Another strong run for Chase Elliott comes up short

(Getty Images)

HAMPTON, Ga. – Chase Elliott spent much of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 running in Kevin Harvick’s shadow.

Elliott had a fast Chevrolet, as he proved conclusively after incurring a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 212. Despite serving a pass-through for the infraction, Elliott stayed on the lead lap and was running faster lap times than Harvick when a debris caution on Lap 240 slowed the field and gave Elliott a chance to regain track position.

When the race restarted on Lap 284 after caution for Clint Bowyer’s hard contact with the Turn 2 wall, Elliott was running second, and he chased Harvick for 25 laps before another caution interrupted the proceedings on Lap 309.

But when Harvick drew a critical pit road speeding penalty on Lap 311, it wasn’t Elliott who capitalized. It was race winner Brad Keselowski. On a restart on lap 315, after a slow final pit stop, Elliott took the green in fourth position in the outside lane – a distinct disadvantage – and fell back to fifth at the finish.

“Yeah, (I’m) obviously frustrated,” Elliott said after the race. “I thought our car was as good as Kevin’s car was. I just think he did a little better job driving than what I was doing. I thought we could run second to him. The majority of the day I thought Brad at times was a little better than us, and at times I thought we were a little better than him.”

“On that last stop, we had just a little bit of a hiccup that lost us second spot unfortunately, and after Kevin’s misfortune, that would have put us in a really good spot. It’s one of those things where it’s hard to be frustrated at the pit crew, because those guys did a really good job all day long. We made spots up all day and gained time on Kevin.

“Every time I thought we were just inching closer to his back bumper as we came off pit road. I think we have a great foundation on pit road to build off of. I think (it’s) much improved, and just had a hiccup there at the end of the day, but I don’t think it’s something those guys should be discouraged over.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.