(MRN) In the closing laps of Tuesday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott held off a determined charge from Kyle Busch in the closing laps to earn the victory and a $100,000 bounty offered to any full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver who could beat Busch. Elliott did so despite not having competed in a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race since 2017.
Busch had won each of his last seven starts in the Gander Trucks, dating to 2018, but Elliott had plenty of incentive to end that string. Driver Kevin Harvick and Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of the series sponsor, each put up $50,000 for any full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver who could beat Busch in a Truck race. The money is earmarked for coronavirus relief.
It wasn’t just the money for charity. Busch had wrecked Elliott just before rain ended last Wednesday night’s Cup race at Darlington. And Elliott was denied victory in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte when caution flew with two laps left-and Elliott leading comfortably.
Busch was 11th for the final restart on Lap 109 of 134. By Lap 114, he had surged into the second position, and was closing in on Lap 130, when a lapped truck took Busch’s preferred inside line through the corner and broke his momentum.
Rookie Zane Smith, Elliott’s GMS Racing teammate, finished third in his first national-series start at Charlotte. Brett Moffitt was fourth and Sheldon Creed fifth. John Hunter Nemechek, also trying for the bounty, ran sixth, followed by Johnny Sauter, Ty Majeski, Austin Hill and Ben Rhodes.