Before last week, Chase Elliott had a reputation he wanted to shed.
In several races during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Elliott lost the lead on late-race restarts.
“The Chase Elliott of a couple of years ago got spanked on restarts,” Kyle Petty said on Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America.
Elliott put that behind him at Dover. On Lap 393, he stayed on track along with Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. while the remainder of the field pitted. Most of the top 10 cars on the restart had two fresh tires. Aric Almirola in sixth had four.
With four laps remaining in regulation, Elliott beat Keselowski on the restart and watched as a multi-car accident erupted behind him. The crash collected Keselowski and Truex, leaving Elliott as the only driver without any fresh rubber.
Elliott was forced to prove his new found skill was not a fluke. On a green-white-checkered restart, he held off the two fresh tires on the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin to take the win.
“On Sunday though, he did an outstanding job at one of … the most difficult places,” Dale Jarrett said of Elliott. “He’s on old tires … on a concrete surface but did two restarts almost to perfection.”
For more, watch the video above.