For a while Monday, Chase Elliott was the class of the field at Dover. The Hendrick Motorsports driver coming off a win at Talladega the week before, won the pole Friday and was quick all weekend.
Monday he quickly assumed the lead stretching out his advantage at times to nearly 2 seconds. He would go on to lead a race high 145 laps during the first quarter of the race. But in the closing stages began to fade.
“We just fell off there at the end of that second Stage,” Elliott said. “That was the time of the race that we needed to be controlling it and not falling back. Just a bad time to have a bad half of a run and that is kind of what happened. So, we were fast, just not fast enough when it really mattered.”
Once he lost the lead, he was never able to make it back to the point. It might not have mattered; once eventual winner Martin Truex Jr. took the lead, he was able to move away, winning by 9.5 seconds.
Elliott said it was all about timing.
“He was really good there at the end for sure,” Elliott said. “His car came on about the time I felt our car was starting to fall off. And hey, that is what pays.”