Chase Elliott was officially eliminated from championship contention before the end of the penultimate Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at ISM Raceway.
A crash on lap 167 capped off what had been a miserable Round of 8 for the Hendrick Motorsports driver. Elliott believes a cut tire is what caused his NAPA Chevrolet to snap around and hit the wall in Turn 2. He was running third at the time of the accident.
“It’s just a continuation of our first two weeks, unfortunately,” said Elliott, who will finish last. “I hate it for our NAPA group. We had a decent NAPA Chevy today. It was really tough in traffic to catch guys and then pass and whatnot. But I feel like we were in a good position to run solid.
“I’m not sure why we had a tire go down — I think that’s what happened, at least; it seemed like it. It’s unfortunate. Like I said, these last three weeks have been pretty rough. So, hopefully, Homestead goes better, and we can get prepared, get a good notebook started for next year.”
Elliott needed to win the Bluegreen Vacations 500 to advance into the Championship 4 for the first time. A mechanical issue at Martinsville two weeks ago and a crash at Texas forced Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson into a corner.
Of the three races in this round, Elliott’s best finish will be a 32nd at Texas.