Chase Elliott finished 10th in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings after making the Round of 8 for the third consecutive season.
Elliott, who has made the playoffs in each of his four full-time seasons equaled his 2018 season win mark with three trips to Victory Lane this year. His first win of the season came at Talladega Superspeedway and he followed that up with a win at Watkins Glen International and then at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in the playoffs.
"It’s always nice to get wins," Elliott said. "I just think having a few victories makes those tough days feel a little better. It still doesn’t change the result, but anytime you can get into Victory Lane it’s a big deal."
As in each of the last three seasons, Elliott needed a win at ISM Raceway in hopes at a shot of making the Championship 4. Unfortunately one of those tough days on the season came on Lap 166 when he had a tire go down resulting in contact with the wall. Elliott finished 36th in that race and ended a rough Round of 8 with an average finish of 36.7 in the three races.
"Mechanical failures happen, mistakes happen," Elliott said. "Even if they shouldn’t sometimes they do and there’s nothing I can do about than move on and try to learn from it. I do think we did a lot of it to ourselves and that’s part of racing, part of things that operation and are mechanical and things that function that can break. Part of racing unfortunately. Just a bad time."
The year Elliott set new a new career season mark in laps led with 601, surpassing his 2017 total of 560. He also set a new season personal high with four poles.
His Talladega win on April 28 was the first of five consecutive top fives, a streak that was snapped at Michigan International Speedway in June when he finished 20th.
Watkins Glen is now Elliott’s only track on the schedule where he has multiple wins. He dominated the race in August leading 80 laps from the pole and swept all the stages.
The final win of the season for Elliott came after he rebounded from hitting the Turn 1 wall on a Lap 65 restart as the leader. The team was able to make the necessary repairs and Elliott retook the lead with six laps to go and went on to secure his spot in the Round of 12.
"I would say it’s one of the most memorable wins I have ever had, probably one of the coolest things that I have ever done," Elliott said about his Charlotte win. "I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything like that ever again. The way it all worked it was meant to be, I guess. Not having a lot of damage and being able to continue that day. It was how I was hoping it would go but looking back on it I’m kind of glad it went like it did."
The start of the Round of 12 didn’t go as planned for Elliott after losing an engine on Lap 8 at Dover International Speedway. He then finished eighth and second, respectively, at Talladega and Kansas to advance. He came into the final race of the round at Kansas 22 points behind the cutoff and was three ahead of Brad Keselowski when the checkered flag flew.
"Well, we had some good fortune at Kansas," Elliott said. "I feel like we were in a position where we had to win that race and we were in a position to battle for the win. Obviously, we didn’t win, but things went our way enough to get through the round. That to me was a good opportunity for us to have our backs up against the wall and have to go perform."
In the end, Elliott finished the season with 11 top fives and 15 top-10 finishes.
"I feel like it was our best seasons leading up to the playoffs and probably our worst final 10…consistency wise," Elliott said.
2019 Driver Season Reviews