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Elliott pulls top 10 out of race

POSTED: April 14, 2010 6:18 p.m.

Chase Elliott and the Aaron's Lucky Dog Crew took their road show to Hickory Motor Speedway, the North Carolina short track known to many as the "Birthplace of NASCAR Stars."   

The team had only been here once, in their PASS series debut last year where Elliott sat on the pole and won the race. But the tire, the car and the competition were different this time, so the task was a lot tougher.

Still, the team emerged from the Easter Bunny 150 with a solid seventh-place finish in a race that attracted 50 entries from across the country.

Practice sessions on Friday and Saturday had the Aaron's Dream Machine fighting a tight in, loose off handling condition, one that Elliott and crew chief Ricky Turner worked all weekend to solve.

Nevertheless, Elliott qualified fourth and started on the pole because of an inversion of the starting order.

He settled into second place on the start, and had dropped another spot when he was hit from the rear and spun. But he kept his car rolling and fell in line in 14th place.

Throughout the race, track position was a key factor, especially on restarts. But Elliott made the most of every situation.

"I've got to give it to Chase. He hung in there and had some of his best restarts in a late model," said spotter Bill Elliott of his son's performance.

"The outside line was just the place to be.  When he lined up on the outside he gained a couple of positions, but if you were on the inside they could get you back."

Elliott battled several drivers, including Sprint Cup driver David Ragan, who was wheeling his own No. 6, and by Lap 38, Elliott moved back into the top 10 with a pass of the No. 08 of Joey Gase.

By Lap 41, Elliott was up to eighth place and racing the No. 74 of Ryan Lawler to maintain that position, finally pulling away and working again on Ragan for the seventh spot this time.

After several back-and-forth battles, Elliott worked his way into fifth place, taking that spot from the No. 70 of Jeff Choquette.

A caution flag on Lap 133 gave Choquette the preferred outside line on the restart, and he reclaimed fifth, relegating Elliott to sixth. Elliott wound up seventh behind race winner Preston Peltier.

"We ended up with a decent night, but mainly with the knowledge of what we need to come back with to make us better next time," Chase Elliott said.

 

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