Sunday's motors: Chase Elliott needs nearly 7 hours to win at Nashville

Jenna Fryer
Associated Press

Lebanon, Tenn. — Chase Elliott salvaged a crummy day for Hendrick Motorsports and interrupted a potential Toyota rout by winning the rain-drenched race at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday night.

Elliott recovered from an early issue that dropped him deep into the field to take the lead with 38 laps remaining and hold off three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers for his second Cup victory of the season.

It took NASCAR's most popular driver nearly seven hours and a late four-lap shootout to get to victory lane. NASCAR moved the start up by 12 minutes because of looming bad weather, then sat through an hour-long stoppage for lightning in the area, followed by a later rain delay that stretched a tick past two hours.

The race resumed right at the halfway point with teams unsure if the full 300 laps would be completed or if the race would be stopped early because of more rain. Toyota controlled almost the entire event — four of its drivers combined to lead 254 laps — but the No. 5 Hendrick crew brought Elliott's Chevrolet to life in the closing stretch.

He had the race in hand when a caution came out with nine laps remaining and Elliott didn't pit from the lead for fresh tires. Nine other drivers stayed on track with him to create a pack of traffic that prevented the Toyotas from catching Elliott after they stopped for fresh tires.

Elliott pulled away on the restart and beat Kurt Busch — in a Toyota for 23XI Racing — by 0.551 seconds. Ryan Blaney was third in a Ford and followed by Elliott's teammate Kyle Larson, the defending race winner.

The JGR trio of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. fell to sixth, 21st and 22nd after the late decision to stop for tires ahead of the final restart.