Chase Elliott won the Cup Series race at Martinsville and booked his place in the final 4. However, the saying goes, ‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings’.
In this case, it was certainly not over, because he was under investigation for a pit lane infraction. The good news was that he was finally cleared, after quite a bit of sweating from his end.
Apparently, a jackman reached the pit box a little too early. Luckily, he had the presence of mind to get back to his station immediately. This was evidently enough for the race officials to clear Elliott of any wrongdoing.
Elliott said, “TJ [the jack man] made a mistake and he was heads up enough to go back and fix it. If he hadn’t done that, I don’t think we would have been able to win.” This is because there would barely be any time left to mount a comeback.
According to Elliott, the pit crew did a commendable job of executing instructions in the wake of the goof up. He also revealed that it was a new rule, though he wasn’t sure of when it was introduced.
Elliott was glad that NASCAR was in a bit of a forgiving mood, as it was an important race.
Of course, he would have been happier had the mistake not been committed in the first place, but was glad that his crew-man thought on his feet.
While he didn’t know the exact terminology, he knew that the crew had to get back to the pit wall. Elliott insisted that it was not a judgment call, and it looked straight-forward.
In the end, Chase Elliott was just happy that he escaped a penalty that could have robbed him of a final 4 slot. As things stand, he is looking to go toe-to-toe against Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski in next weekend’s finale.