Chase Elliott’s disappointing week continued Friday when he was unable to attempt a qualifying lap at Texas Motor Speedway.
After multiple trips through inspection, the No. 24 Chevrolet did not clear qualifying tech inspection before time expired in the first 20-minute round. As a result, Elliott will start 34th in the second race in the Round of 8.
“We’ll just have to play it by ear and see what happens,” Elliott said of earning a decent result in the race. “We had, I thought, a decent car today throughout race practice and thought it drove pretty good in qualifying trim.
“I was kind of excited about qualifying and qualifying hasn’t been a really strong suit for me. But, I’m looking forward to Sunday and again, we know we’ve got to start in the back, so we’ll try to have a good practice tomorrow and get it driving good and go from there.”
Elliott was one of seven cars that did not make it on track. Others included former Texas winners Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano.
Crashed from the race lead at Martinsville last weekend, Elliott enters Texas outside of a transfer spot by 26 points. He was eighth in the first practice Friday afternoon and there are two additional practices set for Saturday.
A victory on Sunday would not only lock Elliott and the No. 24 team into the championship race at Homestead, but it would be his first in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It would also help put last weekend’s frustration behind him.
“Jimmie [Johnson] started in the back in the spring and it worked out fine for him [with a win]. So, I think if you have your car driving good and you do the right things all day – we see it every weekend where guys face adversity throughout the race and get caught speeding on pit road and have a penalty on pit road and go to the back and it seems like the guys that are good enough, you see them again in your mirror in about a run and a half,” said Elliott.
“So, I think it’s definitely doable if we all do our part tomorrow and go from there.”
In April, Elliott finished ninth at Texas. In the three previous 1.5-mile races in the playoffs, he has finished no worse than fourth.