Chase Elliott scored his fifth consecutive top-five finish Sunday afternoon at Pocono only to say that his Hendrick Motorsports Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team “still has some work to do.”
Elliott was the fourth driver across the finish line in the Pocono 400, but, through the strategy that crew chief Alan Gustafson used, Elliott didn’t score any points in either of the first two stages, and he cycled around to lead only two laps.
“We’ll take a top five anytime,” said Elliott. “We’d just like to be a little bit better. I feel like we’re really close; we’re just not there. It’s nice to be disappointed with running in the top five these past few weeks.”
The No. 9 team’s hot streak started with a win back at Talladega. He has led 280 laps in this stretch.
While Elliott has been leading the way for HMS for quite some time now, he’s also leading the way for Chevrolet. He was the highest-finishing Chevy driver at Pocono; is the best-placed Chevy driver in points (third); and is the only Chevrolet driver to have won a Cup Series race this year.
Elliot, like most of the competition, has been watching just two other teams, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske, snatch all the wins and points.
The three drivers who finished ahead of Elliott at Pocono were from those two camps.
“I’m proud of the effort,” said Elliott. “We’ve had some good NAPA Chevrolets the last couple of weeks. We’ve been good, just not great and you have to be great to win these things. I’ll go to work and try to do a better job, and we’ll see what we can do next week.
“We had a solid day. Things kind of went our way there at the end to get that top five. It was nice to be running in the top five and to be close — just not close enough.”