Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott finished 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway without any stage points. This continued in a series of struggles during the Cup Series qualifiers, and he responded with strong words.
“I did a really bad job all weekend,” Elliott told NBC Sports after getting out of the No. 9 Chevrolet. “Not driving the car as it needs to be driven, and not giving the information to fix it. Poor effort all round on my behalf.
“If you do poorly, and you get poor results. This is how it works. We have to go home and take it all in from today. We’ll see next week. I have to do a much better job driving the car to have a chance of it becoming important.”
The No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro driver went on and admitted that the Homestead-Miami Speedway is a different type of broker from Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which might help him bounce back. Although he said he needs to re-evaluate himself in order to put the team in a position for a potential win.
Elliott started the first three rounds with problems
Elliott earned several bonus points during the 2022 season by winning five races – each bringing five playoff points – and capturing the championship trophy for the regular season, which added another 15 to his race total.
The 2020 Cup Series champion had to count on these extra points during all three rounds of qualifying. A crash in the opening round of the Round of 16 at Darlington Raceway dropped him to 36th and dropped him near the cut-off line. Although he moved into the round of 12 after strong performances at Kansas Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Elliott then started Round 12 with a crash and fire at Texas Motor Speedway, which again exhausted his bonus points. He knocked out his ticket to the quarter-finals by defeating Talladega Superspeedway, but his frustrations returned at Charlotte Roval after a call from Tyler Riddick sent him into the turf.
Elliott got a chance to fight for his third straight trip to the fourth championship, but Team 9 struggled at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He started in 20th place and failed to put himself within reach of the top ten during any of the three stages.
Elliott lost key points at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
There are only two races left in round eight, and now Elliott has some work to do. He went from sitting at the top of the points standings to being third in the overall standings. He is now behind race winner Joey Logano and runner-up Ross Chastain.
Elliott is 17 points above the cutting line heading toward a track where he has six previous starts with three top ten spots and two top five. This includes the runners-up early in the 2020 season, although all of those performances were with Gen 6 Chevrolet. Now Elliott will go the mid-track with a different Chevrolet.
The Georgia native still had room for error at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, but he couldn’t take any more issues on the track. Denny Hamlin is only 11 points behind him while William Byron is only 17 points behind. One mistake could open the door for either of those drivers or anyone else below the cut-off line.
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