Chase Elliott rallies for top-five finish, says ‘my fault’ on Kyle Busch spin

Road-course king Chase Elliott never appeared to be a true threat to win Sunday at Circuit of The Americas, but it was still an eventful day for the series point leader — in more ways than one.

Elliott notched his first top-five finish of the year, and he also was involved in the race’s first true incident with two-time series champion Kyle Busch.

The first spin of the race came when Elliott knocked Busch around in Turn 12. Busch was running in 13th place and, after collecting his car in the gravel, was able to continue on — and he would finish in 28th place after a series of late-race incidents shuffled him back from the top five.

“I messed up,” Elliott said. “I got crossed up in the braking zone and hit him. Obviously, we were racing for last and probably weren’t even racing for stage points and I think he knows me better than that. But yeah, that was completely on me … and my fault.”

RELATED: Full race results

The Hendrick Motorsports driver is already third on the all-time wins list for road-course races and entered Sunday’s race as the defending race winner. He never led, but capitalized on the late-race theatrics between Ross Chastain, AJ Allmendinger and fellow Hendrick driver Alex Bowman to drive his No. 9 Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish.

The result allows Elliott to stretch his points lead to 13 points ahead of second-place Ryan Blaney. And although the fourth-place run was Elliott’s best of the year, he does have a series-leading four top-10 finishes.

“Yeah, I didn’t really have to do anything,” Elliott said of the closing laps. “They just kind of wrecked and they were out of the way, so I just kind of ran it on the road and I got a free couple of positions. I will take it.”