Chase Elliott captured the checkered flag at the Daytona International Speedway today, winning the Go Bowling 235 on the newly redesigned Daytona road course.
Elliot’s number 9 Chevrolet car edged out two Toyotas: Denny Hamlin’s #11 and Martin Truex Jr.’s #19.
Elliott grabbed his first win of the 2020 season. Elliott now holds the number five spot in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
Elliott’s victory burnished his reputation for road course mastery. He also won the last two road course events in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
Elliott wore a neck gaiter before and after the race. Concerns about COVID-19 also limited drivers from practicing on Daytona’s road course. Although the 39 drivers from Sunday’s race practiced virtually, none of them had actually logged laps on the course prior to the green flag today.
Austin Dillon tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the Go Bowling 235 and announced he would sit out the race.
Elliott told ESPN prior to Sunday’s race that he had never experienced a situation in which his first shot at a track was the race itself.
Other drivers noted that if they had run the 24 Hours of Daytona they would have gotten a bit more familiar with the road course. However, the course used today included a brand-new right/left/right “mini-chicane.” The result was a reliance on driving simulations to give the drivers an opportunity to practice.