Chase Elliott finished second at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 held at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Aug 29, ending the NASCAR Cup Series regular season.
After wrecking early last week, Elliott started Saturday’s race in 28th place, but steadily moved up in the rankings as the race went on.
Elliott had risen to 20th place by lap 20, and finished Stage 1 in 16th place. Elliott finished stage 1 with the second-fastest lap, with an average speed of 201.979 miles per hour on his 15th lap.
Elliott stayed towards the back of the pack for the majority of stage 2. After a pit stop with around 35 laps left in the stage, he held steady in the 26th position, driving with the pack of drivers who had gone to pit row. Eventually, Elliott and the fellow drivers were able to catch up before the end of stage 2. Elliott finished Stage 2 in 14th place.
To begin the final stage, Elliott started in 11th place and got as high as second place before he went to the pit road to refuel on gas on lap 125.
In 9th place with nine laps left to go, a large group of cars right behind Elliott wrecked bringing out a red flag caution. Elliott restarted in fifth place, but another red flag wreck knocked even more drivers from the top of the pack.
Restarting in 9th, Elliott chose to start in the inside lane and got great traction on the track, letting him pass driver after driver to finish in second place.
Elliott will begin the playoffs tied for fourth place with Joey Logano, who started Sunday’s race two points behind Elliott, but won both Stage 1 and Stage 2 to gain two extra playoff points. Playoff points are the only points that will be counted to start the beginning of the playoffs and could be earned all throughout the regular season by winning stages or races.
The first race of the first round of the playoffs will be on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C.