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NASCAR: Tough weekend of back-to-back races for Elliott at Pocono Raceway
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Chase Elliott stands outside his number 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy Camaro before the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 27. Photo by Sean Gardner for

In NASCAR’s first back-to-back racing action of the 2021 season, Chase Elliott finished outside of the top 10 in both races at Pocono Raceway, finishing 12th on Saturday, June 26 and 27th the next day. 

After being disqualified from last week’s race due to five loose lug nuts, Elliott started Saturday’s race in 29th place. On the green flag start, Elliott immediately sustained left-rear fender damage. 

Elliott remained in 28th place until the competition caution on lap 9. Once the pit crew finished working on the Chevy Camaro, Elliott restarted in 36th place. He would move through the pack and finish stage 1 in 25th place. 

On lap 42, Elliott cracked the top 20 for the first time and entered the top 10 on lap 72. He finished stage 2 in 11th place. 

A trip to pit road between stages put Elliott in 27th, but he maneuvered through the pack of cars and was all the way up to third place before going to pit road on a caution flag. With 19 laps remaining, Elliott moved from restarting in 16th to finishing Saturday’s race in 12th. Elliott’s teammate Alex Bowman won the race. 

Chase Elliott leads the pack of drivers during Saturday’s Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Photo by James Gilbert for
NASCAR inverted the top 20 finishers from Saturday to start Sunday’s race, so Elliott started in ninth. By the time the first caution flag appeared on lap 2, Elliott was in 13th. 

After a strategic late call to pit road at the end of stage 1, Elliott finished the stage in 32nd but started stage 2 inside the top 2. By lap 46, Elliott reached the top five. 

Elliott drove all the way up to third before going to pit road under the green flag on lap 71. He cracked the top five again and finished stage 2 in fifth place. 

There was no pit stop before the final stage for Elliott. He sustained damage to the nose of his car after being pinned between two cars on turn one of the restart. 

The rest of the race turned sour for Elliott. On lap 98, he slipped and bumped into Christopher Bell. The contact caused his right-front tire to go flat and after fixing it on pit road, another went flat laps later. Elliott spent the rest of the race trying to regain spots and finished in 27th, with Kyle Busch earning his second win of the season. 

After the two weekend races, Elliott fell from fourth place in Cup Series points to sixth, still behind Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson and William Byron, but now also behind Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. 

NASCAR Cup Series drivers will race on Sunday, July 4 during the Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America in Plymouth, Wisconsin. The race starts at 2:30 p.m.