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Elliott wins pole, finishes second at Road America
Chase Elliott leads the pack during Sunday’s race at Road America. He finished in second place after winning the pole on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chase Elliott led 36 of 62 laps at this year’s running of the Kwik Trip 250 at Road America, but the defending champion was passed late by first-time Cup Series winner Tyler Reddick to finish second.

The Dawsonville native was the pole sitter heading into the race on Sunday, July 3, edging out Chase Briscoe in qualifying. Elliott’s pole position was a turnaround from last year’s race, where he won despite starting in 34th position.

After leading for much of the race, Elliott’s lead was gradually chipped away by Reddick, who would eventually win by just over four seconds.

“I let [Reddick] stay close enough to pressure me when we had decent tires,” Elliott said. “I never could get enough of a gap and made a couple of mistakes. It was impressive that he was able to get up there and capitalize.”

Elliott led the four-mile course on three different occasions, starting with the opening dozen laps. Early on, he paced the field by as many as nine seconds as he went into the first green-flag pit stop with all the momentum in the race.

Despite pitting, Elliott’s crew got him back out to the track on time to finish tenth at the end of Stage One.

The call by crew chief Alan Gustafson to pit before the end of the stage paid off quickly, as Elliott was able to come out of the restart in front again.

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He would continue to lead the race at that point, gradually creating a five-second gap between him and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson.

By lap 25, Reddick passed several drivers, including Larson, to get into second position and began a long battle with Elliott that would last for over half of the race.

Elliott would go to pit road again on lap 28 but once again got back out quickly to finish ninth at the end of Stage Two.

While he got back out to the lead at the restart, he was not able to recreate the same vast gap he had established in the first two stages. 

Reddick maintained at around one second behind Elliott while the two drivers pushed ahead of chasers Larson and Ross Chastain.

The leading pair went to pit road at the same time at lap 44 and raced out of it right behind each other. This time, less than half a second separated the two as they waited for others to pit so they could advance back to the front.

On lap 46, Reddick finally found his way around Elliott and would soon take the outright lead. Once again, the two would prove to have superior speed compared to the field and would soon lead Larson by six seconds 

The remainder of the race would be a tussle between the leaders, with Elliott staying within one second behind Reddick and trying to find an angle. 

With eight laps remaining, the top two drivers were over 10 seconds ahead of Larson, 15 ahead of Chastain, and 20 ahead of the next closest group.

But with around five laps left, Reddick stretched his lead to two seconds and cemented his first career win in the Cup Series.

Elliott’s second-place finish solidified his 12th top-10 finish of the season as he extended his lead in the points standings. 

His 624 points is 33 ahead of Ryan Blaney in the regular-season standings and 35 ahead of Chastain in the playoff standings. Elliott has now led 549 laps this season, just 21 fewer than William Byron. 

Next week, Elliott will return to Georgia as the Cup Series returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on Sunday, July 10.