a lot a fun," Elliott said after the race. "To be able to come out and outrun (Busch), and him finish second—I'd much rather him finish second than wreck or something, so I feel like I did something right."

All in all, it was a night of redemption for Elliott, after blowing a sure victory on Sunday night's Coca Cola 600 and then getting spun into the wall last weekend at Darlington - a spin that was courtesy of Kyle Busch, giving Elliott all the more motivation on Tuesday.

Tuesday's race was the first on-track action for the Truck Series since the February 21th event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which was won by Busch.

After the Feb. 21st victory, fellow Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick offered up $50,000 of his own money to any Cup driver who could beat Busch in a truck series race. Later, CEO of Truck Series sponsor Camping World and Gander Outdoors Marcus Lemonis matched the reward.

Although the Truck Series went on hiatus along with the rest of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvick tweeted on Tuesday morning that the Busch bounty was still on.

For Elliott, beating Kyle Busch was the reward. The bounty was just a bonus.

"It doesn't make up for Sunday (the Coca-Cola 600), but it was still a really good night. Glad to win and glad to do some good for the relief effort for this virus."

Chase Elliott does Kyle Busch's signature victory bow after winning on Tuesday
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

And after doing his celebratory burnout, Elliott took a moment to grab the checkered flag, and imitated Busch's trademark victory bow at the start-finish line.

"I thought we've had so much fun with this with Kevin (Harvick) and putting up the money and Kyle is a good sport about it, I hope," said Elliott. "It's not a dig at anybody, but just having fun with it.  It was about beating him, and we did it, so why not have some fun with it."

As much as the bounty was a motivation for Elliott, it was even more of a motivation for Busch not to get beat. And he didn't make it easy.

After dropping as far back as 33rd during the first segment, Busch raced his way back up to the front and at the start of the third and final stage, Busch was out in front.

But then a caution flag on lap 88 changed everything.

While most of the lead-lap trucks elected to pit, Busch stayed out and held the lead when the field went back under green on lap 93. Just four laps later, Garrett Smithley brought the yellow back out and this time, Busch elected to pit for his last set of tires, putting him back in 23rd for the restart.

Kyle Busch saw his truck series win streak end at seven races on Tuesday
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Following yet another caution four laps later, Busch has worked his way up to 12th while Elliott restarted third. Elliott quickly made his way past Johnny Sauter for the lead with 24 to go while Busch diced through the field to take second with 20 laps left.

From there, it was a two-truck duel as Busch tried to close up on Elliott, but never was able to get to Elliott's bumper and ended up second at the line – ending his truck series winning streak at seven races.

"Self-inflicted. Threw it away," Busch said of his team's performance on Tuesday night. "Had six months to prepare and screwed it all up.

"Our truck was just really bad and very poor handling. Should have been way better and way faster than it was to make up lost time, but also our pit strategy, we got off on that. We basically handed Chase (Elliott) I think 20 positions there on our final pit stop. That will seal in your own fate as well too. We were out in left field the whole night. Never really had a great feel for the truck or a great driving truck. Just salvaged what I could."

And Busch's reaction to Elliott's bow?

"Imitation is the strongest form of flattery or something, I don't know what it is. That's cute."

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make laps Led Points Status
1 26 24 Chase Elliott(i) iRacing Chevrolet 134 47 0 Running
2 16 51 Kyle Busch(i) Cessna Toyota 134 25 0 Running
3 30 21 Zane Smith # LaPaz Margarita Mix Chevrolet 134 15 46 Running
4 22 23 Brett Moffitt Plan B Sales Chevrolet 134 2 39 Running
5 21 2 Sheldon Creed Chevy Accessories Chevrolet 134 0 32 Running
6 38 8 John H. Nemechek(i) Fire Alarm Services/Fleetwing Ford 134 0 0 Running
7 8 13 Johnny Sauter Vivitar/Altec Lansing Ford 134 3 30 Running
8 7 45 Ty Majeski # iRacing Chevrolet 134 0 35 Running
9 5 16 Austin Hill United Rentals Toyota 134 26 38 Running
10 1 99 Ben Rhodes Tenda Heal Ford 134 2 39 Running
11 27 42 Ross Chastain(i) Florida Watermelon Association Chevrolet 134 6 0 Running
12 9 98 Grant Enfinger Champion/Curb Records Ford 134 0 25 Running
13 2 26 Tyler Ankrum Liuna! Chevrolet 134 0 26 Running
14 6 18 Christian Eckes # Safelite AutoGlass Toyota 134 0 23 Running
15 20 4 Raphael Lessard # Canac Toyota 134 2 22 Running
16 25 19 Derek Kraus # NAPA FILTERS Toyota 134 0 21 Running
17 17 2 Tate Fogleman # Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet 134 0 20 Running
18 31 9 Codie Rohrbaugh GCM/CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet 134 0 19 Running
19 15 22 Austin Wayne Self GO TEXAN/AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet 134 0 18 Running
20 35 97 Jesse Little(i) Teletrac Navman Chevrolet 134 0 0 Running
21 3 15 Tanner Gray # Ford/Ford Performance Ford 134 0 16 Running
22 33 56 Timmy Hill RoofClaim.com Chevrolet 134 0 15 Running
23 12 0 Angela Ruch DWF Flooring & Cabinets Toyota 133 0 14 Running
24 34 7 Korbin Forrister Nursing Home Heroes Toyota 133 0 13 Running
25 19 20 Spencer Boyd Spike's Tactical Chevrolet 133 0 12 Running
26 29 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Driven2Honor.org Chevrolet 133 0 11 Running
27 13 44 Natalie Decker N29 Capital Partners Chevrolet 132 0 10 Running
28 40 49 Bayley Currey(i) CMI Motorsports Chevrolet 132 0 0 Running
29 39 68 Clay Greenfield Rackley Roofing Toyota 130 0 8 Running
30 10 52 Stewart Friesen HalmarInt./ThankUHealthcareWorkers Toyota 130 0 7 Running
31 18 3 Jordan Anderson Bommarito.com Chevrolet 130 0 6 Running
32 23 4 Cory Roper CarQuest Auto Parts Ford 129 0 5 Running
33 37 83 TJ Bell CMI Motorsports Chevrolet 127 0 5 Running
34 36 28 Bryan Dauzat Chevrolet 120 0 5 Running
35 4 88 Matt Crafton Oklahoma Joe's Smokers/Menards Ford 107 6 19 Running
36 24 40 Garrett Smithley(i) Trophy Tractor Chevrolet 105 0 0 Rear End
37 11 38 Todd Gilliland Black's Tire Service Ford 102 0 12 Accident
38 32 30 Brennan Poole(i) (RED) Remember Everyone Deployed Toyota 83 0 0 DVP
39 14 33 Jesse Iwuji RBR Graphics Toyota 74 0 5 Accident
40 28 11 Spencer Davis # TowerSealants/SouthernPremierConstr. Toyota 54 0 5 Transmission


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