With just seven races to go in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season, the chances of Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman making the cut are getting harder.
So far in the Cup Series, 11 drivers have booked a place in the 2023 playoffs with at least a win and the other five positions are still up for grabs. However, still, the chances of the two Hendrick Motorsports drivers are looking bleak with every passing race.
Both of them missed a number of races for different reasons. Elliott missed six races due to a snowboarding incident. Additionally, he was suspended for one race for intentionally wrecking Denny Hamlin.
As for Bowman, he missed three races after suffering a fractured vertebra in a sprint car crash. Also, he was docked 60 points earlier this season. This has led to the situation of him sitting 22nd on the Cup Series standings, and Elliott on the 23rd.
Jeff Gordon, the vice chairman for Hendrick Motorsports, spoke about the situation and addressed their chances of making it to the playoffs. He said:
“I mean, I think Alex is closer than Chase is. I don’t know where that — I haven’t looked at the points after today. I know that we want to get wins. It’s sort of one of those situations where if you don’t feel like you’re capable of winning, how far are you really going to go in the playoffs? I know those guys want to win, but they also had some situations that got them behind.
“You get in any way you can, but it goes back to what I was talking about with the 24 team, about building momentum at the right time, and if you get it early, how do you maintain it. For those guys, if they can get some momentum going here quickly or find a way to get to Victory Lane, then it’s all about picking up their game when the playoffs come around.”
With every passing race, it will be harder for both drivers to make it to the playoffs on a points basis if they don’t perform well. However, the fact that these two drivers are capable of winning any race on a given day cannot be ruled out yet.