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NASCAR: Elliott finishes fifth at Richmond; stays seventh in playoff standings
Chase Elliott before the Federation Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on September 12. Elliott finished fifth in the race. Photo by Jared C. Tilton of Getty Images for - photo by Photo/File

Chase Elliott finished fifth in the Federation Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 12, keeping him in seventh place in the playoff standings. 

Elliott started the race off in 11th and stayed there until the competition caution came out after lap 30. He was able to get into the top 10 after gaining a spot on pit road. 

He took eighth place with 14 laps left in the stage and was battling for seventh at the end of the stage, but would finish in eighth place. 

Stage 1 was 80 laps and stage 2 was 155. Elliott started stage 2 in ninth place and continued to pass fellow drivers until he was in 4th place by lap 120. He would hold steady in fourth until he went to pit road on lap 160 and came back onto the track in fifteenth. 

Moving past driver after driver, Elliott was already back in seventh place by lap 180 and completed the pass for sixth place on lap 207. After one more driver would have to pit, Elliott finished stage 2 in fifth place, about nine seconds behind the leader, Brad Keselowski. 

Elliott started the final stage in fourth place and would stay there uneventfully until he and the three drivers ahead of him went to pit road on lap 295. He would get back up to fifth after the rest of the cars that still had to go to pit road went. 

With 59 laps left in the race, Elliott went to pit road for the final time and would come back to the track in ninth place. Once again, Elliott was in fifth after the rest of the competition went to pit road and that’s where he would finish Saturday night’s race. 

The NBC Sports Announcers said Elliott announced he was not looking to do anything fancy during the race, but just to keep putting points on the board and make it to the next round. The announcers added that Elliott was very happy with how the car was coming off of turns mid race. 

His fifth place finish keeps him in the seventh spot in the playoff standings. The top 12 drivers who qualified for the playoffs will move onto the next round. Elliott is 28 points ahead of 13th place right now, which is equivalent to a ninth place finish. Keselowski and Kevin Harvick have already earned a spot by winning the first two round-of-sixteen races. Denny Hamlin has secured his spot by points. 

The last round-of-sixteen will be at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m.