Chase Elliott looks down.
Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Chase Elliott Not Thrilled With Lap Traffic at End of Verizon 200 at Indianapolis

Chase Elliott took issue at the Verizon 200 over lack of respect regarding lap traffic from one driver in particular: Mike Rockenfeller.

Chase Elliott looked to have a car that could've gotten past Michael McDowell in the closing laps of Sunday's Verizon 200 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He got to within a second but ran out of time.

Elliott's biggest issue was the lack of respect from lap traffic — and one driver in particular, as Elliott wasn't too happy with Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 42 Chevy.

Elliott had a chat afterward with Rockenfeller, who had replaced Noah Gragson as the driver of the car. Elliott took issue with how hard Rockenfeller and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who were both a lap down, were racing for position right ahead of him. Elliott felt their battle ultimately cost him a chance at catching McDowell for the win.

Sportsnaut's Matt Weaver was able to get a photo of Elliott and Rockenfeller's discussion.

Rockenfeller later caught up with the media and shared that the incident with Elliott was incidental but that he was well aware it occurred at a crucial time of the race. He was very apologetic toward Elliott.

"I apologize if I cost him maybe a second or so there in the race," Rockenfeller said.

Whether Rockenfeller or Stenhouse cost Elliott the time he needed to catch McDowell, we will never know. But for a driver who has had a number of mountains to climb this season, this feels like the one that got away.

He still has Watkins Glen next up, but the pressure to win is real. Heading back to the site of his first Cup win, Elliott seems to be the most optimistic he has been all season.

He's been very close, with all the top 5 finishes he's had on the road courses. And he clearly had a car capable of winning on Sunday, although it wasn't meant to be. His chances of making the playoffs are all but over, but a walk-off win at Watkins Glen isn't beyond reality.

MORE: Chase Elliott Sounds Off on 2023 Winless Streak