The Latest: Elliott wins NASCAR playoff race at Dover
DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Latest on the NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway (all times local):
Chase Elliott pulled away in overtime and earned an automatic berth into the next round of NASCAR playoffs with a win Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Elliott was the surprise winner in a race that had been dominated by Stewart-Haas Racing drivers. But when a slew of issues took Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer late, Elliott was there in the No. 9 Chevrolet to pounce.
Elliott earned his first career Cup win this season at Watkins Glen and earned a bit of redemption from a tough finish in last fall's Dover race. Elliott was passed by winner Kyle Busch with two laps left in the race and fell to 0 for 70 in his career.
Now, he has two wins and a Cup championship still in sight.
Elliott was greeted in victory lane with a hug from team owner Rick Hendrick and retired star Jeff Gordon also was there to congratulate the winning driver. Elliott's father, Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott, was not at the race.
The top eight drivers after the next two races move on to the next round and Almirola, Bowyer, Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman are the bottom four after the first playoff race in the round of 12.
Kevin Harvick has swept the first two stages of the NASCAR playoff race at Dover.
Harvick has 14 stage wins this season and is storming toward a Dover sweep in the No. 4 Ford.
Stewart-Haas Racing has four drivers in the 12-driver playoff field and all four were in the top 10 through the first two stages at Dover. Clint Bowyer was second, Aric Almirola was fifth and Kurt Busch was sixth headed into the final 158 laps.
The race winner earns an automatic berth into the round of eight of NASCAR's playoffs.
Kevin Harvick has won the first stage of the NASCAR playoff race at Dover.
The race winner earns an automatic berth into the round of eight of NASCAR's playoffs. Harvick was about as dominant early in his No. 4 Ford as he was in May when he won the first Dover race.
Harvick and Kyle Busch are tied with seven victories this season.
Rain washed out qualifying and the field was set by points, putting the 12 playoff drivers at the top of the field. The stage ended with playoff drivers running 1-11 and Alex Bowman a lap down.
Jimmie Johnson, who has the Dover record with 11 wins, was forced to the garage during the pace laps because of mechanical woes on the No. 48 Chevrolet. Johnson's bid for a record eighth NASCAR Cup title ended last week when he was eliminated from the playoffs.
He eventually returned to the race 10 laps down. Johnson's race got worse when he was penalized twice on pit road and ended the first stage in 38th.
Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are on the front row for Sunday's NASCAR Cup race at Dover.
Busch and Harvick lead NASCAR with seven wins as the series shifts into the second round of the playoffs.
Stewart-Haas Racing holds four of the 12 playoff spots with Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola. Team Penske is right behind SHR with Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman are in the field for Hendrick Motorsports. Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing), Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing) round out the playoff drivers.
Dover marked the first race where NASCAR bets could be placed on site. The line at the kiosk was steady all morning and stretched about 40 deep an hour before the flag dropped to start the race. Busch and Harvick each had 3-1 odds to win the race.