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NASCAR: Hot start ends in disappointing finish for Chase Elliott in Las Vegas
Chase Elliott before the first race of the second round of the Nascar Cup Series playoffs at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Though he won stage 2, Elliott finished the race in 22nd place. By Chris Graythen with Getty Images for - photo by File photo

Despite winning stage 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night, Chase Elliott finished in a disappointing 22nd place in the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoff’s second round  

After a late caution flag, the race went to two final laps, with Chase Elliott in ninth place. He and his racing team chose to start in the outside lane, directly behind Ryan Newman. On the restart, Newman was unable to get into fifth gear and Elliott did not pass him, falling all the way to 22nd place.

Elliott raced well the entire night, leading the pack 25 laps into the race. He fell to sixth on the trip to pit road. Gufstafson kept the car in a little while longer to try to fix tires sticking loose on turns. 

Stage 1 ended with Elliott in fourth place, passing Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick to finish in that spot. 

Starting in fifth place for stage 2, Elliott passed Kyle Busch and Joey Logano after the two drivers made contact with one another while vying for second place. 

On lap 92, Elliott passed Denny Hamlin on the inside lane to take the lead. After the pack went to pit road before the end stage 2, Elliott retook the lead, gaining another playoff point and winning stage 2. 

Elliott lost spots on pit road, starting the final 100 laps in third place, behind Hamlin and Alex Bowman. He’d pass Bowman nine laps into the final stage. 

Once again, Elliott lost spots on pit road and fell all the way down to 7th place after the restart. Elliott worked his way back up to fifth before taking his final trip to pit road on lap 233. 

An unlucky caution flag right after Elliott’s return to the track on lap 235, put him in 15th on the restart. Two more caution flags followed, and Elliott was stuck behind slower cars. Forcing him to finish the race in 22nd place. 

Elliott now holds the 7th place spot in the overall series rankings. After this race the top eight finishers moved onto the third round of playoffs. 

Talladega and Charlotte will host the final two races of the second round, with the Charlotte race taking place at the Charlotte ROVAL course. 

The race at the Talladega SuperSpeedway will be held on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2:30 p.m.