CONCORD, N.C. – With the laps winding down Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott looked to have a top-10 finish in-hand and was tracking down a top-five result.
Then, a competitor hit the wall in front of him and there wasn’t enough time to maneuver out of the way.
“Just barely clipped him,” Elliott said. “I just hate it.”
Elliott made contact with the competitor, and the damage to the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ultimately ended his day.
He also reported over the radio that his shoulder hurt after the incident, though it was already feeling better by the time he spoke with the media.
“It popped really big there – my hand kind of got caught in the wheel,” he explained. “Then I got to messing with it after and it popped really big again, so all good now and move on to Richmond.”
After earning stage points with fifth- and seventh-place finishes in Stages 1 and 2, respectively, Elliott was scored 36th and is now 14th in the playoff standings, nine points below the cutoff line.
A silver lining for the No. 9 team was that several other playoff drivers had issues or were caught up in incidents.
“So many guys fell out today,” Elliott said. “I feel like half the top 16 has crashed. So, we’ve just got to finish, I guess.”
Even with the disappointing result, the driver was pleased with what the No. 9 team brought to the racetrack as the postseason began.
“It just puts us in a hole to start,” he said. “We’ll try to rebound next week. We had a really good car today.”