Final weekend’s Dover race was definitely uncommon. For the primary 350 or so laps, the one cautions have been the stage breaks, and Kevin Harvick dominated. However typically issues simply don’t go your approach even in the event you led for a lot of the race.
At about the identical time, the “Big Three” of Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Harvick all had hassle on the similar time. Busch and Truex acquired penalties and Busch had points with his monitor bar, whereas Harvick needed to pit once more because of a unfastened wheel. This resulted in a mad sprint to the end that includes Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, and Chase Elliott.
This is a take a look at that WILD wreck that collected a number of #NASCARPlayoffs contenders. pic.twitter.com/GGSr2AoBqg
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 7, 2018
After Clint Bowyer bumped into points, it turned a race of technique on the finish. Whereas Almirola and Busch pitted, Elliott took the lead. What occurred subsequent offered a final minute plot twist as 4 Playoff drivers (Almirola, Truex, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman) crashed and arrange a duel between Elliott and Denny Hamlin.
In the long run, it will be Elliott, who stayed out, outlasting Hamlin on the finish and incomes his second profession Monster Power NASCAR Cup Collection victory. The win additionally moved Elliott into the Spherical of eight, avoiding the randomness of Talladega subsequent weekend.
.@chaseelliott takes the checkered flag and strikes ahead to the subsequent spherical. #NASCARPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/oBAvwNSrjh
— Phillip Bupp (@phillipbupp) October 10, 2018
As one of the crucial common drivers on the monitor, Elliott’s win resonated with lots of people. The truth is, Elliott’s so well-liked that his win induced the Dover Downs on line casino to lose cash on NASCAR betting. With sports activities betting turning into increasingly more accepted each in society and the eyes of the regulation, Dover Worldwide Speedway and the Dover Downs on line casino (which is located within the backstretch) took bets on the monitor grounds. Elliott acquired a bunch of bets because of individuals betting on their favourite driver and at 10/1 odds, the on line casino misplaced between $3k and $4k based on SBJ’s Adam Stern. Given his current enchancment and the truth that he’s peaking on the proper time, it might be a superb choice to guess on Elliott to win this yr’s championship.
The Comeback spoke to Chase Elliott about his Dover win. We mentioned the way it felt to win in entrance of Rick Hendrick and the way he’s the one one who doesn’t have to fret about winning at Talladega.
(Observe: Interview has been edited for readability.)
Chase Elliott goes out to apply. (Credit score: Phillip Bupp)
Phillip Bupp: First off, congrats on the win. How did it really feel that you simply didn’t have to attend as lengthy getting your second win, as you probably did with the primary?
Chase Elliott: Yeah, it’s nice. Good to type of have a bit of little bit of momentum left over. I really feel like from Watkins Glen, and clearly with the Playoffs beginning, I really feel like everyone has type of entered a brand new mindset in these last ten weeks. And the depth ramps up. Individuals are definitely racing with a unique angle than they’ve all year long. So, it’s good to have the ability to type of begin that, and have an honest first few races. Had a superb run going, a few them, and never an excellent end result. However then be capable of begin this subsequent spherical, and with the ability to go forward and transfer on is nice.
You already know, to not should sweat all through Sunday (at Talladega) fairly as dangerous, and fear concerning the crashes, and issues taking you out of it’s nice. So, wanting ahead to the chance, and making an attempt to win some extra.
PB: Did this win really feel in another way than the one at Watkins Glen?
Elliott: Yeah. I feel, yeah, undoubtedly. I imply, I feel anytime you win they’re all, it looks like up to now they’ve all been type of totally different. And simply the circumstances have been definitely totally different. Final fall, having the chance to win Dover final fall, and for me to mess that up like I did, you recognize, and be capable of come again, and have one other alternative to win there in the identical race was simply good. And simply glad that I had the prospect to go, and do it once more ’trigger that’s not all the time the case.
PB: Did you are feeling such as you received a little bit of redemption this yr in comparison with what occurred final yr?
Elliott: Well, I felt like we had a chance to win, and it labored out. I simply assume you need to take advantage of your possibilities ’trigger who is aware of in case you’ll ever have one other alternative, or when that’ll come. Simply, yeah, don’t take it for granted.
PB: And regardless of your mother and pop not being there, Rick Hendrick, and Jeff Gordon have been. It was an emotional scene afterward. How was it to win in entrance of Mr. H?
Elliott: It was superior simply because he wasn’t at Watkins Glen. And you already know he’s, I imply, actually opened the door for me to be the place I’m at present. And like I stated there on Sunday, I don’t actually know the place my profession would have ended up with out him stepping in when he did. Yeah, he’s finished an terrible lot for me. He’s sacrificed quite a bit for me, and believed in me when lots of people didn’t. You understand, alongside the best way. And other people type of hunt for causes to not in my place. And I’ve all the time appreciated that, and I’ve all the time appreciated my alternatives, and attempt to take advantage of them. Yeah, simply grateful for him, and what he’s completed for me.
A winner’s welcome residence for @chaseelliott introduced by Ryan @Blaney! pic.twitter.com/wyi4Rv0NVT
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 6, 2018
PB: How’s the camaraderie between you, Ryan Blaney, and Bubba Wallace? You’re not teammates, and Ryan even races for a special producer however the three of you very a lot have one another’s backs, and are actually psyched for one another when certainly one of you wins.
Elliott: I imply, yeah. We’re definitely all good associates. And we take pleasure in hanging out with one another outdoors of the racetrack. However I feel all of us type of perceive the on-track stuff, and what’s at stake. You understand, I imply, all of us need to outrun one another, and there’s simply an excessive amount of on the road to offer an excessive amount of, or take an excessive amount of, particularly presently of yr from even your folks.
So, all of us perceive that. And I don’t anticipate something in a different way from them, they usually shouldn’t from me both. This isn’t a time of yr the place you fiddle.
PB: You’ve received a two-race winning streak among the many three of you. So, it could be a development.
Elliott: Yeah, hopefully so. Hopefully, we will stick with it.
PB: Dover has been an incredible place for you, and you’ve got an unimaginable document there. Statistically, it’s in all probability your greatest monitor. What’s it about Dover the clicks for you, and makes you a favourite for the win every time you’re there?
Elliott: I imply, to be trustworthy with you, I actually don’t know. They have been asking me that after the race on Sunday, and I actually don’t know why that monitor has been good to us, and what not. However yeah, simply all the time take pleasure in going there. I ran, I keep in mind operating some Okay&N races up there and I didn’t actually prefer it an entire lot then. However once we acquired within the truck collection, and began operating, I type of began to take pleasure in it extra. And luxuriate in it extra so on the Xfinity aspect. And I definitely loved it on Sunday. I identical to racing there. It’s a enjoyable monitor, it’s a great measurement, and difficult, it’s very bodily, and hard, and demanding. These are the sorts of locations you, as a racer, take pleasure in to go to.
PB: The Dover trophy is among the extra distinctive trophies in NASCAR. Do you’ve got a spot in thoughts the place you’re gonna put the trophy?
Elliott: I’m unsure simply but, however yeah it’s an excellent trophy. An awesome honor to have that trophy. It was simply humorous taking a look at that factor. I’ve realized Jimmie’s received ten or eleven of them at one racetrack. So, simply wild to consider that. However yeah, I don’t know, we’ll see.
Gold trophies which shall be given to winners in 2019 for Dover’s 50th anniversary. Credit score: Phillip Bupp
PB: Subsequent yr you’ve acquired the gold one. So, you’re gonna should go and attempt to win that.
Elliott: Yeah, I like that gold one. That they had it out on the driver’s assembly there on Sunday, and I noticed it. And I used to be like, “Man, I wonder if that’s for today.” They usually advised it was for their 50th anniversary subsequent yr. However yeah, that’d be superior. I’d like to have one.
PB: Now again to the race. Going into the subsequent to final restart, what was getting into your thoughts whenever you stayed out, and most everybody else pitted?
Elliott: Oh, I truthfully thought that staying out was the proper transfer there on the finish. There have been no extra laps that have been left. I used to be stunned that many guys have been gonna pit. I simply didn’t really feel like with, you already know, seven, 5 to seven laps left, that should you did have recent tires, you’d have the ability to transfer your method again ahead quick sufficient. So, I’m glad that these guys did one thing totally different, and gave us the chance to seize a win.
PB: Monitor place was that essential at the moment?
Elliott: Monitor place is all the time essential.
CHASE ELLIOTT WINS IT! 🏁#Di9 | #NASCARPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/Yc6n8GENvV
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 7, 2018
PB: For positive. My largest takeaway from the top of the race was, given your previous historical past of dangerous restarts late in races, you probably did put in two nice restarts on older tires, and drove away from everybody. Did something change that helped you enhance your restarts?
Elliott: I feel just a bit confidence. You already know, in having been in these positions earlier than. I definitely discovered classes the arduous approach, and had alternatives to win, and messed them up. So, you simply attempt to consider that stuff, and what you probably did improper, and what you might do higher. And should you’re positioned in these positions once more, what you are able to do to type of change your outcome, and have the result go your approach.
That doesn’t imply you’re not gonna make errors ever once more, nevertheless it definitely signifies that in case you are able that you simply’re acquainted with, you possibly can attempt to do higher, and by chance it labored out that means on Sunday.
PB: I’m positive now that you simply’ve been in Victory Lane, that sort of strain is off of you. I don’t need to say it factored in, however it sort of took that away for you to consider, and you might simply do the job.
Elliott: Yeah. I simply assume it simply provides you some confidence that you’ve somewhat little bit of historical past in these conditions, and have some profitable historical past there. Yeah, wanting ahead to hopefully being in that spot extra typically. And that’s actually the one solution to get higher is in case you are in these positions extra. And yeah making an attempt to capitalize on it.
PB: Ultimate query, I do know you talked about this earlier on. However what’s it wish to not be underneath any strain at Talladega?
Elliott: Yeah. Well, Talladega, you realize, it’s a, it’s nonetheless an essential race, and there’s nonetheless a number of factors to be gained. We’d wish to have some extra playoff factors. I feel this subsequent spherical is gonna be very troublesome as well. I nonetheless view Talladega as a chance to win. And positively good to not have to fret about it should you do have a nasty day, or get caught up in a crash, you understand, to play the factors recreation. However yeah, I’d nonetheless wish to go down there, and seize one other victory ’trigger we’d like as lots of these factors as we will get.
PB: Time to play spoiler, and hold the others from getting playoff factors, huh?
Elliott: Yeah, that’d be nice. That’s the aim.