You’re not going to believe this.
If I’m being completely honest here, I was prepared to write off Chase Elliott as nothing more than an overhyped popularity machine that got to where he was because of his last name and not what he could do on the racetrack. In fact, I even wanted to address the article to Rick Hendrick and illustrate all the reasons why bringing Elliott to the #24 car was a mistake and will only hurt him in the long run.
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Sure, Elliott, who got brought up to the Cup Series after Jeff Gordon retired from competition in 2015, has won in the past and most likely will win at the Cup level but he still doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct to go up and pick up a win. Unfortunately for Elliott, that’s going to cost him in today’s Cup Series, where wins are what guarantees you a spot in the playoffs and also help you move through the postseason as well.
With that being said, maybe he doesn’t need that right now. In fact, maybe the young driver has something a little bit more valuable. Something that could propel himself and the #24 Napa Chevrolet team to a championship on consistency alone, which would be the first time in the history of the new championship format that someone won a championship without nabbing a win first.
Trust me, the things this kid said after coming up short once again to Kyle Larson at Michigan tell all that and more. Not only was his comments scary confident in himself and his team to perform at the top level of the sport, he even admitted to not being worried about the playoffs right now. For those that think that’s normal, please consider that there are only 13 races to go in the regular season and Chase Elliott is still not a lock for the playoffs.
“I guess you could get caught up in it. You can think about it, worry about it all you want,” Elliott told reporters after the race when asked about making the playoffs . “I mean, really, the people who run good, the people that put themselves in position are going to win, period. That’s the way it is. That’s the deal. You might as well just go ahead and count on the guys that consistently run well. You can pretty much count on them winning. “Wherever that shakes out, it’s going to shake you out. I think if you run well enough every week, you’re probably going to get a (winner’s) sticker before too long.”
If nothing else, it’s a little controversial in how he’s being so cocky about it. It’s almost like he’s tired of hearing all the buzz around him about how he hasn’t gone to Victory Lane yet, and he just doesn’t care anymore. He knows the wins will come, especially after watching guys like Blaney, Stenhouse, Dillon, and Larson all get their first wins at The Cup level and his content with consistency in the meantime.
What are your thoughts? Is it controversial that he isn’t worried about the playoffs and winning right now? Or do you admire the young man’s tenacity? Let us know in the comments below!