Chase Elliott wins rain-shortened inaugural COTA Cup race


Chase Elliott made history in three ways Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Elliott became the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series winner at the state-of-the-art road course in Austin, Texas. Poor weather conditions and visibility led to the race being red-flagged and then ended at Lap 55 of a scheduled 68.

With Elliott’s triumph, Hendrick Motorsports earned its 268th win in NASCAR’s premier division. The organization is now tied with Petty Enterprises for most all-time.

Finally, Elliott gave Chevrolet its 800th win as a Cup manufacturer.

“I couldn’t be more excited – I’ve never won a rain race before, so that’s kinda cool,” Elliott told FS1. “Just super proud of our team for just continuing to fight. Kinda starting the day, we weren’t very good and just kept pushing myself, kept making some good changes throughout the day, and got to where I thought we were on pace with those guys at the end. So, really proud of that.

“It’s not the greatest thing ever to have a rain race win if it’s your first one, but I think it’s okay if it’s down the road (later in your career), so I’m pretty excited about that. Looking forward to next week and trying to keep it rolling.”

Elliott took the lead for the first time at Lap 50 following a green-flag pit cycle. Informed by his team to push the pace since he couldn’t make it to the finish on fuel, Elliott opened a gap north of 15 seconds on teammate Kyle Larson before the final red flag.

“I just kept pushing myself harder and harder in those areas on track where it was getting actually really treacherous, I felt like,” Elliott said. “The back straightaway was puddling up. You were starting to hydroplane and do some weird stuff, so my only option was to kind of send it through those spots and hope for the best.”

Larson finished second, followed by Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, and Xfinity Series full-timer AJ Allmendinger to complete the top five finishers.

The back straightaway between Turns 11 and 12 was the site of two heavy accidents that were brought on by the steady rains and poor visibility.

Off the Lap 19 restart, Christopher Bell ran into the back of Ryan Blaney on the backstretch, which sent Blaney off at Turn 12. Trailing behind, Kevin Harvick was told to check up, only for Bubba Wallace to hit him from behind. Bell, Wallace, and Harvick were eliminated from the race, but no one was injured.

Harvick was blunt afterwards.

“We don’t have any business being out in the rain, period,” he said. “All I can say is this is the worst decision that we’ve ever made in our sport that I’ve been a part of, and I’ve never felt more unsafe in my whole racing career, period.”

Off the next restart at Lap 25, Michael McDowell had to check up on the backstretch, which led to Martin Truex Jr. running into him. Cole Custer then hit Truex and sent him briefly airborne before slamming into a barrier himself. Both drivers were eliminated from the race, but no one was injured.

The incident red-flagged the race for 20 minutes, 53 seconds. Following the red flag, NASCAR allowed teams to clean their cars’ windshields on pit road. Additionally, all restarts were single-file for the race’s remainder.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Chastain’s fourth-place finish is a career-best for him in Cup. … Chase Briscoe‘s sixth-place finish is his first top 10 in Cup … Allmendinger’s top five completed a solid “Double Duty” weekend that included a second-place finish in Saturday’s Xfinity race. … Pole sitter Tyler Reddick recovered from a spin at Lap 39 to finish ninth.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Suarez had to go to the rear for unapproved adjustments (transmission change) and then stalled on track due to a transmission issue at Lap 8. He never recovered and finished 33rd.

NOTABLE: William Byron finished 11th to end his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes at 11.

NEXT: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – 6 p.m. ET, Sunday, May 30 on FOX

COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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