Race Recap: Phoenix
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 HOOTERS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott started Sunday’s race in fourth, and it didn’t take long for him to find the front of the pack, leading 14 laps in Stage 1 before finishing that segment in third. He remained inside the top 10 in Stage 2, finishing ninth. He kept the progress up in the final segment, running eighth on Lap 183 and gaining another spot to seventh less than 10 laps later. That is where he remained after a caution flag waved on Lap 228 before Elliott needed to make a green-flag stop. He maintained his position off of pit road and restarted seventh with 77 laps to go. Thirteen laps later, he had raced his way back up to fifth. When a caution flag waved with 60 laps remaining, Elliott had passed another competitor up to fourth. On the restart with 55 to go, Elliott rocketed all the way up to second before yet another caution. On the ensuing restart, Elliott fell back to fourth but quickly got back to work, passing Denny Hamlin to jump back to third with a little more than 40 laps remaining. After another caution, with 30 laps to go Elliott passed Martin Truex Jr. to move into second place, chasing down the leader. And one lap later he did just that, overtaking Matt Kenseth to lead the field with 29 laps to go. With 10 laps to go, however, Elliott relinquished the lead back to Kenseth. He kept battling, informing his team that the No. 24 Hooters Chevrolet SS was now tight, but he wasn’t able to close the gap before the checkered flag waved. Elliott finished second, just missing a chance to join the Championship 4. It marked his fourth second-place result of the playoffs.