KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the third consecutive season, Chase Elliott is among the final eight competitors still in the hunt for a NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Thanks to a second-place finish in double overtime Sunday at Kansas Speedway, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 advanced to his third straight Round of 8.
“Fight another week!” he exclaimed to teammate Jimmie Johnson when the No. 48 driver came to congratulate him on the result.
Elliott entered Sunday’s Round of 12 finale outside of the top eight drivers in the standings, 22 points below the cut-off line. With that in mind, the No. 9 team viewed the race as a must-win.
“Back up against the wall, to come out here and battle for a win, that’s what you have to do when you’re in the position that we were in,” he said. “To be able to come out here and have to win, or in our minds have to win and come and fight for one and finish second I think is a step in the right direction for us. So, excited to move on.”
A second-place finish in Stage 1 and a fifth-place Stage 2 finished gave Elliott extra points in advance of the final segment, but he teetered in and out of position to advance in the standings even as the race went to overtime.
“You have to stay fighting in these things, especially with these late-race restarts,” the driver said. “So, just proud of the effort today.”
In the end, the runner-up result was enough to make him the final driver to advance to the next round.
“A lot of good fortune to have cautions when we did and to make the most of those restarts,” he said. “The guys had a heck of a pit stop on that last one to put us in the position that they did. So, it was a total team effort.”
He will now have three chances to race his way into the Championship 4 for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Elliott enters the Round of 8 with 4,024 points, sixth in the standings.
“We get to move on, get to reset those points, get to put these three wins that we have in the bank and use those points for this Round of 8,” he said. “So, we’ll go get ’em.”