In an elimination race that saw playoff contenders with blown engines and in massive wrecks, Dawsonville’s Chase Elliott was able to advance once again—this time to the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Elliott’s fourth place finish earned him 39 points and put him at 4,006 points overall to take the eighth and final spot.
The Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 22 had 12 playoff contenders vying for those top eight slots and a chance to advance next week to the race at Martinsville.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Elliott are the eight who will compete over the next three weeks to make it to the final four.
Elliott started in 14th in the cutoff race at the Kansas Speedway. He was able to make his way into seventh for the end of Stage 1 and pick up points that would be critical for his overall finish.
After losing spots during a green flag pit stop in Stage 2, Elliott again raced his way forward and garnered a ninth place finish for that stage.
The 21-year-old was able to break into the top five during the final stage and make his way as far as second place before a red flag that came with under 30 laps left.
Matt Kenseth’s crew received a pit penalty under the damaged vehicle policy after his involvement in the wreck that invoked the red flag stop. The penalty took him out of the race and championship contention.
Elliott lost four spots on his pit during the final caution, but was able to work his way back to fourth.
This is the first time the second year driver in the Monster Cup Series has advanced to the final eight. Last year, Elliott was eliminated after making it as far as the top 12.
Next up is the First Data 500 at 3 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Martinsville Speedway. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN.