Chase Elliott had the lead after the last round of green-flag pit stops in Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and although Denny Hamlin was closing in, Elliott had the clean air and a commitment to the outside lane of the track.
Then, on lap 238, Elliott came up on Joey Logano to put the No. 22 car two laps down.
Logano took Elliott’s line away and continued to make life miserable for the race leader until Hamlin got around for the lead and cruised to the victory.
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The move by Logano was obvious retaliation for a late-race incident at Bristol Motor Speedway a few weeks ago. In that event, Elliott and Logano were battling for the win in the closing laps, when Elliott lost control and slammed into Logano, which crashed both drivers and handed the win to Brad Keselowski.
Following Sunday’s race at Homestead, Elliott did not blame Logano for his loss, instead taking the high road (perhaps trying to finally diffuse the rivalry?). Elliott shouldered the blame for not being able to navigate lapped traffic successfully.
“Just needed to get through lap traffic better,” Elliott said. “I thought our Hooters Camaro was plenty good enough to win. I thought we executed a really nice race. I kept it out of the wall almost the whole race – got it there at the end. I’m proud of the effort. We’re bringing fast cars right now and everybody at HMS is working really hard to do that. So, we’ll keep putting ourselves in good position, do a little better job of getting through lap traffic, and maybe we’ll have another sticker.”
Elliott cost Logano a win at Bristol, and while Elliott wouldn’t admit it, Logano cost Elliott a win at Homestead on Sunday. Are the two officially even? We’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, I doubt we’ll see them giving each other drafting help at Talladega on Sunday.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.