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Elliott Finishes 20th, Slips to Third in Points Standings

Chase Elliott during the qualifying for the Firecracker 250 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.

Chase Elliott had his No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet in second place late in Friday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, but his engine sputtered on a restart with three laps to go as the team attempted to stretch its fuel mileage to a victory.  It caused the NAPA Chevy to ultimately pit for fuel, resulting in a 20th-place finish.

Chase Elliott Daytona 2014 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Restart
Elliott had been in second place ever since his pit crew put him there on a lap-51 stop, just past the halfway point of the race.  Elliott stayed tucked behind teammate and leader Regan Smith, waiting for the time to make his move in a bid for the win.  But the sparse cautions left teams with a tricky fuel mileage scenario, as most of them – Elliott included – were two laps shy of making it to the end when they left pit road on lap 51.

SUBWAY 250
With three laps to go in the race, Elliott restarted alongside Smith on the front row, but when he pushed the gas pedal the car didn’t respond.  It bottled up the entire inside row and led to another caution flag that would send the race into a green-white-checkered finish.  Elliott and eight other drivers in the same situation pitted for fuel and tires.  In the two-lap dash, Elliott restarted 23rd and picked up three spots en route to a 20th-place finish.

Chase Elliott Daytona 2014 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Inside 7
While that was going on, Smith was challenged on the last corner of the last lap by teammate Kasey Kahne, who darted up the middle in the final two laps to beat Smith and score the victory.  It was JR Motorsports’ sixth win of 2014 and Kahne’s first.  Kahne also joined Elliott, Smith, and Kevin Harvick as JR Motorsports winners this year.

Elliott slipped to third in the point standings and now trails new leader Smith by 15 points.  He is 17 points ahead of fourth-place Ty Dillon.

Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott

“It was fortunate the way our JR Motorsports cars ran tonight, but that is the last plate race of the season.  We look forward to having fast cars back here next February.  Tonight, I’m not sure if we had an error there in the pick-up, but I felt like I didn’t do anything differently from the previous laps.  Everybody was pretty close (on fuel), so we were all saving, cutting the cars off and whatnot.  My NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy had fuel pressure down the backstretch, but when I went off into turn three, I had nothing.  I tried to shake it back and forth to get the fuel pressure back up, and for a moment it started to come up as we entered turn four, but then it went back down.  I don’t know if that was my bad trying to save too much, but Regan and I planned to work together on the final restart.  But, hey, we’ll take it.  As bad as that was, it could have been a lot worse.  We’ll move on to Loudon next weekend.”

Chase Elliott Daytona 2014 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet w Regan Smith
2014 NATIONWIDE SERIES STANDINGS – DRIVER POINTS

1. Regan Smith…………………………………… 577
2. Elliott Sadler……………………………………. -12
3. Chase Elliott……………………………………. -15
4. Ty Dillon………………………………………….. -32
5. Brian Scott………………………………………. -54
6. Trevor Bayne…………………………………… -59
7. Brendan Gaughan………………………….. -112
8. James Buescher…………………………….. -129
9. Chris Buescher……………………………….. -131
10. Ryan Reed…………………………………… -15

NAPA AUTO PARTS:@NAPAKnowHow
CHASE ELLIOTT:@ChaseElliott
JR Motorsports:@JRMotorsports

Chase Elliott Daytona 2014 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet collage

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