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Elliott takes third in first race of the Chase
S-Elliott takes third pic
Chase Elliott finished third in the first race in the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway. - photo by For the Dawson County News

In the first race for the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Dawsonville's Chase Elliott raced to a thrilling third place finish after what looked like would be a sure win.

"We're definitely proud of it," Elliott said after the race. "We're proud of that, we're proud of the run we had today. We obviously hate to come up short but that's part of life some days."

The 20-year-old rookie Sprint Cup driver led for 75 laps of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 after starting in the 14th spot.

By lap 10 Elliott had made his way in to the sixth spot and inside of five by lap 40.

After a caution and restart he made his way into third behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson who was leading.

After lap 100 and a pit stop that afforded four new tires, Elliott made his way into the second spot and would take the lead 75 laps later.

Elliott was leading the field with four laps to go and looked like he would not be passed when a caution flag flew and Elliott and Martin Truex Jr., who was running second, chose to pit.

Fellow rookie Ryan Blaney stayed on the track along with a few others hoping to hold the top spots on older tires.

The No. 24 Napa Autoparts Chevrolet SS had a good stop at 12. 7 seconds but still came off of pit road just behind Truex. The loss of the single spot put Elliott in the third row of the restart that sent the race to overtime.

On the restart, Truex and his new tires easily overtook Blaney.

Joey Logano in the No. 22 took second and Elliott made his way into third.

The finish gave Elliott 39 points and one bonus point. He is sixth in points' standings, 11 out of first.

Johnson held the lead for 118 laps.

"We were fast and I think that's something to be happy about. We can move forward to Louden with some motivation and get ready to get going," Elliott said.

The next race on the schedule is at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The event will be broadcast live on NBCSN.