Elliott gets redemption from 2017, gets elusive Dover win - 47abc

Tanya Simon
October 10, 2018

Last weekend's Round of 12 opener last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway saw Busch battle handling woes at the Monster Mile and run as far back at 17th before making a miraculous recovery late in the race and salvaging an unlikely eighth-place finish.

Elliott was passed by victor Kyle Busch with two laps left in the race and fell to 0-for-70 in his career.

But Almirola's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, smacked the Turn 4 wall on Lap 392 of a scheduled 400, bringing out the caution and sending some cars down pit road - including Almirola.

Johnson, who holds the Dover record with 11 wins, was an early hit when he dropped off 12 kids' bikes at Martin Truex Jr's hauler as an apology of sorts for triggering a wreck last week at Charlotte that denied both drivers a shot at a win.

Joey Logano finished third, followed by Erik Jones and Kurt Busch. "I'm frustrated with our day, obviously". Harvick swept the first two stages, as he had done during his June victory at the Monster Mile and appeared headed for another flawless afternoon, but the 2014 series champion had to return to pit road under green for an extra tire change after a flying lug nut knocked the valve stem off Harvick's left rear tire. Eventually advancing to finish sixth, Harvick was short on words after leading 286 laps. Team Penske drivers Keselowski and Logano have combined to win five of the last seven races at Talladega. As I've said to a bunch of people, it was probably the toughest day of my career.

Elliott was the surprise victor in a race that had been dominated by Stewart-Haas Racing drivers. "It was his win and unfortunately his teammate had trouble and took him out of it".

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Almirola was clearly devastated at seeing a victory slip from his grasp. "Today just felt different; I felt more confident and I just felt excited about the opportunity instead of unsure what was going to happen". I'm frustrated and mad and angry. "The way the rulebook looks today, I think the teams and the drivers understand what it looks like, and I think we'll clarify for '19 with more specific language in it". He soaked in the celebration from his checkered flag on the roval at Charlotte.

Johnson, who made his NASCAR Cup Series debut 17 years ago to the day in 2001, had noticeable problems with his right front on the pace laps and was forced to take his auto to the garage while the rest of the field lined up for the start. Moments later, the Motor Racing Network reported from the garage that the No. 48 Chevrolet suffered a broken lower ball joint.

Caution Flags: 5 for 31 laps.

But as Talladega looms, Busch knows one lap, or even one corner, could change a driver's fortunes quickly. Good choice, Kyle Busch is a 3-1 favorite to win at the Monster Mile.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kevin Harvick 5 times for 290 laps; Aric Almirola 2 times for 64 laps; Kyle Busch 3 times for 21 laps; Chase Elliott 1 time for 11 laps; Brad Keselowski 2 times for 8 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Keselowski 190;K. Busch 191-194;K. Harvick 195-242;C. Bowyer 243;K. Harvick 244-320;K. Busch 321-322;A. Almirola 323-341;B.

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