Jimmie Johnson, his champion teammate, walked over to offer some encouragement and let Elliott vent. Elliott - driving the vehicle Gordon did for 23 seasons - was leading and looking for his first career win when he had a hard time getting around Newman.
Elliott, the son of Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott, got the No. 24 Chevrolet caught up in lapped traffic and allowed Busch just the opening he needed to zip past for the win.
Kyle Busch passed Chase Elliott with less than two laps to go to win his second consecutive playoff race. At one point he led by over 4 seconds.
Gordon: "I didn't say you weren't". "Golly. I couldn't have had it any easier". It ran green from the stage break all the way to the end, and I gave it away.
Those races ended with unsurprising results: Martin Truex Jr., the series points leader at the end of the regular season schedule, won the opener at Chicagoland, while Kyle Busch took the checkered last weekend at New Hampshire. He won for the fourth time in the No. 18 Toyota and is streaking at the right time as NASCAR's playoffs head into the second round. Fast-forwarding to the final stage, Chase Elliott took over the lead on lap 340. He inherited the point and led 78 laps before his final pit stop. With 2 laps remaining, a hard-charging Kyle Busch made his way by Elliott and held on for the win.
"I'll definitely know who I'm racing throughout the week", Dillon said. "I was actually surprised he didn't".
Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Daytona 500 champion Kurt Busch and Brickyard 400 victor Kasey Kahne were eliminated as the playoff field was cut from 16 to 12. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 5. "But mid-week I'm sure they'll work through this and find the silver lining and move on and go to Charlotte". Gordon owns a stake in Elliott's No. 24 vehicle, which Gordon drove before retiring following the 2015 season.
Gordon attended the race and exchanged words with Newman on pit road. These drivers finished 13th, 16th, 14th, and 20th.
Newman was clearly frustrated after missing the playoff cutoff by just two points.
"We weren't good enough", Newman said after the race.
Elliott was crushed, Newman was irked, Gordon stirred the pot.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn't appear to have any business advancing into the quarterfinal round of 12 in the playoffs.
The victory is Busch's fourth of the 2017 season. The Cup Series has never had an 0-for-season championship season, never mind anyone who's ever been 0-for-career challenging for the title.
Newman: "You said it as a smart-ass". Jimmie Johnson: 3,017 points 6.
Dover did not disappoint as the first elimination race for the NASCAR Playoffs. So that's just on me, and he did a better job than I did.
Truex, Larson, Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Stenhouse are all in the second round.
"We got really, really lucky on that caution", Stenhouse said.
Elliott will go into Charlotte Motor Speedway next week with eight top five and 16 top 10 finishes.
"I wished I would have qualified better".
"We put on a heck of a show at Dover".