FORT WORTH, Texas – Chase Elliott has heard you.
He’s seen the posts all across social media.
And he’s listening.
“To me, the message from the fans this weekend has been the best thing you can do is go and win one of these next two weekends and give yourself a shot at Homestead,” Elliott said. “I am looking forward to giving it my best shot.”
The driver of the No. 24 Hooters Chevrolet SS said it has been “encouraging” to see such strong fan support since last weekend’s incident that knocked him out of the lead at Martinsville Speedway with less than five laps to go.
But he knows his focus needs to be squarely out the windshield – not the rear-view mirror. So while last weekend’s run – and the way it ended – might serve as fuel for the No. 24 team, it’s not at the forefront of the teammates’ minds this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I don’t think you can do that and look yourself in the eye and think you have a fair shot if you have that mindset coming into the weekend,” Elliott said.
“We are in a position where we are not completely out from points. You could have some really solid weeks and get stage points and those guys don’t and potentially get yourself back in it without winning. It’s going to be really hard to do and I think you are going to have to be in contention to win these next two weeks, if not winning an event.”
Currently eighth in the playoffs standings, Elliott is 26 points behind the fourth-place driver, which would be the final competitor to make the Championship 4.
In the playoffs, Elliott has earned three runner-up finishes, a fourth-place result and 341 laps led. That includes 123 laps last weekend at Martinsville, where he was leading before the incident that left him with a 27th-place result, his worst of the postseason. His previous low came two weeks earlier at Talladega, when once again he was racing for the lead when an incident caused him to finish 16th.
In other words, Elliott has been at or near the front in nearly every one of the seven playoff races so far.
“I think that the way we have run is very encouraging,” he said. “I see no reason we can’t continue to have the performance we’ve had over the course of the first handful of races in the playoffs. It has been a lot of fun to run like we’ve been running over these past number of weeks. It is refreshing for me. It is refreshing for our team. It is exciting for our team to see the car that they’ve been working so hard on all week go and run well. I want to deliver them the things they deserve.”
And this weekend at Texas, he has a chance to continue that run. Elliott has finished inside the top 10 in all three of his career NASCAR Cup Series races at the track, and he has two top-five results.
“We feel pretty good about it and feel good about our car,” he said. “I think we are at a place where if we just can put together a solid weekend we can try and give ourselves a chance to win, which is pretty important for us at this point.”