Echopark Grand Prix at COTA


Photo via Bleacher Report

For the first time in NASCAR history, the powerful stock cars took to the Formula One track Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. This was only the second time this year the Cup series had practice and qualifying for the race. Tyler Reddick shocked everyone by snagging pole for his first-ever and Richard Childress Racing’s first since 1996 with Dale Earnhardt. There were some surprises, weather changes, and big wrecks as I will recap a crazy Sunday at COTA.

Sunday had started off with qualifying with many teams adjusting their cars and setups by the minutes with changing weather. This race allowed teams to have the choice between wet and slick tires throughout the race. Some teams elected to start on wets as the rain began to hit the circuit, to which surprise Xfinity driver Austin Cindric took the lead early on. Many teams needed to pit for full wet tires as the track grew damper and Joey Logano came to life stealing the stage one victory from Micahel Mcdowell.

Stage two began with low visibility on the long straights causing multiple wrecks and later a red flag. Four laps into the stage Christopher Bell ran over Ryan Blaney wrecking his car and Bubba Wallace rear-ended Kevin Harvick ending their days. A few laps later after the restart, Martin Truex Jr. rear-ended Michaell Mcdowell who was in turn wrecked by Cole Custer sending both into the wall. Custer took a hard hit to the barrier while Truex was slightly airborne but both were okay. A red flag was thrown due to low visibility and NASCAR cleared off some of the straights to allow more vision for the drivers and fewer wrecks. Kyle Busch finished off the stage with a win after the restart and edging out Chase Elliott. Chase Elliot would have the upper hand after the beginning of stage three and led most of it until the rain became too much. After yet another red flag, NASCAR decided to call the race and Chase Elliott had won his first race of the year. Elliott locked up his position in the playoffs while some others struggled after a tough day. Pole sitter Tyler Reddick finished 9th, Brad Keselowski struggled all day finishing 19th, and Chase Briscoe had a great day finishing 6th.

Next week NASCAR heads to Charlotte for the Coke 600 and I will bring you the recap. As always enjoy the races and all stats via NASCAR.com

-CM

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