Dale Earnhardt Jr Shockingly Reveals Joe Gibbs’ Grandson’s Superiority to Chase Elliott

Published 07/17/2023, 8:38 AM EDT

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With the Regular Cup Series nearing its conclusion- 7 more races to the playoffs, all eyes are on 2020 champion and HMS sensation, Chase Elliott. While NASCAR’s golden boy has had a troubling 2023, the #9 driver has sort of bounced back well. However, his playoff chances still remain bleak.

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Though Elliott could only finish 13th at the rain-shortened race on his home track, Atlanta, NASCAR’s veteran and NBC analyst, Dale Earnhardt Jr is still a believer of Elliott’s potential, saying, “I believe he can do it on points and I believe he will.”

As the NASCAR action heads to New Hampshire, Elliott is ranked 23rd just behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Alex Bowman. Veteran Dale Jr opened up about his chances, reflecting on the rest of the field eyeing the playoff berth. However, Dale Jr also made an intriguing remark when he compared Ty Gibbs’ chances to Elliott, citing the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s steady rise, placing the youngster above NASCAR’s golden boy.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr gets brutally honest about Chase Elliott’s playoff chances, placing Ty Gibbs above the HMS star

2023 certainly hasn’t been the best for Chase Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports. Encountering an unfortunate injury, sidelining him for 6 races, and getting suspended with a one-race penalty has got the 27-year-old in dire straits. And adding fuel to the fire is his inability to capitalize on opportunities. While the NASCAR nation is headed to New Hampshire, Elliott is still chasing his first win of this season to be in the playoffs.

Speaking on his popular, Dale Jr Download podcast, Dale Jr revealed the interesting discussion in the booth among the commentators with Dale Jr picking Elliott to get into the playoffs, essentially grabbing points on his way. Whereas Dale Jr’s former HMS crew chief, Steve Letarte, and Jeff Burton believe Elliott’s chances to be razor thin unless he wins.

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Though the JR Motorsports co-owner credited Elliott, ignoring his Atlanta run, he said, I believe he can do it on points and I believe he will, this weekend hurt my chances a little bit but I still believe Chase gets right up in there.” Junior also picked the JGR youngster and Joe Gibbs’ grandson, over the HMS driver. 

Ty Gibbs is interesting, this is a rookie learning, getting better improving every week if I’m one of those guys, that’s right around that bubble, I’m looking at him, he’s also got one of the top 5 best pit crews on pit road for average 4 tire stop at-26 with some smart racing, he’s right on top of that bubble line at the end you know when we get to the playoffs, said the 48-year-old. 

It seems there are a few factors where Ty Gibbs stands superior to Elliott, with his Pit Crew being one of them.

With the whole NASCAR nation eagerly eyeing the playoff entries, veteran Dale Jr also gave the polarizing 23XI Racing driver, Bubba Wallace a chance over road racing phenoms, Michael McDowell and Daniel Suarez.

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Going into New Hampshire, Dale Jr surprisingly picks Bubba Wallace over Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell

Much like Elliott this season, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace also is having a tough time hanging on. After a series of slumps early this season, Wallace also came back right around with a couple of top 5 finishes to keep his playoff hopes alive. Surprisingly, with 2 more road courses left on the schedule, Dale Jr picked Bubba Wallace over Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell.

The situation is more like a tripartite war between the three, with Suarez in front of the other two at the 15th spot and Wallace tailing behind the two at the 17th spot. However, Dale Jr believes the best yet to come from the #23 driver. He said, Bubba Wallace is fast enough and good enough to beat Michael McDowell and I believe Suarez in a one-on-one battle for that position but right now he is -3 looking on the outside.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Dale Earnhardt Jr and fans slam the NASCAR driver for their embarrassing “Logjam” incident at Chicago 

What do you think, will veteran Dale Jr’s bold predictions be right or will his fellow commentators, former HMS legend, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton prevail with their speculation? Let us know your playoff picks in the comments below.

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Written by:

Kishore R

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Kishore is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in engineering, Kishore's love for automobiles, particularly the roaring naturally-aspirated V8s, naturally led him to NASCAR. Kishore's writing is characterized by his intense passion for the sport, as well as his ability to conduct in-depth research and analysis.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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