Chase Elliott Has Strong Words After More NASCAR Playoff Struggles

Chase Elliott

Getty Chase Elliott was not happy with his performance.

Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott finished 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway without any stage points. This continued a streak of struggles during the Cup Series playoffs, and he responded with strong words.

“I did a really bad job all weekend,” Elliott told NBC Sports after exiting the No. 9 Chevrolet. “Not driving the car like it needs to be driven, not giving the information to fix it. All-around poor effort on my behalf.

“You perform that poorly, you get poor results. That’s how it works. We’ve got to get home and digest everything from today. We’ll see next week. I’ve got to do a lot better job driving the vehicle to have a chance for it to even matter.”

The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro continued and acknowledged that Homestead-Miami Speedway is a different type of intermediate than Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which could help him rebound. Though he said that he needs to re-evaluate himself in order to put the team in a position for a potential win.

Elliott Started the First 3 Rounds With Issues

Chase Elliott

GettyChase Elliott (left) used up his bonus points once again.

Elliott secured numerous bonus points during the 2022 season by winning five races — with each bringing five playoff points — and capturing the regular-season championship trophy, which added another 15 to his total.

The 2020 Cup Series champion has had to rely on these extra points during all three rounds of the playoffs. A crash in the Round of 16 opener at Darlington Raceway relegated him to a 36th-place finish and dropped him near the cutline. Though he moved on to the Round of 12 after strong performances at Kansas Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.

Elliott then started the Round of 12 with a crash and a fire at Texas Motor Speedway, which used up his bonus points once again. He punched his ticket to the Round of Eight with a win at Talladega Superspeedway, but his frustrations returned at the Charlotte Roval after contact from Tyler Reddick sent him spinning through the grass.

Elliott had an opportunity to fight for his third consecutive trip to the championship four, but the No. 9 team struggled at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He started 20th and failed to put himself within reach of the top 10 during any of the three stages.

Elliott Lost Key Points at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

There are only two races remaining in the Round of Eight, and now Elliott has some work to do. He went from sitting atop the points standings to third overall. He is now behind race-winner Joey Logano and runner-up Ross Chastain.

Elliott is 17 points above the cutline heading toward a track where he has six previous starts with three top-10 finishes and two top-fives. This includes a runner-up early in the 2020 season. Though all of these performances were with the Gen 6 Chevrolet. Now Elliott will take on the intermediate track with a different Chevrolet.

The Georgia native still has some room for error heading toward Homestead-Miami Speedway, but he can ill afford any more issues on the track. Denny Hamlin is only 11 points behind him while William Byron is only 17 points back. One mistake could open up the door for either of these drivers or anyone else below the cutline.

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