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Chase Elliott Scores Needed Fifth-Place Finish

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott shows love to the fans before the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond. ( Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

RICHMOND, Va. — Chase Elliott’s fifth-place finish in Richmond on Sunday breaks a 16-race long streak without a top-five finish.

Chase Elliott arrived at Richmond prepared for action, qualifying his No. 9 UniFirst Camaro ZL1 on the front row just behind teammate Kyle Larson. With rain looming and a damp racing surface, NASCAR decided to start the cars on wet weather tires and have non-competitive pit stops. As soon as the green flag waved, Elliott wasted no time in surging ahead of Larson to lead Lap 1. However, by Lap 6, Larson reclaimed the lead.

NASCAR called for a competition caution on Lap 30, leading all cars to pit for a switch from wet weather tires to standard slicks. After some yellow-flag laps to test the new tires, Elliott restarted in fourth place and held his position within the top 10 throughout Stage 1, ultimately clinching a seventh-place finish in the stage.

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott takes his No. 9 Chevy for laps in Richmond (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

After the green flag pit cycles, Elliott found himself running in eighth position when a caution was triggered due to Kyle Busch hitting the wall on Lap 170. Following a congested restart, Elliott faced difficulties and slipped out of the top 10, ultimately finishing Stage 2 in 13th position. As the final stage started and the green flag pit stops unfolded, Elliott struggled to regain his position within the top 10 until 50 laps remaining in the race.

After initially trailing, Elliott surged into contention. However, a late collision involving Bubba Wallace’s No. 23 and Kyle Larson’s No. 5 triggered a caution, extending the race into NASCAR Overtime. Elliott capitalized on pit stops, advancing to sixth place on the restart. With skillful driving, he secured a fifth-place finish, ending a 16-race streak without a top-five result.

“I probably made the most of it there at the end. I honestly never felt like our UniFirst Chevy was all that bad,” Elliott said after the race. “The caution came out there in the middle of that one-stop, two-stop strategy, and it set us back a little bit. I had a couple poor restarts there in a row, and then it was like after that, everybody was just the same. We would run around there and just kind of run the same pace. I felt like we kind of found a little pace there those last two runs, and we were able to actually pass a couple of cars under green. We got ourselves in a position there to have a good pit stop there at the end. I stopped a little short in my box.

“I think we could have been one spot better there off of pit road, but nonetheless, had a good restart and gave ourselves a top-five. It was a solid night. Obviously looking forward to getting to Martinsville (Speedway) and trying to be a little better.”
Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott races hard for positions in Richmond ( Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

Catch the NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7 for the Cook Out 400. The race is set for 3:00 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Larson is the defending winner while Ryan Blaney won last fall.

At just 24 years old, this NASCAR fanatic has taken her passion for the sport to the next level, diving headfirst into content creation. With her sights set on the world of sports journalism, she's gearing up for her exciting debut in the field

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