Dawsonville native Chase Elliott finished 14th at the Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday, Feb. 28, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Elliott started the race in 11th and led the race for a few laps, but had trouble finding the right adjustments to continuously compete for the lead throughout the race.
“I can’t drive into turn three to save my life,” Elliott said to his pit crew leader Alan Gufstafson during the race.
A bad pit stop in the middle of stage 1 saw Elliott drop from 13th to 19th but a caution flag brought Elliott back up to 10th and finished stage 1 in eighth place.
Elliott moved into fourth place after an excellent pit stop to start stage 2. He restarted with ease and moved past Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher for the lead on lap 89. Buescher passed him to take the lead back on lap 93 and by lap 110, Elliott had fallen into fifth.
On lap 130, Elliott almost collided with Keselowski while both were battling for 10th place. Elliott’s car was too loose and almost lost control during his pass attempt. Elliott finished stage 2 in 12th place.
The start of the final 100 laps were abysmal for Elliott. Though he started in 10th place, he was in 20th place by lap 172 and fell as low as 25th place during the stage.
A late surge moved Elliott up to 13th place with 13 laps to go but he floated there for the rest of the race and finished in 14th place.
Elliott went into Sunday’s race in fifth place in Nascar’s Cup Series standings but fell to seventh. Dixie Vodka 400 winner William Byron and Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell passed Elliott in the standings
All of Nascar’s drivers leave Florida for the first time in three weeks to travel to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next Sunday for the Pennzoil 400. The race starts at 3:30 p.m.