Chase Elliott wasnât even averaging a top-10 finish before his win at Talladega Superspeedway back in April. He then knocked out five straight top-five finishes, including the victory that provisionally locked him into the NASCAR Playoffs, and jumped seven spots in the championship point standings. Things were looking good for the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Or so it seemed.
In the last six races, Elliott has averaged a 24.5 finish and only managed two top-15 performances. He was ranked third in the standings after the first Pocono Raceway showdown but has since dropped to eighth.
The downfall started at Michigan International Speedway, where Elliott placed 20th. He then failed to complete the races at Sonoma Raceway and Daytona International Speedway due to an engine issue and crash, respectively. There were glimmers of bounce-back hope between the DNFs with an 11th-place run at Chicagoland Speedway and then a 15th shot afterward at Kentucky Speedway. Last weekend, though, Elliott wound up 29th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, completing 290 of the 301 laps.
There still are six races until the postseason, starting with Sundayâs Gander RV 400 at Pocono (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Elliott already punched his ticket into the first round of playoffs, but that sole win wonât keep Elliott safe forever.
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*Stats courtesy of Racing Insights.