Chase Elliott finished the Coca Cola 600 on May 30 in second place, just behind teammate Kyle Larson for his fourth top-five during the last five races.
“Obviously I would love to win, like anybody would, but we didn’t last year and we didn’t this year, and that’s just what it is, so onward,” Elliott said in the post-race press conference.
Elliott led the race for 22 laps, but Larson dominated Sunday’s action, leading for 327 laps. Larson’s victory gave Hendrick Motorsports their 269th all-time NASCAR victory, giving the franchise the most team wins in NASCAR history.
“I’ve said this over the course of the last couple weeks,” Elliott said. “Mr. Hendrick has changed a lot of lives I feel like throughout the course of his career and what he’s meant for motorsports I feel like goes without being said. He’s changed my life, and for that I feel like he deserves to be on top. I’m a little biased, but I feel like he does.”
Elliott and his number nine team did not waiver outside of the top five for more than a few laps for the entirety of Sunday’s race. Elliott finished stages one and two in second place after starting the race in third and finished stage three in fourth, gaining back his two spots for second place before the end of the race. Larson won every stage.
“We need to make sure we’re not just happy with where we are, we’ve got to get better, too,” Elliott said. “We’ve got to push, because May isn’t — that’s not when we hand out the big trophy. We need to make sure we’re on our game when it counts.”
“The only thing you can do is just look for more opportunities, be excited for another chance, and fortunately we have that next week, next Sunday, and the Sunday after that,” he added.
After Sunday’s race Elliott is in fourth place in the NASCAR Cup Series standings and third place in the 2021 playoff standings, behind his two teammates Larson and Byron.
Elliott returns to the track on Sunday, June 6, during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway. The race starts at 4 p.m.
“Sonoma has been a place that I haven’t done a very good job at I don’t feel like,” Elliott said. “It’s been a pretty big challenge. Looking forward to getting there, looking forward to another shot. It’s been a couple years — yeah, two years since we’ve been there. Been a little while, but looking forward to getting back and having another chance.”