Late wreck ruins Chase Elliott’s winning chances

TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 15: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew Chevrolet, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Chevrolet, lead the field at the star of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 15, 2017 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

For 182 laps Sunday, Chase Elliott avoided the wrecks that wiped out eight of the 12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contenders, but after a restart on the next-to-last restart of a rough-and-tumble race, his luck ran out.

Elliott was dicing for position on Lap 183 as the field—by then reduced to 19 cars—approached Turn 3. He tried to split the cars of Kyle Larson to the inside and Daniel Suarez to the outside, but Suarez edged down the track, and contact between Suarez’s Toyota and Elliott’s Chevrolet started a six-car wreck that left Elliott’s No. 24 damaged beyond repair.

“I had a really big run, Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) was giving me a great shove, and Daniel had left enough room in the middle,” said Elliott, who finished 16th in a race of heavy attrition and enters next Sunday’s elimination event at Kansas Speedway sixth in the standings.

“Larson left me enough room from the bottom. There was a hole and I filled it. I don’t guess Daniel either saw me in time, or that it was I just had a high rate of speed coming, and he didn’t know or tried to block it. I’m not sure. We will move on.”

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.