Chase Elliott scored two top-10 finishes in the Michigan doubleheader, but admitted after the second race he felt his team had “squeaked by.” While it was a decent weekend for the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team, Elliott said they had work to do.
On Monday, Elliott was flat-out asked if his team is struggling even though they have three straight top-nine finishes and are fifth in the point standings.
“Yeah,” he said. “I think we’re struggling a little bit for sure.”
Looking back further than the last three races, Elliott’s results are inconsistent. Cup Series teams ran two races at Pocono in late June, followed by a July stretch of Indianapolis, Kentucky, and Texas. Of those five races, a fourth-place result in the second Pocono event was Elliott’s only top-10 finish.
But Elliott explained that, statistically, all of those venues have been poor to him.
“Not as surprised to struggle at those places, but certainly I thought we’d do a little better at Kansas (12th) and thought we would be maybe a little better at Michigan,” he said. “I feel like our success came early there at Michigan; we had some really good runs there in my rookie year and then that second year. But since then, I feel like we’ve even struggled there.
“So, yes, I do (think we’re struggling).”
When NASCAR returned to competition in May, Elliott was one of the hottest drivers in the series. Between Darlington and Talladega, he led 239 laps, won the second Charlotte race, was in contention to win a few others and earned six top-10 finishes.
But he has led only 44 laps in the last nine races.
“We’re not performing as we should,” he continued. “Not performing as expected. Not performing to our full potential. Whether that’s me or whatever it is, I certainly expect more of all of us, myself included. So yes, I think we’re off.”