In what was a third of three single-file-dominated races in 2019 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, Chase Elliott was one driver who refused the trend.
Jumping out of line nearly twice a lap in the final 10 laps of racing in Thursday night’s Gander RV Duel at Daytona, Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was seen advancing spots… before losing those same positions due to lack of support from behind.
And though the moves ultimately led to an eighth-place finish, the fans on pit road were seen fist-pumping to the sight of seeing a driver go for it.
“If [the drivers] are going to ride around the top all day long, I’d be happy to try the bottom,” Elliott said. “To at least make something happen for the great people who are watching here in the stands.”
A move of that caliber was attempted multiple times by Elliott, who, unlike Logano, had too many cars in between himself and leader Bowyer to make it work.
But he tried.
“I just didn’t feel like riding around the top all day,” he said. “I was trying to move forward and make something happen. I just wanted to try something, you know. Obviously, it didn’t work but I was at least trying.”
Showcasing solid HMS power and lack of fear, Elliott hopes Sunday’s Daytona 500 is a different kind of race.
“Tonight was a little different than what you’ll see Sunday,” he said. “We didn’t do anything… so we’ll see.”
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) February 15, 2019