This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Kevin Harvick may have dominated Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway, but it was Chase Elliott who took advantage of others' problems to come out on top in an overtime finish. The win was his second of the season and assures his spot among the final eight championship contenders to relieve him of the pressure other playoff contenders will feel heading to Talladega Superspeedway this week. Elliott led just 11 of the race's 404 laps, but the final one could have been the most important of his season so far.
Two races remain in the second round of playoffs, and drivers coming out of Dover with work to do include Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman. Both Bowyer and Almirola looked likely to exit Dover with their playoff hopes in good stead, but late problems dropped both into the danger zone ahead of Talladega. All but Elliott will now look to the second race of the second round of playoffs with a bit of dread as the unknowns of restrictor-plate racing will impact their ability to advance in the championship battle.
Chase Elliott – By remaining consistent and continuing to fight throughout the afternoon, Chase became the first driver to guarantee his spot among the final eight championship contenders. The Hendrick Motorsports driver was not the fastest car through the weekend but did enough to stay in contact with the sharp end of the field. That effort paid off, as he was able to take advantage