COTA winners and losers

0 Comments

A look at the winners and losers from NASCAR’s inaugural weekend at Circuit of the Americas…

WINNERS

Chase ElliottEarned his first win as the reigning Cup Series champion. Became the inaugural Cup winner at COTA. Gave Hendrick Motorsports its record-tying 268th win in Cup competition and Chevrolet its 800th Cup win. Not a bad day’s work.

Kyle BuschTwo-time Cup champion won inaugural Xfinity race at COTA. Now just two wins shy of the century mark in the series. Has earned at least one win in 17 Xfinity seasons, passing Mark Martin to take the record.

Todd GillilandFirst NASCAR national series winner at COTA. He claimed Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race. Recovered from a pit road penalty during the Stage 1 break (crew member over the wall too soon) to claim the victory.

Ross Chastain – Finished fourth to set a career-best mark in Cup. His two previous top 10 finishes in Cup came at the Daytona 500 in 2019 (10th) and this year (seventh).

Chase Briscoe – Another career-best Cup finish, this time for the Stewart-Haas Racing rookie in sixth place.

Michael McDowell – Seventh-place finish gives him five top 10s this season, his most in a single Cup campaign.

LOSERS

Race control – Poor conditions in the rain led to visibility issues that begat two major wrecks on Sunday. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Scott Miller admitted post-race that the sanctioning body could’ve reacted sooner. “It’s a learning experience for all of us,” he said. “We will learn. We will be better next time.”

Martin Truex Jr., Cole Custer, Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell and Kevin Harvick – The five drivers eliminated across those two wrecks. Harvick was particularly upset about racing in the rain, telling NBC Sports’ Dustin Long that he had “never felt more unsafe in (his) whole racing career, period.”

Austin Cindric – 25th-place result didn’t fully represent his day. He qualified third and finished inside the top five in both stages. But in the final stage, his car’s front drive disappeared and caused him to fall out of contention.

Daniel Suarez – Came off top-10 finish at Dover, only to have hopes dashed early at COTA. Had to start from the rear, then suffered transmission problems on Lap 8. Later received both a speeding penalty and a one-lap penalty for pitting outside his box on Lap 46. Finished 33rd.