By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on October 1, 2017 | 6:32 P.M. EST
“I couldn’t have had it any easier. It ran green from the stage break all the way to the end. And, I gave it away.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Chase Elliott came up one lap short of his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Elliott had the lead until the white flag flew in the Apache Warrior 400 with a hard-charging Kyle Busch breathing down his bumper. But Elliott could not hold Busch off on the final circuit and he was forced to settle for second.
“I’m just so disappointed in myself,” Elliott said. “Golly, I couldn’t have had it any easier. It ran green from the stage break all the way to the end. And, I gave it away. I appreciate my team and their efforts today. The pit stops were great and they kept us in the ballgame. I didn’t.”
Elliott saw what appeared to be a sizeable advantage late disappear thanks to both Busch having a lightning-fast car and trying to negotiate slower cars on the track.
But that was little consolation for Elliott, who leaves Dover still in the playoff picture but dejected even though he’s come close to winning before only to come up short.
“Not as much as the disappointment today, so that’s man, such a bummer, such a disappointment for my team,” he said. “I don’t really have a whole lot to add.”
There was another positive for Elliott as Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also had top-10 finishes. Elliott hopes that rend continues as he makes a run for the title.
“Yeah, I mean, I hope so,” he said. “I hope. I mean, I don’t know. If I knew the future, I’d go lay some money down in Vegas or something, but I don’t know. So we’ll see.”