‘STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION’ FOR ELLIOTT
Sunday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway, Chase Elliott found the speed he was looking for in his No. 24 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet SS.
After starting eighth, Elliott advanced through the field in the first 80 laps for a third-place Stage 1 finish. In Stage 2 he moved up to second and then took over the lead for a Stage 2 win.
During the final segment of the race, Elliott fought to run with the leaders and ended up with a second-place result.
“From where we've been to where we ran today was a major, major step in the right direction -- frankly, where we need to be, where we deserve to be, to the potential we can run,” Elliott shared. “It was nice to see that we can do it if all things are clicking in the right way, car is driving good, pit stops are good, race execution was nice.”
Elliott’s runner-up finish moved him to sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs standings.
JOHNSON IN THE TOP 10
Along with Elliott, Jimmie Johnson also scored a top-10 finish at the tri-oval track.
However, Johnson spent the race battling the handling of his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS.
Johnson shared his thoughts on why passing other cars was challenging for him and other competitors.
“The cars are all so equal -- at least the guys from third or fourth on back, we are all so equal,” he said. “If you could get by somebody on a restart, that was really about it.”
Johnson’s car fared much better on the bottom lane throughout the race.
“The higher I would go, the looser it would get,” he shared. “I knew there was a lot of real estate up there to try to take advantage of, I just couldn’t make it work and had to chase the bottom all day long.”
Despite the challenges he experienced, Johnson took the checkered flag in eighth place, moving him to eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs standings.