Despite a pair of top-5 stage positions and a late chance to secure a sixth consecutive top-2 finish, the road course chaos in the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard caught up to Chase Elliott late in the race. He would finish in 16th position.
During a race filled with major accidents and spin-outs that culminated in a second career Cup Series win for Tyler Reddick, Elliott was initially able to move up the board quickly in the first two stages as the caution flag was not brought out due to cause.
But four major incidents toward the end forced the yellow flag out each time and altered strategies for each driver. While Elliott initially benefited from the restarts, he was eventually involved in a major accident that took him from second place to out of contention.
In NASCAR’s second edition of the road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Elliott looked to be in solid position for most of the race, qualifying in eighth position.
The Dawsonville native had an eventful first stage, joining many other cars that spun in the tight turns. While he had his incident with only a couple of laps left in Stage One, he managed to straighten himself out in time to finish the stage in fifth position.
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After his car was assessed to have no considerable damage after hopping a corner curb, Elliott got right back out and gradually moved up the board after his first pit stop.
He narrowly avoided a slew of major incidents in Stage Two, particularly in Turn 1 where the cars would go up to four-wide and create major bottleneck points.
Finishing Stage Two in fourth position, Elliott had shown the speed necessary to compete with some of the top cars of the day.
The final stage would display the climactic moments of the race, with a pair of major incidents within the last few laps bringing out cautions that pushed the race into an overtime period.
Running in second position after passing Ryan Blaney, Elliott found himself around three seconds behind leader Tyler Reddick with six laps remaining.
That gap narrowed after an accident involving Christopher Bell left debris on the track and brought out the yellow flag. With a restart looming with just three laps to go, Elliott had a chance to pursue Reddick from close range.
In the first corner after the green flag, Joey Logano took a perpendicular angle and caused a chain reaction of incidents, which included pushing Blaney and William Byron into Elliott.
The caution flag soon came out and Elliott’s day was effectively over, albeit with some added drama in overtime.
The added period totaled just two laps but another major incident on the first corner allowed Elliott to gradually move up from outside the top 20 into a 16th-place finish.
Finishing with the two top-5 stage positions was a small consolation that padded his lead in the regular season points standings. Earning 34 points in the race, Elliott now has 821 points, which is now 125 ahead of Blaney.