After Kyle Larson’s Total Domination at North Wilkesboro, Chase Elliott Uses 6 Words to Vent His Frustrations

Published 05/22/2023, 4:13 PM EDT

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The All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway brought both excitement and disappointment to NASCAR fans. While Kyle Larson showcased his incredible driving skills and clinched a dominant victory, his teammate Chase Elliott expressed his frustrations with a concise six-word admission during a post-race interview.

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The highly anticipated All-Star Race at the resurrected North Wilkesboro Speedway saw 24 drivers battling it out for a chance to win a $1 million cash prize. However, amidst the excitement, the main event left many fans feeling disappointed due to its lackluster action on the track.

Chase Elliott is disappointed with the #9 team’s performances but remains positive

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Chase Elliott finished the race in a respectable fifth position. Despite his commendable performance, Elliott couldn’t help but feel disappointed, considering the remarkable display of speed and control demonstrated by fellow HMS speedster Kyle Larson. During the interview, Elliott candidly stated, That’s where we’re at nowadays. I actually thought we got our car better for that second run. I don’t think we were as good as Kyle [Larson] or anything, but I thought we were improved.”

Elliott’s admission reflects the competitive nature of NASCAR racing, where even small improvements in performance can make a significant difference. However, he acknowledged Larson’s exceptional abilities and the possibility that the car itself played a role in his teammate’s success. Elliott stated, “Not really, no. […] Something was [good]. It’s him [Larson] or the car … one or the two, right?”

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However, just the fact that his finishes are getting better, both Elliott and his fans are hopeful of a Playoffs spot.

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What does the future look like for the Hendrick Motorsports driver?

Looking ahead, Chase Elliott faces a unique challenge in securing a spot in the Playoffs. Recovering from a broken bone in his left leg, Elliott missed six races, making it a formidable task to maintain his streak of never missing the Playoffs in his previous seven full-time seasons.

Returning to competition at the Martinsville Speedway, Elliott’s path to the Playoffs is clear: he needs to win. The elimination-style format of the Playoffs necessitates securing victories to secure a spot. With an off-season rule change and the introduction of the Next Gen car, Elliott faces additional factors in his quest for a Playoff berth.

Previously, drivers had to finish in the top 30 in the points standings to qualify for the Playoffs. However, this requirement was eliminated before the 2023 season for all NASCAR national series.

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The Next Gen car, introduced in the 2022 season, has resulted in a greater number of winners. With nine different winners in the first 13 points races of the season, Elliott must keep an eye on the competitive landscape. If there are more than 16 winners during the regular season, drivers with multiple wins are given priority, leaving one-win drivers like Elliott to rely on their points-table position.

Fortunately for Elliott, he has consistently achieved multiple wins in each of the past five seasons. This track record gives him hope as he aims to secure victories and secure his place in the Playoffs.

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In the meantime, Elliott continues to demonstrate his talent and determination on the track, with four top-10 finishes and two top-5 finishes under his belt. As the season progresses, he will undoubtedly give his all to maintain his Playoffs streak and contend for the NASCAR Cup Series championship.

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Written by:

Dasnoor Anand

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Dasnoor Anand is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports who brings a fresh perspective to the world of motorsports. She has always had a knack for writing and a love for cars. For years, she has been a devoted follower of motorsports and is particularly intrigued by the inner workings of Formula 1 teams as well as Stock Car Auto Racing.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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