Talladega points, results: Chase Elliott captured his 18th career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series, passing Ryan Blaney on the final lap Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. It was the fifth time in the past six races at the 2.66-mile oval that a last-lap pass was made by the winner.
Elliott led four times for 10 laps during a 500-mile race that featured a season-high 57 lead changes among 17 drivers. It was the Hendrick Motorsports’ driver’s series-leading fifth victory and his first since Pocono nine races ago.
Elliott, who became the 10th winner in the past 10 superspeedway races (Daytona and Talladega), has won twice in 14 Cup starts at Talladega.
With his second top five of 2022, McDowell tied a career-best for most in a season and also extended a career-best with his 12th top 10 this year.
Hamlin is the only championship-eligible driver to finish in the top 10 of all five playoff races.
Advancing to the Round of 8 for the sixth time, Elliott became the first championship-eligible driver to win during the playoffs. He also gained six playoff points for a total of 46, the most by 21.
With Elliott the only driver locked into one of the eight spots in the next round, Blaney is 32 points above the cutline heading into the Oct. 9 race at the Roval, followed by Chastain (plus-28), Hamlin (plus-21), Joey Logano (plus-18), Kyle Larson (plus-18) and Daniel Suarez (plus-12).
Chase Briscoe is above the cutline by virtue of a tiebreaker but has the same points total as Austin Cindric. William Byron is 11 points below the cutline, and Christopher Bell is at a 22-point deficit. Alex Bowman, who missed Talladega with concussion-like symptoms, is 54 points below the cutline.
'@chaseelliott is LOCKED IN to the Round of 8! 🔐
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 2, 2022