Chase Elliott had an impressive weekend at Loudon coming up with a top-five finish to give him a solid point’s day. Elliott let 23 laps to add to his good performance.
The young driver out of Dawsonville, Georgia could slowly start shutting critics down with more consistent runs up front. In his fourth year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Elliott has yet to win a race with numerous second-place finishes throughout his career.
The performance at Loudon gave the driver some optimism as we move closer to the Playoffs. Elliott did not expect to have that good of a run going into Sunday’s race. There was a lot of work put into the car overnight because of struggles they had in Saturday’s final practice.
“I was shocked, to be honest with you, that we ran even that good,” he said. Our whole NAPA group did a great job overnight. I really have no idea where that came from. I hope it wasn’t dumb luck. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling because it’s really nice to be able to go up there and lead some laps. I know it wasn’t the right part of the race, but still, leading laps for us is big compared to what we’ve been doing.”
Elliott was the best running Chevy along with Ryan Newman. These type of runs can help the driver get more confidence in himself even when he feels that he does not have the best car.
Not winning a race yet, has Elliott 15th in the Playoff standings, being 95 points to the good. The top-five finish on Sunday helped him extend his lead but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Elliott needs to have more consistent runs up front to make sure he can hold on to a Playoff spot. The next few weeks are going to be crucial and will show a lot about his team.
The driver of the No. 9 Napa Chevrolet Camaro has some hungry drivers behind him trying to take that spot away from him. It is important to note, that if we have multiple first-time winners in the coming weeks, his Playoff spot could be gone.
As mentioned, running up front is important for the team, but a win is something they are looking for to secure the ticket for this year’s Playoffs. The next six weeks can show us plenty of strength for the No. 9 team, or be a big letdown to Hendrick Motorsports and their fan base if they fail to qualify for the Playoffs.
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