Bounty Hunter: Elliott Holds Off Hard-Charging Busch to Win NC Education Lottery 200
More than two years after his last lost in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Kyle Busch passed 81 trucks in Tuesday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200, but fell one position short of his eighth consecutive series victory. Instead, it was Chase Elliott who took home the checkered flag and a $100,000 bounty to be donated to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
"I feel like I did something right," Elliott joked after the race. "I was in it for the challenge. When you come out and race (Busch), you do nothing but make yourself better."
Elliott led a race-high 47 laps on his way to victory in a race that saw 10 different leaders and 19 lead changes. He is the ninth different winner in 18 truck series races at Charlotte.
Busch said a combination of pit strategy and self-inflicted mistakes cost his team the win. But despite those setbacks, the two-time Cup Series champion was in contention in the closing laps as he and Elliott pulled away from the field.
"He was a little better than I was there at the end," Elliott said. "I was a little scared. I didn't know how long the (tires) would hold on… It doesn't make up for Sunday, but it's a pretty good night. I'm glad I could do something to help with the relief efforts."
GMS Racing machines claimed four of the Top 5 spots, with Elliott crossing the stripe 0.627 seconds ahead of Busch. Rookie Zane Smith, in his first truck series start at Charlotte, finished third, with Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed rounding out the Top 5.
If there's a bright side for Busch, it's that he won't have to wait long for redemption. The Cup Series returns to Charlotte Wednesday of the Alsco Uniforms 500 Cup Series race on the four and final day of action at Americas Home for Racing.