COLUMBUS, Ohio – Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet, finished 15th in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Columbus Motor Speedway on July 21. Elliott sustained a flat tire early in the race that left him still working to gain two of the three laps back for the remainder of the event.
Despite the misfortune, Elliott moved up to second in the 2012 championship standings, 22 points behind leader Brett Moffitt. Saturday night’s event will be broadcast on SPEED on Thursday, Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. ET.
Elliott started the race eighth, and five laps into the 150-lap event, one of the tires on his No. 9 Chevrolet started to go flat. As a result, Elliott was forced to pit under green-flag conditions at Lap 9 so the team could replace it with a new tire. The Dawsonville, Ga., native rejoined the field at Lap 14 and was three laps down. Five laps later, Elliott was able to gain a lap back when the race encountered its first caution of the night. Elliott remained optimistic and told his Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com team that he wouldn’t give up.
When the race approached Lap 35, the race leader and eventual winner Cale Conley lapped the tail end of the field, which meant bad news for Elliott who was trying to get the free pass. The race saw another caution at Lap 38, and Elliott, who was still two laps down, came in for a chassis adjustment to help loosen up the handling of the No. 9 Chevrolet.
On Lap 47, Elliott was involved in an accident with drivers Xavi Razo and Ali Jackson on the backstretch that brought out the caution. Elliott did not receive any damage on his No. 9 Chevrolet so he was able to stay out. When the race resumed at Lap 52, Elliott was running 22nd.
Elliott, 16, battled hard for the remainder of the race, and gradually worked his way through the field in order to gain as many positions as possible. As soon as Elliott gained some ground, an untimely caution would come out putting him back to the tail end of the field on restarts.
When the checkered flag waved at Lap 150, Elliott crossed the line 15th.
Elliott has posted one win, seven top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 23 career K&N Pro Series starts. In nine K&N Pro Series East starts this season, he has posted one win, three top-five finishes, six top 10s and led a total of 70 laps.
Next up, Elliott will drive his No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet in the Aug. 3 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination event at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Elliott won this year’s first combination event at Iowa on May 19, which marked his first NASCAR victory in his racing career.