Chase Elliott details the turn one mistake; Ghost rides car after win
With just 45 laps to go, Chase Elliott restarted from the race lead. He got the launch and was clear by two car lengths into turn one.
On restarts, the final chicane on the course was skipped. That gave the field a straight line into turn one, instead of half of the field remaining in a chicane as the green drops.
But, that means drivers carry more speed into turn one on restarts alone over a typical race lap. It’s easy to miss a modified braking point.
That’s exactly what Elliott did. He slid right through the corner and into the tire barrier.
Chase Elliott on hitting the tire barrier
“At the time, I thought we were done,” Chase Elliott said after the race.
“They were showing it up on the big screen. I could see it on the backstretch. I was looking at it, ‘Well, the hood isn’t that bad.’ “
“But, I thought the splitter was knocked up. If that was going to be the case, we were probably done.”
“Obviously, a really stupid mistake. I’m not sure you could do something more stupid. If there’s ever a notebook of things not to do, that should be number one in that book.”
“I hit it pretty hard. I thought it hurt it a lot worse than it did. But, it was just kinda cosmetic hood damage and didn’t bust the radiator.”
“A lot of times when you try to fix it, you can make it worse by pulling and pushing too hard on that stuff. Those are fragile areas. There’s really no support for the front fenders. After it leaves the front bumper, it’s kinda just it’s own piece of metal until it gets back to the A post.”
“That’s a fragile area that could potentially cause a tire rub. The guys did a nice job to put it together the right way.”
Elliott drove through the field
The crew went to work and repaired the car. They were also the last car of the leaders to take new tires. Elliott was primed for a drive to the front.
But, all day, Chase Elliott was making passing a bit different than most. He was making his passing out of turn 8 and out of the back stretch chicane.
That’s instead of under braking into chicanes.
“I think here, a braking zone would be a great place to pass. The problem with here, if you blow through the back stretch, you could potentially ruin your day.”
“The risk versus reward there, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Other places… If you try to out-brake someone into turn one. Well, if you blow it, you just run wide.”
“I think that’s a big reason why guys weren’t chomping at the bit to pull out of line down the back. Because we didn’t know if we were gonna make it by ourselves, much less, two drivers.”
Chase Elliott burnout in turn one
After the race win, Elliott returned to turn one. He placed the nose against the tire barrier that nearly took him out of the race. He revved the engine and did a burnout as the crowd went wild.
Elliott then jumped out of the cockpit. He ghost rode the race car.
“I was coming back onto the front stretch and saw that dang thing. I couldn’t pass this opportunity up to go an redeem myself a little bit in turn one.”
“Pretty excited about that one. But, I was proud of that one.”
“It shouldn’t have been that special. But, since I went out of my way to make it special today, I felt like I had to go back and see it one more time.”
The efforts gave Elliott 6 playoff points as they head into the Round of 12.