AVONDALE, Ariz. –With one lap left in Saturday's NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Phoenix International Raceway, Dawsonville's Chase Elliott attempted to pick up one more spot and move from third to second. But the driver of the No. 94 Aaron's Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet lost control before he could complete the pass and wound up in the wall instead.
Elliott started the event in the ninth position and by Lap 33, Elliott was up to third. On Lap 34, crew chief Lance McGrew radioed to Elliott that he was clocking lap times quicker than the leader.
Elliott maintained the third position for the remainder of the race until the final lap when the 16-year-old driver was closing in on the second-place car. He attempted to pass it in Turns 3 and 4, but he lost control and hit the wall on the final lap. The No. 94 Chevrolet received heavy damage, and Elliott was not able to finish the race. He was credited with a 17th-place finish.
Although disappointed, Elliott was given words of encouragement from Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick, who was watching the race from Elliott's pit box. "You ran a good race, Chase. Good job," Hendrick told Elliott over the team radio at the end of the event.
Next up for Elliott is his ARCA Series debut at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway on March 10, followed by the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on March 17.