I think if we can get the car good enough for Chase, he can win a championship, and he can win it th
Chase Elliott looked like a legitimate Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship contender at one point this season. He won at the Talladega Superspeedway back in April which sparked a five race string of a top five every week. Unfortunately, the June race at Michigan is where the momentum came to an end.
Following five straight top five finishes, Elliott had seven straight results outside of the top 10. Heading into this weekend’s race at the Watkins Glen International, Elliott’s last seven finishes were – 20th, 37th, 11th, 35th, 15th, 29th and 38th respectively. He was reeling.
Chase Elliott celebrates his Go Bowling at the Glen victory on Sunday
But, after the type of performance that he put on this weekend, his team owner Rick Hendrick thinks that Elliott is still going to be in the championship conversation this fall if they can get him what he needs to be.
“I think Chase (Elliott) has shown that he can win at any track,” Hendrick praised his race winning driver on Sunday. “He’s really good with equipment, doesn’t tear up anything. I think if we can get the car good enough for Chase, he can win a championship, and he can win it this year. So we’ll just have to keep tuning on the car and giving him good stuff like they did today.
“He’s just so smooth, so good, reminds me a lot of his dad. Knows when to race, doesn’t wreck a car, but he can be aggressive when he needs to.
“I think Chase is going to be a contender for a lot of years to come.”
Elliott, rebounded to be quickest in final practice on Saturday. He was fourth fastest in the initial practice session on Saturday morning. He turned that into winning the pole for Sunday’s race. That turned in to a magnificent performance where Elliott led all but nine laps in a dominating victory.
He may have not has as much speed as Martin Truex Jr. did behind, but he drove a flawless race when being pressured by Truex and still didn’t make a mistake. That allowed him to win at Watkins Glen for a second consecutive year and now has his sights set of turning this into another top five streak.
This is the time of year that he usually heats up too.
Last year, Elliott followed his Watkins Glen with two more wins and 10 top 10 finishes over the final 14 races. Nine of those 10 were in the top seven.
In 2017, Elliott had eight top 10 finishes over the final 11 races of the year including four runner-ups.
In his rookie year of 2016, he had three top four finishes in the playoffs.
If he can continue that, he can definitely be a threat come this year’s postseason.