Chase Elliott’s Daytona 500 Hopes End Early As He Plows Through The Grassby Hunter Thomas February 21, 2016
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chase Elliott was running upfront during the Daytona 500 on Sunday until he lost control and crashed on lap 19.
Elliott, who became the youngest pole-sitter for The Great American Race at only 20 years, 2 months and 17 days old was running inside the top-10 at the time of the crash. As he exited Turn 4 and began to make his way down the frontstretch, Elliott lost control of his car and slid across the nose of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Carl Edwards.
After contact with Edwards, Elliott continued to slide towards pit road. When Elliott’s car transitioned from the asphalt, his splitter dug into the grass and destroyed the front end. Regan Smith also spun trough the tri-oval, but he was able to save his car from making any contact with the wall.
“I’m not sure, just got turned around there off of four,” Elliott said. “Got in the middle and got loose. Lost it and spun out. I hate it for everybody at less than 20 laps in and have something dumb like that happen. I apologize to my guys. We will try and get back out there I guess and make some laps.”
The Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet had to be towed back to the garage area. Elliott was making his first appearance in the prestigious race. He led the first three laps of the race, but now the team will look ahead to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend.
“I hate it-it had been such a fun week and you hate to end the race before it even got started,” Elliott said. “Just disappointed for everybody. We will just have to look past it and get on for Atlanta. That is the most important thing now. Can’t get caught up in what happened today, it is irrelevant now. We’ll try and get it fixed and make some laps. Then it’s on to Atlanta and if we can make some laps we will and move forward from here.”
The Dawsonville, Georgia native has never competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but he does have two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts there. Elliott finished fifth in both races and led 36 laps between the two.
UPDATE: Chase Elliott has returned to the track during the Daytona 500.
Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images