Chase Elliott’s bid for a second championship ended up in a disappointment as the driver finished in the 28th position.
The 2020 champion’s attempt to capture his second championship went wrong on a Lap 200 restart, bringing a disappointing end to what was a very good year for the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 driver.
Elliott made contact with title rival Ross Chastain while trying to cut down through the dogleg. As a result, his car slammed into the inside wall.
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The driver was not in the mood to speak about the incident after the race and rather focus on the off-season.
“Looking forward to the off-season, and really proud of our team for the fight that we put in today. I felt like we just kind of peaked right there before we crashed,” Elliott said. “And I felt like we got our car driving pretty good, we just had our best pit stop of the day, so that was all really solid. And heck, we were right there next to the [No.] 22.
“I thought we had a shot at it all the way up until we didn’t, and that’s unfortunately the way it goes sometimes.”
Elliot had the most wins with five among the Cup Series drivers this season and was top of the points standings at the end of the regular season. However, the 28th place finish meant that he finished last among the Championship 4 drivers in the standings. This is his second consecutive time as a fourth-place finish in the standings.
The HMS driver was also in no mood to start thinking about the next season.
“I don’t really care about 2023 right now,” he said. “We had five wins on the season, and we had — you tell me what the stats are. That’s how you would assess it, right? I know we won five races. That’s more than we did last year.
“But do not tell me what the countdown clock is because I don’t want to know.”
While Elliott might have been unsuccessful to add a second championship title, he has managed to compete in the Championship 4 race in the two seasons since then. And given his age and talent, he will have a lot of opportunities come his way to win titles.