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Elliott survives at Talladega
A-Chase Elliott Talladega
Dawsonvilles Chase Elliott makes a pit stop during Sundays Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. He raced to a fifth place finish. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Survival seemed to be the word for this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Talladega Superspeedway and Dawsonville's rookie driver Chase Elliott more than survived.

In his second pole position race of the year, he finished fifth.

On a race day with multiple crashes involving large numbers of cars unable to ultimately make it to the checkered flag, Elliott thrived in difficult circumstances.

"You can't have a good day unless you finish. Just trying to focus in on that," Elliott said. "Obviously it got a little wild. For us, we just tried to keep that in mind and make it to the end."

Elliott earned the pole for the race on Saturday, April 30-29 years to the day after his father Bill Elliott had done the same. Chase Elliott's qualifying speed was 192.661 mph.

The 1987 race featured a terrifying impact when Bobby Allison's Buick left the track and took out a section of fencing that protected the grandstand. The accident prompted NASCAR to reduce speeds at both Talladega and Daytona.

Bill Elliott's qualifying speed was the all-time record at 212.809 miles per hour, a record that will probably not be broken as a result of the accident and the efforts to bring speeds down.

Despite all of that, Sunday's Geico 500 saw multiple accidents, including cars going air born.

Elliott, in his No. 24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, was able to avoid the melee and race to a strong finish behind winner Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray.

Starting on the pole, Elliott held the initial lead for 13 laps before the struggle for the front pushed him back in the top 10.

The race had multiple three and four car wide racing moments, many times contributing to wrecks and cars being pushed down below the double yellow.

After Elliott's first pit stop, he fell to 14th, unable to get back into the draft.

The first caution of the day came when teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. was caught up in a crash on lap 50.

That caution afforded Elliott a speedy stop and the chance to get back into the top 10.

From laps 70 through 94, aggressive driving prevailed as the threat of rain meant the possibility of the race being cut short. Drivers positioned themselves for the possibility of a stop after the halfway point.

It was not a good day for Elliott's Hendrick Motorsports teammates as Earnhardt was able to return after his first crash only to go out again on another late lap incident.

Kasey Kahne also suffered through two wrecks.

With 33 laps to go, a multiple car accident damaged 17 vehicles. Elliott cleared the mess and made his way into ninth.

Elliott continued to push towards the front before yet another incident just before the checkered flag. Elliott again survived and drove to fifth.

He is now No. 11 on the Sprint Cup Series points list.

The next scheduled race is at the Kansas Speedway for the Go Bowling 400.

The race begins at 7:30 p.m. on May 7 and will be aired on FOX Sports 1.