Chase Elliott debuted a new paint scheme featuring Hooters Spirits Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway in his eighth start at the track. He was hoping to bring home a popular win for the fans.
It all started with qualifying on Friday afternoon with Elliott qualifying sixth. He was consistently strong throughout the race, even leading at some points.
In Stage 1, the Georgia native finished second while he finished sixth in Stage 2. Elliott avoided the accidents and kept his car clean for the most part. On Lap 131, he took the lead and led for 33 laps, the only time he led the race. However, Elliott was up front late on the final restart, before making slight contact with Erik Jones.
Elliott had to slow down and swerve to miss Jones which caused him to lose some momentum and he was never able to get back up to the front to fight for the win. In the end, the Hendrick Motorsports driver finished sixth for his 10th top-10 of the 2019 season.
“We were a little off from being perfect all weekend,” Elliott said to PRN Radio. “The guys did a great job in the pits. you know we had track position all night long, I just never did anything with it really. Executed really nice, just needed to do a little bit better to do something. We kept lining up on the top, kept gaining spots on pit road, that’s all you could ask for.”
While it was a quiet night for Elliott, Ryan Blaney had an adventurous night that saw him finish 10th.
Blaney fought multiple challenges throughout the night. The first challenge came on Lap 231 when he had to check up to avoid making contact with the 52 of Kyle Weatherman. Blaney was also involved in a big wreck on Lap 373 as he shot straight up the track when a right-front tire went down.
Despite Blaney being caught up in a wreck, he was able to rebound to a 10th place finish in what had been a long night.
“Multiple things, but not wrecking,” Blaney explained to PRN Radio about his night. “Got in a big wreck right there, cut a right front (tire). Just misjudging where the 8 (Hemric) was. Throughout the race, I just kind of got loose and cut my right front. I think it blew his left rear too. I got into a big pileup there, but luckily we were able to fix it. Just keeping up with the racetrack and struggling a little bit, I’ll have to do better next time.”
The 10th place finish was Blaney’s 11th top-10 finish of 2019.