Chase Elliott knows firsthand how quickly one’s fortunes can change in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
The driver of the No. 24 was three laps away from a win at Martinsville two weeks ago – a win that would’ve automatically clinched him a spot in the Championship 4 – when he was wrecked out of the lead thanks to a “punt” from Denny Hamlin.
Now, only one Championship 4 berth remains after Kyle Busch won his way in at Martinsville, Kevin Harvick advanced with a victory at Texas and Martin Truex Jr. clinched via points in the Lone Star State.
Elliott enters Sunday’s Can-Am 500 Playoff cutoff event at Phoenix Raceway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC) 49 points behind Brad Keselowski for the final Championship 4 berth, virtually needing a victory to earn the final bid.
“I know we’re building a better race car and taking a few new ideas to Phoenix,” Elliott said. “We’ll go there and fight as hard as we can. One thing this team will never do is give up.”
The 21-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia native proved he can win at Phoenix in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ visit to the one-mile track in March. Elliott led 106 laps and won the second stage before finishing 12th due to some shuffling on a late restart.
In his two previous starts at Phoenix, Elliott finished eighth (March 2016) and ninth (November 2016). His average finish in three career Phoenix starts is 9.7.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILLL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!