Defending Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott four-race winning streak on NASCAR road courses ended after an eventful Sunday at Daytona International Speedway’s 3.61-mile circuit.
Chase spun with only six laps to go in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 after close contest with No. 11 Denny Hamlin and No.2 Brad Keselowski dropping him out of the top five and forcing him to a 21st-place finish in the end.
Elliott was among those drivers who pitted after a caution flag flew for rain on Lap 56, however he was unable to make up ground as efficiently as eventual race winner Christopher Bell.
“When you have those late-race cautions like that and you have a mixed bag of who stays and who goes, it‘s a bit of a gamble either way, I felt like,” Elliott said. “I thought (changing) tires was the right move. Tires won the race, so I think it was the right move. You get back in traffic and it just gets to be so chaotic, and then just depending on who gets through and who doesn‘t kind of determines how it‘s going to shake out.
“I hate it. I made too many mistakes. We went off track and it was just a bad deal. We had a fast NAPA Chevy and I appreciate the effort. I hate it for Corey. He ran me off there, so I thought he was going to take the lane again, so I went to cross him over and I think that time he was actually going to give me the lane. So, go figure. But we‘ll try again next week.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 21, 2021