Elliott blames himself for latest crash during break in Indy

BY AP • July 6, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) A few days and a few replay reviews have given Chase Elliott a new perspective on last weekend's crash at Daytona.

Now he believes there's only one driver to fault.

''I'll take the blame,'' Elliott said Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ''I don't have an issue with it.''

That's a stark contrast to Elliott's profanity-laced tirade on the radio Saturday night. Back then, Elliott let his Hendricks Motorsports team know exactly who he thought was responsible for the contact - Michael McDowell.

McDowell fired back Wednesday on Twitter.

''I wonder if (at)chaseelliott watches the replays and realizes he wrecks himself,'' McDowell wrote. ''That is Twice now.''

On Thursday, during a trip to the 2.5-mile Brickyard, Elliott acknowledged what was said Saturday night came in the heat of the race and time had helped him reach a different opinion - one that may help him produce a better result at Kentucky this weekend.

It wasn't the first time Elliott and McDowell have tangled this season. They also were involved in a pit crash at Kansas in May. And, like many drivers, Elliott doesn't have a problem with a little controversy.

''My assessment in regards to Daytona is that you've got to keep on moving down the road but I do appreciate all the sponsor plugs it's gotten us,'' he said.

Another up-and-comer, Kyle Larson, remains the points leader, but many believe the 21-year-old Elliott could be NASCAR's next big thing.

Two years ago, he started five times for Rick Hendricks, prep work for replacing Jeff Gordon in the No. 24. The plan worked perfectly. Elliott won two poles, finished 10th in points and was named NASCAR's rookie of the year in 2016.

This year, while Elliott has endured some obstacles, like Saturday's mistake, he's No. 6 in points.

Elliott was visiting Indy to visit with drivers during the Battle of the Brickyard, a quarter-midgets race on part of the track's road course. It's sanctioned by the U.S. Auto Club.

Though he never competed in quarter-midgets growing up, the son of former Cup champion Bill Elliott did get to drive go-karts at the track that will host the Brickyard 400 on July 23.

Elliott has finished 18th and 15th in his only starts on the historic 2.5-mile oval. His father won the 2002 race.

Only one father and son, Al Unser and Al Unser Jr., have ever won races at Indy, something Elliott - or Dale Earnhardt Jr. - can change in two weeks.

''It would be great to win anywhere,'' said Elliott, who is still seeking his first Cup win. ''But it would be awesome to win here because it's a special place.''


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