Breaking It Down: What Happened to Chase Elliott in Martinsville?

After dominating the first half of the race, Chase Elliott came home with a disappointing 10th place finish in Saturday’s Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 at Martinsville Speedway.

Elliott looked like the car to beat at the start, as he led the first 185 laps and won the first two stages in the process. However, after losing the pit road lead to William Byron after the second stage, Elliott struggled to maintain his commanding pace and slowly faded out of contention for the rest of the night.

Elliott started from pole and showed no intention of looking back. He led the most laps to start a Martinsville race since Darrell Waltrip in 1980, but teammate William Byron held a striking distance the entire time. The two Hendrick Motorsports drivers showed from the start that they were the class of the field, and the race was shaping up to be a battle between them.