Chase Elliott’s All-or-Nothing Bid Ends with Mid-Race Crash

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 10: The car of Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Autocare Center Chevrolet, is towed into the garage after he wrecked during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2019, in Avondale, Arizona. Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Chase Elliott had to win Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway to advance to the Nov. 17 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and for the first two stages of the event, it appeared Elliott might have the car to get the job done.

After moving into second place during a restart on lap 73, Elliott battled eventual race winner Hamlin during a protracted stretch of the race’s second stage. But seven laps after the restart for the final segment of the race, Elliott blew a left-rear tire and rocketed into the turn one wall, destroying the rear of his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Elliott finished 39th and will have to wait until 2020 to try for the championship again.

“Yeah, it’s just a continuation of our first two weeks, unfortunately,” said Elliott, who finished 36th at Martinsville and 32nd at Texas in the previous two Round of 8 races. “I hate it for our NAPA group. We had a decent NAPA Chevy today. It was really tough in traffic to catch guys and then pass and what not.

“But I feel like we were in a good position to run solid. I’m not sure why we had a tire go down. I think that’s what happened, at least; it seemed like it. It’s unfortunate. Like I said, these last three weeks have been pretty rough. So hopefully Homestead goes better, and we can get prepared good for next season and get a good notebook for next year.”

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