Chase Elliott recovered from a costly mistake to win NASCAR’s first elimination race and advance into the second round of the playoffs.
NASCAR’s second trip to The Roval, a hybrid road course and oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, was sloppy from start to finish on a scorching hot Sunday. Temperatures inside the cars hovered near 120 degrees during a late red-flag stoppage.
Elliott passed Kevin Harvick on the inside as they raced through a chicane with five laps remaining to earn his third victory of the season. Earlier in the race, he locked his brakes on a restart as the leader and drove directly into a tire barrier.
He celebrated the win by returning his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the same tire barrier, nosing it in and burning his tires in white, billowy puffs.
The attention was on the bottom of the 16-driver championship field to see which four drivers would be eliminated from the playoffs. Ryan Newman gave away his chance at advancing when he missed a chicane trying to hold off Aric Almirola.
It allowed Almirola to pass him, cost Newman a point that swung in Alex Bowman’s favor and earned Bowman a spot in the second round.
Newman, Almirola, Kurt Busch and Erik Jones were eliminated from the playoffs.