Chase Elliott captured his third career win and second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Elliott took advantage of a late race pit road speeding penalty by Kevin Harvick and led the last 44 laps to score the win.
“We were lucky with Kevin’s mistake,” Elliott said. “I thought we were pretty evenly matched. Wish we could’ve raced him straight up, obviously. We had a great car today.”
Elliott continued his second half of the season hot streak and was in position to take advantage of the opportunity Harvick left open.
“I obviously got lucky with Kevin having his penalty,” Elliott said. “Thought we were really, really equally matched there. Wish we could have raced him straight up, obviously. Had a great car today. … It’s been a great couple of months. Got to keep it rolling. This is the time of year that counts.”
Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Alex Bowman and Aric Almirola completed the first 10 finishers.
See Also: Four In for SHR after Trying Day
Joey Logano and Harvick won the first two stages. Stage Points
Four drivers were eliminated from the playoffs after Sunday’s race with Blaney, Keselowski, Larson and Bowman missing the cut (Read More).
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins the Round of 8 next Sunday with the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
How Elliott Won: Harvick appeared to be in control and cruising to an eighth win of the season and a sweep of Kansas in 2018. Until his ill-fated trip to pit road on the final round of stops. He was pegged for speeding after leading 76 laps and Elliott capitalized on the opportunity to seize the top spot and held off Kyle Busch the rest of the way for the win.
Who Had a Good Day: Kyle Busch has finished in the top 10 in his last eight MENCS Kansas starts…Larson finished top five in both races at Kansas in 2018 despite starting in the rear in both races. Sunday he was in a backup car at the rear of the field after a crash in Friday’s practice session…Truex Jr. has finished top five in the last four races at Kansas, only his fourth top-10 finish in the last 10 races of 2018.
Who Had a Bad Day: After dominating at Talladega a week ago, Stewart-Haas Racing drivers had a variety of penalties including Harvick speeding on pit road along with Kurt Busch and an uncontrolled tire penalty for Almirola…Blaney finished just six points below the cutline and made some contact with the wall late to slow his charge to the front.
What Else Happened: Mistakes on pit road defined this race especially in the late going when Kevin Harvick was dominating until he sped on pit road. On track drivers did their best to make something happen passing-wise but that worked only in the highest groove, which proved treacherous with several drivers making contact with the wall. By Kansas playoff standards Sunday’s race was a bit on the tame side from recent years.
Quotable: “A good day to have a good day,” Clint Bowyer before the race at his home track. He would go on to finish 13th.
Notables: Elliott won two of three races in the Round of 12, his only two playoff wins…Elliott was the 15th different Kansas race winner…It was the 252nd win for Hendrick Motorsports.