Chase Elliott wins at Dover to advance to third round of playoffs

Yahoo Sports

Chase Elliott stayed out on the race’s final set of pit stops to steal a win at Dover on Sunday.

Elliott inherited the lead after the leaders came to pit road when Clint Bowyer crashed. The race went green with six laps to go but immediately was halted because Aric Almirola got loose and crashed into Brad Keselowski.

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That wreck set up a two-lap restart and Elliott drove away from Denny Hamlin to get the win.

Almirola was leading when Bowyer crashed. Bowyer, a Stewart-Haas Racing teammate to Almirola, hit the wall after he pitted for a problem.

Bowyer’s caution sent Almirola and Kurt Busch, who was running second, to pit road along with a host of others. Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. stayed out and Almirola moved to challenge Keselowski for third not long after the green flag dropped.

The move backfired as Almirola’s car wobbled off turn two and collected Keselowski and others. That crash set up the final restart where Hamlin couldn’t chase down Elliott despite pitting for two tires under Bowyer’s caution.

Elliott stayed out on that caution caused by Bowyer because his team was trying to recover from a pit road penalty. The win is redemption after he was chased down by Kyle Busch in the final laps of the fall race at Dover in 2017 — a race that Elliott called the “toughest day” of his career.

“I just feel like I’ve messed it up so many times,” Elliott said. “I was like hey, here’s your opportunity to make it right and to do it right. I don’t know. Today just felt different. Like in those positions, I just felt more confident and just excited about the opportunity instead of unsure of what was going to happen.”

Chase Elliott now has two career Cup Series victories. (Getty)
Chase Elliott now has two career Cup Series victories. (Getty)

Kevin Harvick dominated the race

The race was Harvick’s to lose until a pit road speeding penalty in the final stage. Both Harvick and Kyle Busch got tagged for pit road penalties and had to serve pass-through penalties.

Harvick started second and won the first two stages of the race and led 286 of the race’s 404 laps. But he was unable to get back to the front of the field after the penalty and finished sixth.

PLAYOFF STANDINGS

1. Chase Elliott [Dover win}
2. Kevin Harvick, 3,101 points
3. Kyle Busch, 3,096
4. Martin Truex Jr., 3,069
5. Joey Logano, 3,064
6. Brad Keselowski, 3,054
7. Kurt Busch, 3,054
8. Ryan Blaney, 3,043
9. Clint Bowyer, 3,033
10. Aric Almirola, 3,033
11. Kyle Larson, 3,031
12. Alex Bowman, 3,009

FULL RESULTS

1. Chase Elliott
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Joey Logano
4. Erik Jones
5. Kurt Busch
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Austin Dillon
8. Kyle Busch
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10. Daniel Suarez
11. Ryan Blaney
12. Kyle Larson
13. Aric Almirola
14. Brad Keselowski
15. Martin Truex Jr.
16. Paul Menard
17. Ryan Newman
18. Jamie McMurray
19. William Byron
20. Matt Kenseth
21. Regan Smith
22. AJ Allmendinger
23. Bubba Wallace
24. David Ragan
25. Chris Buescher
26. Michael McDowell
27. Matt DiBenedetto
28. Alex Bowman
29. Ty Dillon
30. Corey LaJoie
31. Jeffrey Earnhardt
32. JJ Yeley
33. Landon Cassill
34. BJ McLeod
35. Clint Bowyer
36. Jimmie Johnson
37. Ross Chastain
38. Harrison Rhodes
39. Timmy Hill

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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