Alan Gustafson Reveals His Plan to Make Chase Elliott “The Weak Link” Amidst Criticism from Hendrick Motorsports Fans

Published 07/08/2022, 9:45 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet) addresses the media in a press conference during the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum NASCAR Cup Series race on February 05, 2022, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Since Chase Elliott has been the sport’s most popular driver, his fans have their say when he is not winning. Lately, Elliott fans have brought forward the idea that Alan Gustafson should be cut as Chase Elliott’s crew chief. Alan Gustafson is known for working alongside some of the greats, including Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon. He also had a major role in Chase Elliott winning the championship in 2020.

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Crew Chief Alan Gustafson explained that his relationship with Chase is great. During a podcast, Alan said, “Yeah I mean Chase is great… he’s a super easy guy to work with and he’s a lot of fun to work with”

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“Our personalities mesh really well so, there is just no drama, just no extracurricular things that distract from our business and what we need to do and we get along really well and see things very similarly.” Alan also said he believes that Chase would share a similar thought.

Meanwhile, during an interview, Alan stated, “My goal is to always make the driver the weak link. If he’s the weak link, then I’ve done my job, the team has done their job,” Gustafson spoke about his pep talk with Chase Elliott during the weather delay.

“With him, it’s not an easy thing to do because he’s a pretty strong link. So that’s what I try to do and what I tried to tell him: ‘We’re done messing up and we’re going to get after it, so stick with us, bring your A-game, all will be good.’”

Gustafson’s overall strategy and positive synergy with Chase have been a key role over the years in grasping important victories.

How Gustafson’s decision gave Chase Elliott the lead to win at Nashville

After two delays leading into the race due to bad weather conditions, the race finally resumed at Nashville. But soon chaos ensued.

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Jun 26, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) crosses the finish line to win the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Minutes into the race, Alex Bowman crashed. William Byron limped into the garage, battling a steering problem. The team’s two remaining riders, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, soon found themselves at the back of the field, owing to a potential loose wheel and speeding in the pit lane.

Elliott’s loose wheel allowed them to make significant changes at the back of the field. All of which worked perfectly, as racing resumed in the evening with a much better grip. This allowed Chase to push faster than anyone else on the track.

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WATCH THIS STORY: NASCAR News Famous Country Singer Who Used to Be a Pit Crew Member for Hendrick Motorsports Supporting Chase Elliott in Nashville

He showed his strength by passing half a dozen riders on the lap 210 restart and ultimately, taking home the win in a spectacular fashion.

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Srijan Mandal

362 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Journalism and has been writing for his own blog, 'Noobs Onboard', for a while now, covering NASCAR, F1, W Series, MotoGP, WRC and the WEC. Following motorsports for more than a decade now, he has become a devout supporter of McLaren Racing, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Ayrton Senna.

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