Chase Elliott finishes off a strong Sunday in third place

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 11: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway on March 11, 2018 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, Ariz. – For Chase Elliott, Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway was a strong run that ended with a sigh of relief—that he finally got a finish worthy of the position he maintained throughout the afternoon.

In fact, with a quick early pit stop on Lap 255 of 312, Elliott cycled out ahead of eventual race winner Kevin Harvick. Elliott couldn’t stay in front of Harvick, who passed him on Lap 279 for what was then fourth place, but he managed to hold third behind Harvick and Kyle Busch to post his best finish of the season so far.

“Yeah, we had a good car,” Elliott said. “It was solid, you know? (Crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) made a good call there at the end, and we had a good pit stop there to get into the lead (ahead of Harvick), and I just felt like I needed a little bit of drive there to put the power down in front of him.

“I had a pretty good turn those last two runs, and before that I wasn’t turning good enough and (didn’t have) too good of forward bite.

“He (Harvick) was definitely the car to beat, and it felt like there were a lot of laps left. I tried my best to hold him off as long as I could, but I felt like him and Kyle had just a little bit on us. We’ll go to work and try to get better for California.”

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 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.