By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
AVONDALE, Arizona — Chase Elliott’s heinous Round of 8 ends in a Lap 167 crash in Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway.
“It’s just a continuation of our first two weeks, unfortunately,” Elliott on his elimination. “I hate it for our NAPA group.”
Needing a win to make the Championship 4 for the first time in his career, Elliott had a competitive No. 9 NAPA AutoCare Center Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 where he had collected 17 stage points.
Elliott’s main battle was against Denny Hamlin, who ended up taking Stage 1 over him. The in the closing laps of Stage 2, the two duked it out neck-and-neck, where they almost put each other into the wall. Showcasing how hard they raced just to take second in the stage.
As Joey Logano went on to take Stage 2, Hamlin was able to win the battle over Elliott to take second.
Once the final stage began, that’s where Elliott’s day came to a crashing halt when his car bottomed because a tire went down. That’s when his car spun in Turn 1 and backed into the wall, totaling the back end of his NAPA machine.
Elliott climbed out of the car, knowing that he’ll take 39th as a round he’ll definitely want to forget has ended in defeat as he’s the first of four guys that won’t fight for the title at Homestead.
“We had a decent NAPA Chevy today. It was really tough in traffic to catch guys and then pass and whatnot. But, I feel like we were in a good position to run solid,” Elliott on his race. “I’m not sure why we had a tire go down. I think that’s what happened, at least; it seemed like it. It’s unfortunate.
“These last three weeks have been pretty rough. So, hopefully Homestead goes better and we can get prepared good for next season and get a good notebook for next year.”