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Elliott battles, runs sixth at Michigan

POSTED: June 17, 2014 4:53 p.m.

Chase Elliott remains in third place in NASCAR's Nationwide Series points standing after finishing sixth in Michigan on Saturday.

"Our car performed great. Honestly, I felt like we had one of the better cars, I'd like to think anyways. You can't say that unless you have the results to prove it, but I felt really solid about our car all day," he said in a release.

JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith leads the series, 14 points ahead of second place Elliott Sadler, as Elliott trails Sadler by six points.

Driving the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, Elliott qualified second and started on the front row alongside side pole setter Kyle Busch in Saturday's Ollie's Bargain Outlet 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

Contending for rookie of the year honors, Elliott ran near the front of the pack for most of the first half of the race, including six laps in the lead.

He opted to stay out while others took tires and fuel during a caution at lap-67 and was able to restart in the second position.

Another caution 12 laps later pushed the rookie back to 14th position for the final restart, but even with handling issues, he was able to race into the sixth position as the checkered flag waved.

"I think the biggest thing was that we kind of got off on pit strategy. I made a mistake not following the 54 (Kyle Busch) and 22 (Joey Logano) down pit road," he said in a release. "We just put ourselves in a box to have to take tires and fuel in the same stop. I think we did the right thing, as far as putting four tires on instead of two. I think putting two on would have killed our balance."

Paul Menard won the race, while Sam Hornish Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Brian Scott rounded out the top five finishers.

 

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