Chase Elliott was part of the celebration after Sunday's NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, but it wasn't the one he had planned for.

Elliott was strong throughout Sunday's race, and a late-race collision resulted in an overtime restart, putting Elliott beside Hendrick Motorsports teammate and leader William Byron on the first row.

When the race resumed. Elliott approached Byron and fired his No. 24 Chevrolet from behind, but Byron stayed unconcerned and cleared for the lead off Turn 2. He then held off a late charge from teammate Kyle Larson to secure his third victory of the season.

Elliott finished third, his best performance of the year, and was part of a Hendrick 1-2-3 finish, the first by any team at the Virginia short track.

The victory came on the 40th anniversary of the organization's first Cup victory by Geoffrey Bodine, which also occurred at Martinsville. Nearly 1,500 Hendrick employees, friends, and family members attended the milestone race.

"Does it matter if you're second or third? "Obviously, congratulations to William and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports," Elliott added. "Thank you, Rick and Linda, and everyone who helped put this together for us. They have an outstanding program. I believe we are all proud to call it home.

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"It was great to host over a thousand Hendrick employees and their families today." I'm glad one of us could get it done.

"Obviously, I wish we could have got it done, selfishly like anybody would."

Elliott has had a poor start to the 2024 season, having missed five races last year and failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in his Cup career. He is on a 42-race winless drought, with his most recent victory coming at Talladega in the fall of 2022 season.

In recent weeks, however, Elliott and his No. 9 Chevrolet team have been far more competitive. He finished sixth in Richmond last weekend and led 64 laps, a season best, on his route to third place on Sunday.

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"It's nice to have a couple of solid weeks and be in contention for the win. Elliott added, "I haven't been in contention to win one in a while." "It was fun to get to that last restart, and it really mattered. I enjoyed that aspect. Definitely yearning for more.

"I feel like we've been working in the right way for much of the season this year, and we've been pretty well together. Pit stops have been excellent. Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) has been calling some great races.

"All of it has been heading in a really positive direction, in my perspective. I believe that if we continue to produce like that, we will eventually have our turn."