DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Late-Race Accident Leaves Elliott with 38th-Place Finish at Darlington

Chase Elliott had a strong showing on Wednesday night at Darlington Raceway as he finished in the top ten in both stages and led 28 laps before being spun out by a competitor while running second with less than 30 laps remaining in the event.

The NASCAR Cup Series returned to Darlington Raceway for a mid-week showdown under the lights. After a short rain delay, Elliott and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team started 17th after the starting lineup was set by a top-20 invert from Sunday’s finishing order.

 

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Crew members unload the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, driven by Chase Elliott in the garage area prior to the during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Elliott worked his way to 11th prior to the competition caution being displayed on Lap 25. He brought his Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to the attention of the NAPA team for four fresh tires and fuel. Elliott lined up 10th for the ensuing restart on Lap 30 and went three wide to start his charge to the front. He continued working towards the front and was up to seventh by the end of the opening 60-lap stage.

 

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

A quick caution came out just two laps after the green flag for Stage 2. Crew chief Alan Gustafson elected to bring Elliott to pit road for fresh tires and fuel and set him up to restart 14th. Elliott was back inside the top 10 by Lap 82 when another yellow flag was displayed. This time, he lined up on the inside lane for a Lap-85 restart. The driver of the No. 9 dropped to eighth before regaining his momentum.

 

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

 

By Lap 100, Elliott was back inside the top 10 and happy with the handling of his NAPA Chevy. Less than 10 laps later, a yellow flag was display yet again. The No. 9 team had a quick pit stop, gaining Elliott five sports on pit road to put him fourth for the restart. By the end of Stage 2 on Lap 125, the 24-year-old driver had taken over the second spot.

 

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

 

Coming off pit road for the third stage and final stage, Elliott was in eighth after a few competitors elected not to pit. He returned to second five laps later and eventually made the pass for the lead on Lap 161.

 

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 20: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 20, 2020 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

 

Elliott held the lead until it was time for scheduled green-flag pit stops on Lap 175. Another caution came out four laps later shuffling the field. Elliott lined back up as the leader for the ensuing restart. Through another caution period, he reported that the handling of his NAPA Chevrolet was starting to trend to the tight side. With four fresh tires and fuel, Elliott restarted sixth on Lap 200 and was making his way back to the front when he was spun into the inside wall by a competitor while running second. The contact ultimately ended the NAPA team’s day early with a 38th-place finish.

 

Start / Finish: 17 / 38
Points Earned: 14
Points Standing / Total: 5th / 192 pts.

 

Next Race: May 24, Charlotte 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM

 

NAPA: @NAPARacing
Chase Elliott: @ChaseElliott
Hendrick Motorsports: @TeamHendrick
No. 9 Team: @Hendrick9Team

about author

Hendrick Motorsports

Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 258 points-paying race victories and a record 12 car owner championships in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. Headquartered in Concord, NC, the organization fields four full-time Chevrolet teams on the Cup circuit, including the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet driven by Chase Elliott.

related articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *