Win or Bust for Elliott

Chase Elliott

“It’s not the most ideal situation, but if you were able to pull it off it would be a lot of momentum moving into next week. We will give it our best shot and see what happens.” (Photo: Getty Images)

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Chase Elliott’s only hope of moving to the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is to win Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

Elliott is seventh of the eight drivers in the playoff standings and with just one spot left in next week’s title race he needs to find Victory Lane in order to remain alive.

“Our task at hand is pretty simple, we have to win the race to move on next week, everybody in here knows that,” Elliott said. “We know that and we are going to try to attack the weekend as best we can.  Hopefully, give ourselves a chance to do that Sunday afternoon and see what happens.  That is pretty straight forward what we have to do with the situation we are in now.  

“It’s not the most ideal situation, but if you were able to pull it off it would be a lot of momentum moving into next week.  We will give it our best shot and see what happens.”

Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney are ahead of Elliott in the standings but because of the point deficit he faces trying to get to the cutline, the Hendrick Motorsports driver isn’t concerning himself with either his position on the race track or his competitors.

“I don’t request information like that, typically,” he said. “If we were on the bubble and we were having to race guys, sure they would let me know, hey you are either in or out and obviously moving forward means you are going to be closer to being in and moving backwards means you are going to be closer to being out. 

“For us, it’s pretty simple, you either win or we are not a part of the four next week.  The points calculations this week are really irrelevant to us.  They are not to a lot of other guys, but to us they are.  It sounds simple just a matter of going to do it.”

Elliott continues to chase his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win. However he’s put together a solid year that began by leading the Daytona 500 in the late stages and then made the playoffs after a succession of consistent finishes.

While he’s proud of what’s been accomplished so far, Elliott remains focused on not letting his season’s title hopes end on Sunday.

“It seems like the Daytona 500 was yesterday,” Elliott said.  “We were just talking about this, this morning just how fast this year has gone by.  I would say similar.  I think it is definitely similar leading the closing laps of that race not really knowing what was going to happen and having a shot to win the Daytona 500.  Obviously, one of our biggest events I mean that could have been a huge day, but also right now is an important part of our season.

“A championship is huge and being able to race for one is an opportunity any driver would want.  Fortunate to currently have had opportunities to do both and have an opportunity to compete for a championship, still do have an opportunity, which is more than I could say a year ago.  Although some disappointments there at Daytona were definitely there and there is nothing I can do about that now, we still have a chance to go to Homestead next week and we will try our best to do that.”
 
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of Sunday's Can-Am 500, beginning at 1:30 p.m. (ET) - with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.  

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