Under the lights on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dawsonville native Chase Elliott finished 25th after being hit from behind by Kevin Harvick with under 50 laps to go. Elliott was leading the race at the time of the incident.
“It’s something that he does all the time,” Elliott said in an interview with NASCAR after the race.. “He runs into your left side constantly at other tracks, and sometimes it does cut down your left sides. Other times it doesn’t. Whether he does it on purpose, it doesn’t matter. At some point, you’ve got to draw the line. I don’t care who he is and how long he’s been doing it. I’m going to stand up for myself and my team.”
Harvick had differing opinions and shared his opinions in an interview with NASCAR after the race.
“It’s just chicken-(expletive),” Harvick said. “I don’t know what else to say. Throw a temper tantrum like you’re two years old because you got passed for the lead and got a flat tire. We barely even rubbed. It’s all Chase’s way, or it’s no way. If he doesn’t get his way, he throws a fit.”
Despite the accident, both Elliott and Harvick advanced to the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Elliott goes into the Round of 12 in sixth place.
Throughout the race, Elliott drove consistently. He started the race in fourth and with 24 laps to go in Stage 1, Elliott was in 3rd place. He remained there with little movement in the top three positions until the final lap of the stage.
In stage 2, Elliott fell back to 11th after starting at the 2nd spot. The caution on lap 220 led to a red flag due to some fluid being leaked onto the track, but Elliott was able to move up to 5th during that time. He stayed there except for a brief moment with just two laps to go and finished in 5th for the second stage.
Elliott advances to the Round of 12 for the sixth season in a row. Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Michael McDowell all did not qualify for the next round and were cut from championship contention.
The first race in the round of 12 will be the South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The last time Elliott raced in Vegas was on March 7th of this season where he finished 13th. The race will be Sunday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.