After three weeks of tough finishes for Dawsonville's Chase Elliott, the stage was set at Charlotte Motor Speedway over the weekend.
Elliott finished third in the last stage of the Monster Energy Open Saturday night in an attempt to race his way into the all-star event that immediately followed.
Clint Bowyer clinched his spot in the All-Star race after he started on pole and got the win, beating out Ryan Blaney.
Blaney, in turn, picked up his spot in the second stage when he barely beat out Elliott.
Then the fan voting was revealed at the end of the Monster Energy Open, and Elliott advanced to the four-stage race as the top fan vote getter.
After earning the spot via the vote, Elliott started in position three and raced his way to a top-10 finish-his seventh of the year, including the Open.
The seventh place spot in the all-star race puts him at No. 8 in points for the season.
The top-10 finish was a significant improvement over the previous three weeks of racing that were fraught with frustrations.
In Richmond on April 30, Elliott started 14th and worked his way into the top-10 of that race around lap 114 before dropping back in the second stage with some tight-handling issues.
He would make his way back into the top-10 and gain momentum late in the race before he received a penalty for an uncontrolled tire that sent him to the back of the field.
Elliott ended the Virginia race in 24th.
The following week at Talladega on May 7, Elliott started in eighth and was as high as the top five through the initial stage and was in 12th during the second.
In the final stage, he started in 10th and worked his way to second place. With only 20 laps to race, Elliott was bumped from behind by AJ Allmendinger.
The push triggered a spin that sent him backward and onto the outside wall while Allmendinger ended upside down.
The crash affected 17 cars and left him with a 30th place finish on the day.
During the Kansas City race under the lights on May 13, Elliott earned a 10th place start, but would once again be forced to deal with significant adversity on the track.
He again made his way into the top five in the middle of Stage 1.
During a scheduled pit stop, he made contact with another car while exiting his pit. As a result, multiple stops were needed to repair Elliott's right front fender.
The stops put Elliott down by multiple laps at the end of the first stage.
He would spend the remainder of the race steadily working his way up, but only made it as far as 29th.
Next on the schedule for Elliott is the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6 p.m. on May 28. The race will be broadcast on Fox.