After what Jeff Gordon called the craziest race he's ever seen at the Dover International Speedway, Dawsonville rookie Chase Elliott had his best career finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coming in third on Sunday.
Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 took first followed by Kyle Larson in the No. 42 car during the Drive for Autism 400.
Elliott began in the 13th spot in his No. 24 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet SS and spent the afternoon working his way towards the top of the field as he has done week after week.
"That was a heck of a race in my opinion. Obviously, I wish we could have come out on top. I don't know that it gets a whole lot better than that as far as a race to the finish," Elliott said.
Communication problems caused issues around lap 119 when Elliott could no longer hear spotter Eddie D'Hondt.
The team began to troubleshoot options including using hand signals if needed, but the second radio frequency proved to solve the problem.
He made his way to 12th after a four-tire stop just before a caution on lap 214.
With 46 laps to go the field was ready for restart where Elliott was in 8th.
Jimmie Johnson was in the top spot for the restart and could not get his car in gear. The issue with his transmission led to an 18 car red flag accident.
Once again Elliott showed he could survive a massive wreck and stay in it until the end.
During the restart Elliott was able to slide right past as the pileup began. He dropped from the outside lane and moved through the melee.
The wreck was one car shy of the 19 car track record at Dover.
After clearing the track from the red flag stop, Carl Edwards almost immediately wrecked after a slight bump with Kyle Larson.
That ensuing caution put Elliott in fifth for the next restart.
Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano would both return to the track with banged up cars while Kenseth, Larson and Elliott continued to battle for the top spot.
Elliott found his way to second, but was unable to hold the spot with 20 laps to go.
His third place finish at Dover is his career best and was the top for the Hendrick Motorsports team. The finish puts in him the seventh spot on the overall points standings.
The NASCAR Spring All-Star Showdown is at 7 p.m. on May 20 and the Sprint All-Star Race is also at 7 p.m. on May 21. Both events will be aired on Fox Sports 1 and are non-points-paying.