Smith, Wallace share fiery exchange on pit road
Smith loses his Nationwide Series points lead to Elliott Sadler
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Gaughan wins in thrilling finish at Road America
Gaughan earns first win in 98 Nationwide Series starts
Elliott : 'I had a chance and didn't get it done'
RELATED: Results " Standings " At-track gallery DOVER, Del. -- Hendrick Motorsports ' most consistent driver this season stopped his car on pit road at Dover International Speedway a top-three finisher, secured by an exceptional run amidst a thrilling battle in the closing laps. Before you jump to conclusions, we're not talking about six-time Sprint Cup Series champion and 10-time "Monster Mile" winner Jimmie Johnson . Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott landed his team-best eighth top-10 finish of the season, battling for the lead with eventual race-winner Matt Kenseth and runner-up Kyle Larson to finish third, his best finish through the first third of the 36-race campaign . "Unfortunately we couldn't be on the good end of (a great race) but proud of our effort today," said Elliott , now seventh in the points standings, solidly in line for a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth. "We really started a good ways out of where we needed to be. I thought we made a lot of really, really solid gains throughout the day to get our car better and better. " … Hate to not get the job done and be so close, but we'll keep digging at it and try to get a little better." Elliott , Larson and Kenseth gave fans one of the most entertaining finishes of the season, trading positions back and forth over the final thirty-plus laps with each potential victor offering a uniquely compelling story line. The No. 24 driver appeared to have the fastest car at times -- and he thought he may be able to pass the No. 20 at some point -- before eventually losing steam while battling the No. 42. "I mean, I felt like we might (catch Kenseth). It was just a matter of getting some clean laps and not having to fend off the 42 I think was the big thing," Elliott said. "When somebody's on your bumper like that, it's hard to put a real good lap together. "When you're racing around people, it just slows everybody down. When the 42 got into the 20, I was able to catch them, got a run on Kyle. Looking back, wish I had done some different things to open up some clear lanes and run different lines. Regardless, I don't think we were quite as good as what the 42 was there, and he did a good job of getting back by us, giving Matt a shot." While neither Elliott nor Larson were able to land in Victory Lane for the first time in their respective Sprint Cup careers, the show the young stars put on while battling with NASCAR's second-oldest full-time Cup series driver -- an accomplished veteran and champion in his own right -- was remarkable. The battle may have been a preview of the years to come. "I certainly wouldn't complain if I was battling for wins for the next 10 years," said Elliott . "It would be great on my watch. I don't know about (Larson), but that's the way I would do it. That would be great. I'd love to be in the mix for wins moving forward." Larson concurred. "Yeah, no, it was fun battling Chase there. I didn't see him much throughout the race. I knew he was lining up behind me there the last restart," the Chip Ganassi Racing driver said. "It was fun racing with him, though. We've had a lot of good battles through the XFINITY Series and even K&N (Pro Series). Hopefully we're battling up front for many years to come. Just looking forward to the future." For Elliott , a driver never content with anything short of a race victory, a win can't come soon enough despite Sunday marking continued gains for the 24 team. "I had a chance and didn't get it done. That's about as simple as it gets. … Doesn't really matter what I say. Till you go get it done, it really is irrelevant," Elliott said. "For me, I think I have a team that's capable of doing it. The way I see today, we had our shot, we had a chance to do it today, I didn't do it. "Either you do or you don't, and we haven't yet."
Larson on falling short: 'I'm used to it by now'
Kyle Larson talks after a coming up short of a victory in the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliott wins Sprint Fan Vote
The fans have spoken. Chase Elliott is headed to the Sprint All-Star Race as the Sprint Fan Vote winner. Danica Patrick finished in second place and also transfers into the Sprint All-Star Race to complete the 20-car field. "The biggest thing is just very fortunate to have some great fans," Elliott said after coming up just short of racing his way into the field with runner-up finishes is Segments 1 and 3. "Definitely really appreciate everybody voting and taking time out of their day to vote for us and get us in this race. Obviously wish I could've gotten us in racing our way, but fortunately have some great fans to do that for us." Patrick was appreciative of the fan support as well as she will make her third Sprint All-Star Race start. "First and foremost, thank you to the fans," Patrick said. "The only thing that would make this any better is if I could deliver a great finish for them and an exciting race and pass cars and make the car better for next week. "... It’s just even that much better to know that I have incredible fans that always come through. Don't think that I don’t see social media fans. And I see all the times that people said they voted for me. So, thank you very much." The Sprint All-Star Race, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Saturday night, awards $1 million to the winner. The annual rite of spring boasts an impressive history and plenty of elite drivers. The 2016 version is televised on FS1 with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Fifteen drivers had qualified for the event heading into Saturday morning's Sprint Showdown by virtue of either winning a points-paying race in 2015 or thus far in 2016, having won a previous Sprint All-Star Race or being a former series champion. Three drivers qualified from the Sprint Showdown's three segments: Trevor Bayne , Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson . The top five vote-getters heading into the final week of voting were, in alphabetical order: Ryan Blaney , Matt DiBenedetto , Chase Elliott , Kyle Larson and Danica Patrick.
Chase Elliott reveals Darlington paint scheme
RELATED: Buy Darlington tickets " '16 throwback schemes " SHOP: No. 24 gear Chase Elliott became the latest driver to reveal his throwback paint scheme for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Sept. 4, 6 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) via Race Hub on Friday. . @ChaseElliott unveils his @NAPARacing @TooToughToTame throwback paint scheme on @FS1 's #NASCAR #RaceHub . https://t.co/VA17ixUToP — FS1 (@FS1) May 27, 2016 The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender's No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will feature a yellow and black paint scheme honoring Elliott's primary sponsor NAPA Auto Parts and its delivery truck logo from the 1960s. The bottom half of the Chevrolet is a sleek black with the current NAPA design atop the quarter panels. The rear television panel includes white script reading "90 Years Strong" to celebrate the company's 90 years in business. Hendrick Motorsports posted a live teaser video minutes before the unveiling with Kenny Wallace at the organization's Concord, North Carolina-based shop. "We appreciate the support of our throwback program by Chase Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports," Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said in a release. "Chase's special paint scheme for the Bojangles' Southern 500 is one that fans won't want to miss on Labor Day weekend." This marks Darlington's second straight year -- in a five-year plan -- hosting a throwback-themed event for the famed Southern 500 event.