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NASCAR Cup Series

Elliott Fades Late, Finishes Second at Road America

(Photo: Maddie Skidan | The Podium Finish)

PLYMOUTH, Wis. — Chase Elliott led 36 of the first 43 laps, but after surrendering the lead during the final pit cycle, Elliott faded and finished second to Tyler Reddick at Road America. Reddick scored his first NASCAR Cup Series victory while Elliott recorded his second consecutive top-two finish.

“I didn’t do a very good job there,” Elliott said. “Wish I could have done a better job there. I felt like we probably needed a little bit, but I think we were good enough to win.”

After winning last week at Nashville Superspeedway, Elliott followed it up by qualifying his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports machine to the pole. He led the first 12 laps of the race before surrendering the lead before the stage break to pit and preserve track position for Stage 2. Chase Briscoe stayed out and won the stage.

Elliott restarted Stage 2 from the lead and up until Lap 28. Again, Elliott pitted before the stage break to preserve track position for Stage 3. Ryan Blaney, who is winless and in need of playoff points, stayed out and won the stage.

Elliott lined up alongside Reddick to begin Stage 3 and pulled away. On Lap 43, both cars pulled onto pit road for their final stops of the day. Reddick made up time on pit road and exited right behind Elliott.

Three laps later, Elliott overshot Turn 5 and Reddick passed him. Once the pit cycle concluded with 16 to go, Reddick had the lead.

Elliott hung tight with Reddick for several laps, but finally, Reddick pulled away for his maiden Cup victory. He crossed the line 3.3 seconds ahead of Elliott with Kyle Larson several seconds behind both in third.

(Photo: Mike Moore | The Podium Finish)

“I just let him stay close enough to pressure me there while we had decent tires and never could get enough of a gap,” Elliott said. “Made a couple mistakes. I was gaining a gap there a couple times and made a couple mistakes and let him get back close enough to get me out of sync. After that, just started struggling.

“These cars are very aero sensitive and even more so nowadays, even more than last year’s car. As the season goes on and everybody’s car has become more of the same and as we learn what everybody needs in their vehicles, every car is going to become the same manufacturer to manufacturer. And as that becomes the case, track position is going to become more and more of a premium.”

Despite letting a victory slip, Elliott improved his points lead to 33 over Blaney. He also recorded his 12th top 10 in 18 races and second top-two finish at Road America.

After the race, Elliott congratulated Reddick on his victory. Reddick became the 13th winner this season.

Congrats to him. I know he’s been super close to that first win, and I’ve been down that road and it can be a rocky one,” Elliott said. “I’m happy for those guys. They deserve it.”

TrackHouse Racing teammates Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to round out a top-five sweep for Chevrolet.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

 

Nathan Solomon is a sophomore in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. He serves as the Sports Editor for his campus newspaper, The BonaVenture, and as the programming director for his campus radio station, WSBU 88.3FM. The station is rated the No. 4 college radio station in the country by Princeton Review. Solomon started his journalism career in 2018 when he began covering hometown Cornell basketball for IvyHoopsOnline. In 2019, Solomon joined Empire Sports Media to contribute New York Yankees' content and started covering NASCAR for the outlet in 2020. In 2021, he covered his first two NASCAR races with Empire Sports Media. Solomon joined TPF in September of 2021. He is also an NMPA journalist.

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