DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 15: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, waves to fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations Duel #2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2024 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott Wins First Stage of Daytona 500

Chase Elliott wins the first stage of the Daytona 500. It is his second career stage win the Daytona 500. A good start for the 2020 Cup Series champion, who is looking for his first Daytona 500 victory.

FOX: NASCAR provided a video of the Stage 1 finish from its X account.

Here are the Top 10 in stage one:

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Ross Chastain
  4. Alex Bowman
  5. William Byron
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Denny Hamlin
  8. Bubba Wallace
  9. Martin Truex Jr.
  10. Daniel Suarez

By virtue of winning the stage, Elliott earns an important playoff point that he can use if he makes the playoffs in September.

Stage 1 saw a little of everything. We saw a crash, three wide racing, fuel saving, strategy and more in just the first 65 laps of the Daytona 500.

The big crash on lap 6 that saw eight drivers make contact may have calmed things down in the Daytona 500. That wreck sent Austin Dillon to the garage after clearing the Damage Vehicle Policy (DVP) clock. By virtue of clearing that clock, he was able to return to the racetrack 53 laps down.

The pace started to slow down after the incident. This was caused by fuel saving strategy. With the fuel window being 42-44 laps, the drivers were all going 50% throttle. The lead pack was going so slow that A.J. Allmendinger, who was running by himself, was running two seconds a lap faster than the leaders.

Finally, on lap 40, the Fords made the first move to pit road and that scattered the pack into three groups. A few laps later saw the Chevrolets make a group pit stop under the green flag. They pitted most efficiently as the Toyotas pitted a few laps later and blended back on the track behind the Chevrolets.

Michael McDowell reported that his car is slow and that it can't reach 5th gear. This could cause him problems trying to win his second Daytona 500.

Stage 2 of the Daytona 500 is also 65 laps so another pit stop will be required before the final stage of the Daytona 500.

NEXT: Early Daytona 500 Crash Kicks Off 2024 Season