Chase Elliott put in just eight laps at Dover before his day was done.
The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet suffered an engine issue that saw Elliott, the defending Dover winner, drop off the pace coming down the frontstretch and limp back to pit road. Elliott’s car was subsequently pushed back to the garage and diagnosed as unrepairable.
“I just had an engine failure of some sort,” Elliott said. “Unfortunately, we don’t really know what it was just yet. It just quit running. It didn’t really seem like anything was off. We were just kind of making laps and then obviously had a failure. It’s an unfortunate way to start this round for sure.”
Elliott qualified fifth and will finish last in the Drydene 400. It will be his fifth DNF of the season.
By picking up a win last weekend at Charlotte, Elliott brought his playoff point total to 24. He entered Dover seeded sixth on the playoff grid to kick off the Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs with a 19-point advantage on the cutline. However, he will fall below the cutline at the conclusion of Sunday’s race.
Elliott scored two wins in this three race round last season (Dover and Kansas). The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway next weekend where Elliott led the most laps and won in the spring.
“I don’t know where we’ll stack up,” said Elliott. “I assume we’ll have to win one of these next few weeks. If you ever make it to Homestead, you’re going to have to win down there. I guess it’s a good opportunity to practice here these next few weeks.”