FORT WORTH, TX – Chase Elliott can still make the Championship 4 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year. If he wants to race for a championship though, he was to win next weekend at the ISM Raceway.
Elliott’s playoffs got weirder in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, as the Hendrick Motorsports driver got loose in Turn 2 on just the eighth lap of the race and into the outside SAFER barrier as a result.
His day was virtually ruined then. While they’d get his No. 9 Chevrolet repaired and back in the race, he was basically a non factor. He’d scored zero stage points and come home 32nd, 22 laps down.
Elliott, is now 78 points behind the cutoff spot, meaning he has to win next Sunday. Luckily for him, he certainly can do so.
This has been a bizarre postseason so far, why not a win to move on again?
He crashed on the Charlotte ROVAL in the first round but came back to win the final race of the first round and advance to the Round of 12. Then, a week later, just seven laps into the race at Dover, his engine blew. A week after that, he was involved in a midrace crash at Talladega but rebound for a top 10. A week after that, bad luck by Brad Keselowski mixed with a runner-up in Kansas propelled Elliott onto the Round of 8.
But, an axle breaking last weekend in Martinsville and now a crash in Texas leaves him facing elimination. Can he do what he did in elimination races in the first two rounds and get by to advance?
Elliott, has two top three finishes in his last four starts at Phoenix. I wouldn’t put it past him.