Chase Elliott held off Kyle Busch to take the checkered flag at Charlotte in the NASCAR Truck Series on Tuesday night, cashing in on a $50,000 bounty set by fellow Cup driver Kevin Harvick. Series sponsor Gander Outdoors CEO Marcus Lemonis matched Harvick's bounty, bringing the total to $100,000.
Harvick set the initial bounty in February to motivate Cup drivers to enter races to challenge Busch, who entering Tuesday had won seven straight in the Truck Series. Before Tuesday, Busch had not lost a Truck race since 2018 and hadn't lost to a Cup driver since Austin Dillon defeated him at New Hampshire in 2015.
The next four scheduled races, unfortunately, didn't happen due to the sport's temporary shutdown in the wake of COVID-19. However, when Elliott signed up for the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte, he made sure to remind Harvick of what was at stake.
Harvick promised to make good on his bounty on Tuesday morning before the race but added a twist. Instead of giving $50,000 to the driver, it would be donated to a COVID-19 charity. Elliott and Lemonis were fully behind the revision.
As for the race itself, Busch was a -140 favorite at William Hill Sportsbook ahead of Elliott at +400. However, Elliott's pit strategy worked in his favor and put him ahead of Busch coming into the final laps. Remember, Elliott fell victim to a pit strategy move that cost him the Cup Series race on Sunday at Charlotte.
In the race before that at Darlington, Busch wrecked Elliott with less than 30 laps to go which caused Elliott to flip a middle finger in Busch's direction. The No. 18 driver later apologized after the race calling it a mistake.
Elliott indicated in media availability that he would not retaliate against Busch on the track. However, once Elliott got the checkered flag in hand on Tuesday, he made sure he got the last laugh by imitating Busch's signature victory bowing celebration.
Safe to say Busch wasn't too pleased with the outcome.
Busch and Elliott will have a chance to go at it again when the Cup Series returns to action on Wednesday night at Charlotte.
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