Elliott: 'Step in the Right Direction'

Chase Elliott

"Just a huge step in the right direction." (Photo: Robbie Mays)

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JOLIET, Ill. – Chase Elliott started the playoff season with a solid run in the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Elliott got into the playoffs by virtue of the point standings as one of three winless drivers in the regular season. He was hoping to get off to a good start once the playoffs rolled around and delivered Sunday with his runner-up performance.

“Yeah, just a huge step in the right direction,” Elliott said. “Days like this are the days we are going to have to have.  There is no way around that.  I thought we had a solid day overall.  Our car drove good, it had pace, our pit stops were good.

“We had just a solid day all around. Our car was fast. We had good pit stops on pit road. I thought our restarts were good. They didn’t go our way, but they were good. Circumstances, I felt like, kind of kept them going the way they did. But overall, we made the most of what we could today. Without some luck, I wasn’t going to beat the No. 78 (Martin Truex Jr.). So, we did good today and we need to have more days like this.”

Elliott led 42 laps after qualifying eighth on Friday. He’s hoping Sunday’s run will be a harbinger of things ahead with the plethora of 1.5-mile tracks like Chicagoland on the schedule.

But in order for him to get any benefit, he’ll need to move out of round one and the next two races on mile tracks at New Hampshire and Dover.

His goal Sunday was to knock down a good finish overall. Mission accomplished.

“I didn’t have anything for Martin but our NAPA Chevy was solid,” he said. “It was a lot better than we’ve been. I think that’s a testament to this team and the lack of quit that everybody has. This is the time of year to go, and we gave it our all today.”

 

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