Chase Elliott did everything in his power to catch Kansas Speedway race winner Kyle Larson, but a late wall scrape sealed his fate.
After passing Kevin Harvick for second place as the laps wound down in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 middle race at Kansas, it appeared Elliott had the speed to track down Larson. But Elliott’s performance was hindered when he scraped the wall on the exit of Turn 2 with under 10 laps remaining.
With significant right-side damage to the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, was Elliott forced to settle for a second-place finish?
“Didn’t really have a choice,” Elliott told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “Once I hit it (the wall), it hurt it pretty bad. Really proud of the effort on our NAPA team. We did a great job today. I felt like we had something for Kyle (Larson) there, just got the wall there off of (Turn) two. So hard to get up to him when you’re running the fence like that, just tough … every few feet you get closer, the harder it gets.”
As multiple playoff drivers had trouble throughout the afternoon, the runner-up result now places Elliott second in the points standings, 34 points above the elimination line heading into the Round of 8 finale next Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
With Larson locked into the Championship 4, Elliott’s sights are set to join him.
“It was a lot of fun,” Elliott said. “Really proud of the way we ran today. I felt like it was a really nice step in the right direction. … These are the types of runs you have to have in order to compete for a championship. Good time to be doing that.”