NASCAR Champ Chase Elliott Reveals His Learnings from Chili Bowl Run After Impressive Debut

Published 01/17/2021, 7:45 AM EST
WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 05: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GoBowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)


Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott enjoyed a remarkable debut at the Chili Bowl Nationals. However, he had to contend with a lot of drama, which ultimately proved to be his undoing. Nevertheless, he turned in a decent performance for his maiden run in the series.

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The Hendrick Motorsports driver started near the back during the F-Main event. Sadly, he fell two places short of advancing to the E-Main event and his Chili Bowl debut was cut short.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 13: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, stands on the grid during the NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

As it turned out, he spun out during his Wednesday preliminary B-main event, which demoted him to the back. Before the spin cost him dearly, Elliott was running inside the top-five.

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Chase Elliott: The road to the E-Main event

Despite the hiccup, he managed to rally forth and finished eighth fastest. It was enough to let the driver advance further in the Chili Bowl Nationals and to prepare him for his Saturday afternoon event.

During the race, Elliott largely stuck to the bottom of the track and bided his time. On Lap 7, he finally made his move and drifted to the top of the track, passing several cars in the process. Chase Elliott came agonizingly close to a transfer spot at the final corner, but ran out of time.

I wish I was doing more of doing more of that earlier in the week,” Elliott said. “Before the end of the B-Main on Wednesday and before the end of that race, I just couldn’t put laps together well enough to get close to someone and not crash them.”

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Once I got the confidence in understanding the momentum when I had it and when I didn’t, and started seeing things and anticipating where guys were, that’s when it got to be a lot of fun,” he added.

The driver was a little gutted to miss out, especially since this race would have provided valuable experience. However, he insisted that he would not have learned much from running at the head of the pack.

Chase Elliott was happy to pass several cars en route, and he had plenty of fun. Of course, he insisted that he would love to be back soon at the track to try again.

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Dhruv George

11447 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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