Elliott Finishes 17th in Daytona 500 After Being Collected in Late-Race Accident
Chase Elliott began Sunday’s season-opener alongside his teammate Jimmie Johnson in the ninth row in 18th for the 61st running of the Daytona 500, and early in the race he fell outside of the top 25.
By the time a Lap 20 caution arrived, Elliott had advanced inside the top 10 as competitors headed to pit road for green-flag stops. After a stop of his own, Elliott gained four positions, thanks to the quick work of his NAPA AUTO PARTS team on pit road. He restarted 19th on Lap 25.
Joining forces with his teammates, Elliott climbed back inside the top 10 with 24 laps to go in the first stage, ultimately finishing the segment seventh to pick up four extra points.
Before the start of the second 60-lap stage, Elliott made a second pit stop to remove tape from the grille. That meant he restarted in 30th, but it didn’t take long for him to jump back inside the top 10 by Lap 75.
He moved up to fifth as competitors made green-flag pit stops before he made a stop of his own during a caution on Lap 107. Before the green-checkered flag waved to end Stage 2, Elliott fell to 16th.
The No. 9 NAPA team elected not to pit between stages, putting Elliott in ninth for the restart to begin the final stage. He dropped outside of the top 15 in traffic, and on a restart with fewer than 35 laps remaining he was pushed out of the draft once again to drop outside of the top 20.
When a caution flag waved for debris on the track with 27 laps to go, Elliott elected to head to pit road, restarting in 28th. On a restart with 10 laps remaining, Elliott was caught in a multi-car incident that began ahead of him.
The Dawsonville, Georgia, native was still able to take the ensuing green flag once the red flag was lifted, though another multi-car incident occurred that once again involved Elliott. When the race went green one more time with two laps to go, Elliott was once again caught in a multi-car incident that sent the race to overtime.
The damage from the final incident sent the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the garage, and Elliott was scored 17th.