By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
Wow, that’s all you can say about the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the last chance qualifying race for the Sprint All-Star Race.
In the three segments, which totaled 50 laps of racing action, we saw two breath-taking photo finishes. Chase Elliott was on the wrong end of each one, as he lost out to Trevor Bayne in segment one by five-one-thousandths of a second.
Elliott then was mired back in the pack in round two, but came charging back through the field in the final segment only to fall short of victory by 16-one-thousandths of a second to Kyle Larson.
As a result, Elliott failed to race his way in to the big show, but fortunately he won a spot in the field by way of the fan vote. That left little consolation for Elliott, as he ripped himself after the race, as has been customary when he doesn’t win a race.
“Yeah, Kyle [Larson] did what he had to do to beat us back to the line. We had a real good run. I hate to not to race your way in. That’s pretty frustrating on my behalf. I just didn’t do a very good job,” Elliott lamented. “Regardless, it was great to have some great fans to get us in this race because I couldn’t get it done for us.”
Elliott vowed that he learned some huge lessons though, and promises to put on a better show for his fans in Saturday night’s All-Star race.
“I learned a lot of what not to do. I made some real dumb big mistakes. So, we’ll not do that tonight,” Elliott explained.
In his rookie season to this point, Elliott has been electrifying. Through 12 points paying starts, Elliott has two poles, four top-fives and eight top-10 finishes and he sits seventh in the championship standings.
Now Elliott will look to shake off Saturday morning’s disappointment with a victory in the All-Star race.
Image: Robert Laberge/Getty Images