Chase Elliott laments would could have been at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 24: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Reese/Draw Tite Ford, leads, Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 24, 2019 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Only one driver was able to pass Brad Keselowski Sunday. And that driver was Chase Elliott.

Coming into the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday, Elliott had run only 20 laps inside the top five all season.  Sunday he not only took the lead from Keselowski but went on to lead 49 laps.

Elliott appeared to be well on the way the win at Martinsville in the fall 2017 race before being booted by Denny Hamlin; and Sunday he seemed to be setting up for some redemption.  Keselowski however was just to strong and Elliott spent the final laps trying anything he could to get to Keselowski.

He came up one spot short losing by .594 of a second.

“I don’t know,” Elliott said. “It was really tough. Our NAPA Camaro was good. I felt like we were about as even with him as we could be.”

“When I did get the lead, I felt like there was a little advantage to being out front and being able to work traffic your way and play off it and whatnot.”

In the end Elliott admitted he may have waited too long to try one final run to catch Keselowski.

“I tried to move up there at the end and I don’t know if I could have got to him,” Elliott said. “Maybe if I moved up a little sooner, maybe. But, I tried to get to him there in (Turn) 3, but maybe next time.”

Greg Engle