CONCORD, N.C. – With three races remaining in the regular season, NASCAR’s 16-driver playoff field is tightening up.
As 13 drivers -- including Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne -- have won a race that virtually cements them into the postseason, there are three spots remaining to fill up playoff field.
Chase Elliott – who is seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings – is currently in the top of those three positions.
But he noted that “you are never comfortable” without that win under your belt.
“We are certainly in a tight spot,” he said. “I know we are one of the last few spots of non-winners that are still in. That is not a comfortable position to be in because there is always an opportunity for a guy on the outside to win a race and bump you back another position.”
With that in mind, Elliott said he’ll continue to aim for Victory Lane – as he does every week – but didn’t necessarily feel that he and the No. 24 team would gamble any more or less than normal in order to get there.
Ultimately, he just wants to make sure he secures his position in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
“We feel like we need a victory to feel good about it,” he said.
The next chance comes this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, where in his previous three starts, he has earned one top-five finish and two top-10s, leading 14 laps along the way.
The fact that the race will be run under the lights only adds to the driver’s excitement.
“It’s a huge event,” Elliott said. “It is more than just another week. The Bristol night race is one of the coolest races on the schedule.”
Saturday’s race is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.