Dawsonville's Chase Elliott once again showed maturity beyond his years with a solid third place finish at Dover International Speedway that clinched his spot in the round of 12 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"I've been excited about it," Elliott said about advancing after the race. "I feel really confident in this group of guys. Alan Gustafson has been doing such a good job, that guy is unbelievable. I couldn't ask for a better guy on top of the box so I'm really proud of him and this entire team. They've been working their tails off to get to where we are and I'm proud of the way we've been running."
During the Oct. 2 Citizen Soldier 400, the Sprint Cup rookie started in ninth and raced steadily all day ensuring he would advance in his No. 24 Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS.
Martin Truex Jr. won his second race in the Chase with a strong finish on Sunday. Kyle Busch took second.
After practice rounds were cancelled due to rain, drivers did what they could to be ready for the narrow, high-bank one mile track known as the Monster Mile.
Fellow rookie Ryan Blaney got into the wall around lap 110 that would bring on the second caution of the race. Elliott was in eighth place and remained there after the restart.
He continued in the eighth spot for almost 80 laps before making his way to seventh on lap 117.
Another caution near lap 199 brought about a restart that allowed Elliott the chance to move into sixth.
He ran in that position all the way through a green-flag pit stop on lap 276.
After drivers cycled through pit stops, he was able to break into the top five and with 100 laps left in the race, he was in fourth.
Only 10 cars were on the lead lap due to extended green-flag racing.
With under 45 laps, Elliott moved into third on another green-flag pit stop.
Elliott stayed in the third spot all the way to the checkered flag.
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson took seventh and Jeff Gordon in the No. 88 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. took 10th.
Elliott is now sixth in points with 3,000.
The round of 12 racing includes events in Charlotte, Kansas and Talladega before the field again narrows-this time to eight.
The next race is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event will be broadcast on NBC.