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Elliott back in top five
S-Chase Elliott pic
Dawsonville-native Chase Elliott finished Sundays race at the Monster Mile back inside the top five. - photo by For the Dawson County News

It was almost as if a collective sigh could be heard from Chase Elliott fans everywhere on Sunday when Elliott eluded a massive wreck in an over-time restart during the Drive for Autism at the Monster Mile.

Once the restart was officially confirmed, Jimmie Johnson was recognized for his 11th win on the famed track and Elliott had earned his fourth top-five finish of the season.

After the month of May that saw Elliott involved in multiple incidents, including last week's early departure from the Coca Cola 600, the fifth-place finish for the Dawsonville native was a relief.

In the May 28 race at Charlotte, his No. 24 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet SS was hit by debris from Jeffrey Earnhardt's car early in the race. The debris caused Elliott's car to catch fire before he was hit hard from behind by Brad Keselowski.

Elliott was out after only 19 laps.

On June 4, Elliott's solid outing at Dover saw him start in the 16th spot and consistently work his way to the front of the field after an early pit penalty for speeding.

Despite the penalty that dropped him to 30th, he still managed to finish stage one in 15th.

Generally considered one of the most difficult tracks to complete a pass on, Dover has proved to be a favorable track for Elliott who twice finished in third there last season.

Following the first restart of the day due to a lost left rear tire for pole winner Kyle Busch, Elliott moved inside the top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. went on to win stage one and two. Elliott ended the second stage in seventh.

A caution flag came with 136 laps left in the 400 lap race and Elliott was able to make his way into fifth on the restart and pass Matt Kenseth to move into fourth.

The 21-year-old driver remained there, until with 94 laps left, he moved past Johnson to reach third and made his way in to second with only 74 laps left.

The No. 24 team decided on a pit stop following a long period of green flag racing.

Johnson, who remained on the track as other drivers began to pit, was able to regain the lead courtesy of a timely caution.

The pit stops left Elliott in 13th before the following restart but he would again work his way forward, managing seventh before the overtime restart.

The finish moves Elliott to No. 8 on the points list for the season.

Next up is the Axalta ‘We Paint Winners' 400 at Pocono. The race will be broadcast on FS1 beginning at 3 p.m. on June 11.

Elliott finished fourth in last June's Pocono race.