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The Latest: 1st wreck takes out Harvick, others at Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on NASCAR’s Cup series race at Talladega Superspeedway (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

Chase Elliott has won the Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, giving Chevrolet its first victory of the season.

Elliott took the lead shortly after a restart with four laps to go and worked with three other Chevy drivers to hold off the rest of the field. He won for the first time since October and went to victory lane about 100 miles from his hometown.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman finished second, followed by rookies Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric.

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“What a day,” Elliott said.

Elliott is the sixth different driver to win through 10 races this season and locked up a playoff spot.

Elliott credited a meeting with all the Chevy drivers for the late-race teamwork.

The race ended under caution after David Ragan hit William Byron, who tagged Kyle Larson and sent him sliding across the track. Larson then flipped half a dozen times before coming to a stop.

Larson was able to get out of his mangled car and walk to a waiting ambulance.

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3:10 p.m.

Chase Elliott is the Stage 2 winner at Talladega, his first stage victory of the season.

Hendrick Motorsports finished 1-2-3 in the stage as Chevrolet nabbed seven of the top eight spots. Ford notched the top three spots at the October race when Elliott was 31st.

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Elliott was followed by Hendrick teammates Alex Bowman and William Byron. Ryan Blaney was fourth in a Ford, and pole-sitter Austin Dillon fifth.

Elliott is trying to follow in the path of his father, Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who won a pair of Cup races at Talladega.

Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick are among those out of the race.

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2:20 p.m.

Ty Dillon won the eventful first stage of the Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, earning 10 bonus points. His older brother, Austin, fared well, too.

Dillon took the lead with six laps to go and held on, followed across the start-finish line by Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott. Austin Dillon started on the pole.

Aric Almirola, who won the October race at Talladega, led nearly half (27 laps) of the opening stage but lost a lap when he was penalized for speeding on pit road.

Four drivers were knocked out by an early wreck, including Kevin Harvick. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson was multiple laps down with damage to the right side of his No. 48 Chevrolet.

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1:45 p.m.

It didn’t take long for the first wreck at Talladega Superspeedway. The first one caught up Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.

Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney tangled on Lap 10 to touch off the early crash that also caught up Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin.

Wallace went low, got sideways and then slid back across the track, slamming into Michael McDowell and causing heavy damage to both cars. Harvick, McDowell and Wallace were knocked out of the race. All three were treated and released from the infield care center.

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11:48 a.m.

The four Joe Gibbs Racing cars and both Roush Fenway rides will start at the rear at Talladega Superspeedway.

NASCAR announced less than two hours before Sunday’s Cup series race that they were among eight penalized for unapproved adjustments.

That includes points leader Kyle Busch, Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones from Joe Gibbs Racing. Roush Fenway’s Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also were penalized, along with Reed Sorenson and Cody Ware.

The race already has plenty of intrigue and potential for mayhem. NASCAR has replaced the restrictor plates that had sapped horsepower at the Talladega and Daytona superspeedways with tapered spacers. The change created some added uncertainty to what drivers and fans can expect from the race.

Austin Dillon starts on the pole in the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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