NASCAR Cup Series gets its first new winner in four races

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season began with five different winners in five races, and now a sixth one has emerged.
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott entered Sunday's Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway having not won a NASCAR Cup Series race since October 2022, when he won the playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Elliott missed seven races in 2023, six due to injury and one due to a suspension. He failed to make the playoffs, and with that, a number of series-high streaks were brought to an end.

He entered the 2023 season riding series-best streaks of five straight multi-win seasons, seven straight round of 12 appearances, seven straight top 10 points finishes, six straight round of 8 appearances, three straight Championship 4 appearances, and 108 straight races as a championship-eligible driver.

None of those streaks remained intact entering the 2024 season.

But now the 28-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia native has ended his 42-race win drought, doing so on Sunday afternoon. He led 39 of 276 laps around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Fort Worth, Texas oval after starting back in 24th place behind the wheel of his No. 9 Chevrolet.

Chase Elliott the sixth NASCAR Cup Series winner of 2024

The 2024 season opened up with five different winners in five races. Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron won at Daytona International Speedway, Trackhouse Racing Team's Daniel Suarez won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports' Kyle Larson won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing's Christopher Bell won at Phoenix Raceway, and Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin won at Bristol Motor Speedway.

But in the three races that had been contested since then before Sunday afternoon, no new winners emerged. Byron won at Circuit of the Americas and Martinsville Speedway, while Hamlin won the race at Richmond Raceway in between.

Because there can be more than 16 race winners during the 26-race regular season, the only two drivers officially locked into the playoffs are Byron and Hamlin. Elliott technically hasn't clinched a playoff spot yet, but he has little to worry about, even if he doesn't win a second race.

In the event that there are more winners than playoff spots, the tiebreaker among single-race winners to determine who gets in and who doesn't becomes points.

Elliott, who has not finished worse than 19th place through nine races this season, finds himself in fourth in the point standings, second among the four drivers with one win. Only Larson, who leads the standings, ranks higher. Bell sits in 10th and Suarez sits in 18th.

Texas race ends streak dating back to 2004. Texas race ends streak dating back to 2004. dark. Next

Will a seventh different winner emerge in the season's 10th race? The GEICO 500 is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Talladega Superspeedway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, April 21. Start a free trial of FuboTV today and don't miss it!