Elliott, Keselowski anchor Chase grid leaving Kansas
October 17, 2016
Finishes off of the lead lap for Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski at Kansas Speedway leave the two drivers trailing the Chase cutline entering the elimination race for the Round of 12.
Elliott and Keselowski, who finished 31st and 38th respectively in the Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday, have the largest points deficits to make up next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway among the drivers still eligible to advance to the Round of 8.
Keselowski’s wreck on the frontstretch on lap 190 caused enough damage to have the 2012 Sprint Cup champion DNF for the first time this season and for the first time since the 2015 Daytona 500, 66 races ago.
Keselowski, 11th in driver’s standings, unofficially sits seven points behind teammate Joey Logano, who holds the eighth position in points.
Keselowski won the Talladega race in October of 2014. Entering that race, he was tenth in driver’s standings, 19 points behind the Chase cutline.
“I don't think it is a must-win situation,” Keselowski said in reference to Talladega. “I am not worried about it. I am going to go there and bust my butt to try to win but I don't think it is a must win yet.”
For rookie-of-the-year candidate Elliott, tire problems during the Hollywood Casino 400’s final green flag run Sunday dropped him off the lead lap for the second consecutive race.
Elliott is 12th in driver’s standings, and an unofficial deficit of 25 points separates him from the final advancing-eligible position. Finishes of 33rd and 31st through the Round of 12’s first two races have relegated the driver to the lowest position among Chase eligible drivers.
In his only Talladega start (May 2016) in the Sprint Cup Series, Elliott started from pole and finished fifth.
“I just will go there, and race our hearts out and try to win, I guess,” he said. “That’s about all we can do, I guess.
“We have something to be proud of in the way we have been running. There are just some things we can’t control. I don't know how to fix that stuff, but I appreciate so hard. These guys deserve better... We are bummed, but what do you do. You just have to move on.”