Chase Elliott on performance gains: "This is a war not a battle"

Hendrick Motorsports drivers appeared to take a step forward at Las Vegas but it seems clear contending for wins will not come easy.

Chase Elliott on performance gains: "This is a war not a battle"
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta, Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's for Pros

Last week at Atlanta, Alex Bowman was the highest finishing HMS driver, coming in 15th. He and William Byron (17th) were the only two who finished on the lead lap. Elliott ended up a lap down and 19th and Jimmie Johnson finished 24th and two laps down.

None of the four were in contention to win Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 but there was a significant uptick in performance.

Elliott finished ninth, Bowman 11th, Byron 16th and Johnson 19th.

Read Also:

“I mean as a whole we ran inside the top 10 the majority of the day and ultimately finished inside the top 10, which is nice. Yeah, a lot better than last week and a step in the right direction,” Elliott said after the race.

“We just have to keep that going. This is a war not a battle, so we have to think about getting better for 38 weeks and we’ve got 35 left. So, better keep pushing and hopefully take another chunk like we did this week next week.”

HMS made some solid gains by the end of last season, including Elliott winning three races (two in the NASCAR playoffs).

Some of those gains, however, that may have been offset by the adaption of new aero rules in the Cup series this year that feature less horsepower, more downforce and larger rear spoilers. At Vegas, the package also included front air ducts.

Hopes were raised in Friday’s qualifying sessions for Sunday’s race, with three of the four HMS drivers advancing to the final round and starting the race in the top 12.

Elliott said the biggest help for him in Sunday’s race would have been to get his No. 9 Chevrolet better at the end of the race.

“Definitely a lot better than last week,” he said. “That run there at the end was one of our worst of the day, I thought, which is never a good way to end it. So, just needed to finish a little stronger and I think we could have been maybe a few spots better. 

“I don’t think we had anything to win, but could have maybe grabbed a few more spots there. Really important to have track position and hard to pass at times. 

“You had to be really good and really think about your passes to get them done. The really fast guys could do it, so it’s not impossible, but definitely have to think through that a little bit.”

shares
comments
NASCAR liked aero rules debut at Las Vegas but not satisfied

Previous article

NASCAR liked aero rules debut at Las Vegas but not satisfied

Next article

On 25th anniversary, Kyle Petty Charity Ride will be longest yet

On 25th anniversary, Kyle Petty Charity Ride will be longest yet
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020