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ELLIOTT DRIVES NAPA CHEVROLET TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT MICHIGAN
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, drove to a second-place finish in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Elliott and the No. 9 team pieced together a masterful race, positioning themselves in the top three late in the race. The team’s running position left them in perfect position to pounce on the lead with eight laps to go. In the end, Elliott was unable to hold off a hard-charging Kyle Busch. The strong finish marks Elliott’s sixth top-five effort of the season and leaves him third in the championship points standings, 35 markers behind leader Chris Buescher.
Elliott took the green flag in 12th and made a quick climb through the field, finding sixth by the competition caution on lap 25. As the race wore on, Elliott begin experimenting with different lines around the track while battling a tight condition. With handling conditions fluctuating, Elliott’s tight car turned loose around the halfway point.
Elliott brought the No. 9 to pit road on lap 85 for a four-tire stop, and once back up to speed, reported the handling was much improved. Then when a caution slowed the field on lap 93, crew chief Ernie Cope elected to not pit and Elliott lined up for the ensuing restart in third. Elliott hung on to a position inside the top five, but found third again by lap 115 and fell in line behind leader Joey Logano and second-place runner Kevin Harvick. Moments later, Harvick made contact with Logano in turn four and the two slid up the racetrack, opening the door for Elliott to grab the lead. Elliott settled in with the lead, but Kyle Busch mounted a hard charge at the top spot in the closing laps. Elliott made a valiant effort to hold off Busch, however Busch made a pass on Elliott with three to go and raced to the victory.
Following Busch and Elliott to the line were the cars of Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher and Elliott Sadler.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I’ll be honest, second does not feel as good as it should. I thought we had a NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy good enough to compete today. For us to battle our way up through there, it was challenging at times. Toward the end, we put ourselves in position on that last restart. The 22 would have been really hard to beat today. When Kevin [Harvick] got into him on accident, it moved him up the racetrack and opened up our opportunity to have a shot at the win. It was a good day and a solid effort, but there is still room to improve.”