For the second time this weekend, a Georgia native won at Atlanta. It was a perfect weekend for Chase Elliott, who earned his 16th career Cup win in thrilling fashion. The Hendrick Motorsports driver started on pole after qualifying was rained out, swept the first two stages, and sealed the deal for his first win in his home state and his third win of the season.

Elliott was battling Corey LaJoie in the closing laps of the race, and held the lead on the final lap when LaJoie had a run on the 2020 Cup champion. When LaJoie went to the high side, he lost control of his No. 7 Chevrolet and got into the wall, bringing out the caution flag and ending the race. Chase was a full car length ahead of Ross Chastain, who finished 2nd again at Atlanta, although he created some drama of his own. For Chase, this one was extra special.

“To win at your home track is a really big deal, I think to any race car driver. I’ve watched a lot of guys do it over the years, Jimmie Johnson out in California,” Elliott said after leading a race-high 96 laps. “We haven’t really had a very good run here, so I felt like today was a great opportunity for us.”

“This is obviously home for me, home to a lot of great fans who made a lot of noise today, home for NAPA right down the road in Atlanta. Couldn't be more proud of our team. What a car. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a speedway car that good. If we have, I’ve probably wrecked it down at Daytona. Man, what a few weeks it’s been. I feel like I gave one away last week at Road America, and to come back and to put on a performance like that, I’m really proud of that.”

2022 Atlanta Quaker State 400 - Race Results
Pos Driver Team Laps
1Chase ElliottHendrick Motorsports260
2Ross ChastainTrackHouse Racing260
3Austin CindricTeam Penske260
4Erik JonesPetty GMS Motorsports260
5Ryan BlaneyTeam Penske260
6Daniel SuarezTrackHouse Racing260
7Justin HaleyKaulig Racing260
8Aric AlmirolaStewart Haas Racing260
9Cole CusterStewart Haas Racing260
10Harrison BurtonWood Brothers Racing260
11Martin Truex JrJoe Gibbs Racing260
12Kevin HarvickStewart Haas Racing260
13Kyle LarsonHendrick Motorsports260
14Bubba Wallace23XI Racing260
15Michael McDowellFront Row Motorsports260
16Chase BriscoeStewart Haas Racing260
17Todd GillilandFront Row Motorsports260
18Brad KeselowskiRFK Racing260
19Christopher BellJoe Gibbs Racing260
20Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs Racing260
21Corey LaJoieSpire Motorsports260
22Kurt Busch23XI Racing259
23Cody WareRick Ware Racing259
24Landon CassillKaulig Racing259
25Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs Racing259
26Joey LoganoTeam Penske252
27Garrett SmithleyRick Ware Racing252
28Ty DillonPetty GMS Motorsports174
29Tyler ReddickRichard Childress Racing170
30William ByronHendrick Motorsports170
31Ricky Stenhouse JrJTG Daugherty Racing162
32Alex BowmanHendrick Motorsports160
33Chris BuescherRFK Racing107
34Noah GragsonKaulig Racing91
35Austin DillonRichard Childress Racing90
36BJ McLeodLive Fast Motorsports77

Chastain finished the race where he started, but his day was anything but tame. The Trackhouse Racing driver captured his third consecutive top-five result, but he took out several cars in the process. His first encounter came with Martin Truex Jr on Lap 91, spinning out the veteran and collecting Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon, and Noah Gragson. That wasn't his biggest moment of the race, though.

With 15 laps remaining, Chastain got into the left-rear of another Joe Gibbs Racing driver. This time it was Denny Hamlin, spinning him and taking out Brad Keselowski as well. After their notable issues last month, Chastain is sure to get an ear full from Hamlin before the next race. "Everyone has different tolerance levels and as you all know, I’ve reached my peak," Hamlin said.

"I hated that I took the best car here and I tore it up a couple times, but yeah, it’s incredible," Chastain said. Hats off to Chevrolet and Trackhouse for bringing this fast of a Jockey Chevrolet to be able to come back. Our road crew and pit crew did an awesome job to rebound through all the damage repair and we had a shot and I got inside of Elliott coming off Turn 2 coming to the checkered and the caution came out."

Austin Cindric was never a factor in today's race but came out of nowhere to collect a 3rd place finish. Erik Jones finished 4th for his second top-five result of the season and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five, making for a solid weekend for Team Penske. The rest of the top-ten was Daniel Suarez, Justin Haley, Aric Almirola, Cole Custer, and Harrison Burton.

LaJoie found himself in prime position for his first career win, battling at the front in the final stage of the race. The opportunity presented itself on the final lap, but when Elliott went to defend his position, Corey ran out of real estate and got into the outside wall. It was a punch in the gut for he and the Spire Motorsports team, but he was able to smile at the end of the day.

"Closest I’ve ever been, for sure," LaJoie said. "That was fun though. It was nice to have that thing out in the wind for once. I made my move and it didn’t work out. He made a good block. The siren’s ringing in Dawsonville, unfortunately. I wish that 7 car was in Victory Lane, but if we keep running like this more consistently, that time will come."

Leading the field on the final restart was something new to LaJoie, but he believes he can learn from it going forward. "It’s the first time I’ve been leading one of these restarts on these superspeedway tracks and how much you have to drag back, cover the runs, it was all new to me. When I get in that position again I’ll be a little more prepared and we can do a little better job and be the one that throws the blocks as opposed to the one that’s trying to make the late-race move, because that guy is usually in the catbird’s seat. I was having some fun. Hopefully we can have that 7 car up front more often."

Today's race was filled with a handful of multicar crashes that pared several contenders from the 36-car field. In addition to the two crashes caused by Chastain, Garrett Smithley got loose in the final stage and triggered another incident that took out defending race winner William Byron and last weekend's winner Tyler Reddick. Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski, Ty Dillon, and Todd Gilliland were also collected.

Kyle Larson was poised for a terrific afternoon starting from Row 2 but the reigning series champion dropped like a rock at the start of the race. Larson never had a car that handled well enough to run with the front of the pack, but still managed to guide his No. 5 Chevrolet to a 13th place finish.

Bubba Wallace overcame the Lap 191 crash to finish 14th, but his 23XI Racing teammate Kurt Busch came home 22nd after being collected in the crash on the final lap. Busch had been running up front earlier in the race, but lady luck was not on his side today. Baby brother Kyle Busch was never able to recover from the Lap 91 crash, and finished 20th in his Toyota.

Christopher Bell was another JGR driver that had rotten luck on Sunday, as all six Toyota drivers had contact during the race. Bell had arguably the best Camry in the field and was running in 6th place with 24 laps remaining when he spun in Turn 4, although he made an incredible save. Unfortunately, his luck went from bad to worse on the ensuing pit stop, when the left-rear tire came off of his car. The young driver ended up with a disappointing 19th place finish.

Although he didn't earn pole position in qualifying, Elliott did become just the second driver since 1996 to win at Atlanta from pole. The last time it happened was 2006 when Kasey Kahne won in a Dodge with Ray Evernham. There were 27 lead changes among 12 drivers and 13 cautions in today's race.

The next stop on the Cup calendar is a trip to Loudon, New Hampshire. Just seven races remain in the regular season with the playoffs right around the corner. Coverage for Sunday's race at New Hampshire begins at 3 PM ET on USA Network.