Chase Elliott's NASCAR championship pursuit once again ends at Phoenix

Chase Elliott's NASCAR championship pursuit once again ends at Phoenix

11/11/2019

Chase Elliott was denied a championship berth at Phoenix for the third year in a row.

Chase Elliott’s longshot effort to dramatically win his way into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship ended on Lap 166 when a tire puncture sent him hard into the Turn 2 wall on Sunday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

Elliott had spent the entirety of the race to that point in the top-five, exactly where he needed to be facing a must-win scenario. He was running third at the time of his incident.

Having finished 36th at Martinsville to open the Round of 8 due to a broken axle, Elliott found himself in an immediate hole and followed that misfortune up with a crash at Texas (32nd) and a crash at Phoenix (39th), becoming the first driver in the history of this format to have finishes in the 30s in each race.

“Yeah, it’s just a continuation of our first two weeks, unfortunately,” Elliott said. “I hate it for our NAPA group. We had a decent NAPA Chevy today. It was really tough in traffic to catch guys and then pass and whatnot. But, I feel like we were in a good position to run solid.

“I’m not sure why we had a tire go down. I think that’s what happened, at least; it seemed like it. It’s unfortunate. Like I said, these last three weeks have been pretty rough. So, hopefully Homestead goes better and we can get prepared good for next season and get a good notebook for next year.”

Elliott’s championship hopes have ended at Phoenix over the past three seasons. In 2017, he was crashed from the lead at Martinsville but came close to winning his way in at Phoenix before getting passed late by Matt Kenseth. In 2018, he was eliminated after crashing with Kurt Busch in the closing stages of the race.

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