Chase Elliott appeared well on his way to taming the Monster Mile on his first try, but just as he was beginning to work his way toward the front he fell victim to a blown tire and slammed the front-stretch wall at Dover International Speedway.
Fridays Delaware 150 was the season finale for NASCARs K&N Pro Series East division, and Elliott and his HendrickCars.com/Aarons crew were optimistic about the race after finding speed in both the practice and qualifying sessions. Elliott was 15th fastest in practice, and in qualifying turned a lap at 150.880 miles per hour to secure the 11th starting position at what he then described as his new favorite track.
As soon as the green flag waved, Elliott was running side by side with the No. 98 of Chad Boat then racing the No. 15 of Matt DiBenedetto before settling back in the 11th position. He was racing hard with the No. 07 of Corey LaJoie when LaJoie blew an engine on lap 14, bringing out the first caution flag of the race.
The green flag flew again on Lap 20, and Elliott went three wide to take the eighth position. But a wreck behind him involving the No. 35 of Andrew Ranger brought the caution back out and put Elliott back to the 10th position for the lap 26 restart.
Elliott drove by the No. 62 of Andrew Smith and the No. 03 of Cody Hodgson to take the eighth spot by lap 29.He continued his charge, running lap times that were consistent with the leaders and reeling in the next pack of cars, but it all ended on lap 48 when a blown tire sent his Chevrolet hard into the wall as he exited turn four.
A review by team members and Goodyear officials revealed that the right rear tire had blistered all the way around, resulting in the failure.
Elliott was credited with 29th place and wound up ninth in the final points standings. His fellow Georgia racer Max Gresham finished third in the 150 and took the championship, and race winner Darrell Wallace Jr. moved into second place in the standings, surpassing Brett Moffitt.
Moffitt was leading the race with four laps to go when he suffered tire failure and crashed, leaving him with a 21st place finish.
The Dover 150 will air on SPEED at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.
Elliott plans to make one more K&N start this season. He will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 12.