Sunday July 14th, 2024 10:57PM

Dawsonville's Elliott says team work has been ingredient of early 2024 success

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

Chase Elliott has been on a journey over the last year and a half. 

It was mostly a trek to get back to where he was before a leg injury sidelined him for eight races and took him out of contention for the playoffs last season. 

On Sunday, in Texas, Elliott’s journey came full circle. The Dawsonville, Ga. driver steered the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Hooter's Chevy to the EchoPark 400 win at Texas Motor Speedway, his first victory in 42 tries, and qualified for the playoffs. It was his 19th career victory in 295 starts. 

After the race, Elliott praised his team. 

“I think that the win’s great, all that stuff is fantastic, but I’m truthfully most proud of the journey and the group of people that we have climbed back up together with,” he said after the race. “We’ve made each other better. They push me to be a better driver and a better person.

“I just feel like we’re all in a really good place, and we have been. It’s nice to see all the hard work pay off. Those guys really deserve to win. They’ve been busting it for a while and have been doing a really good job.

“That’s what I’m most proud of the journey and all of us sticking together at the 9 teams.”

Sticking together has obviously been the key ingredient in the strong start to the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. 

“It’s been an extremely important thing to me, and fortunately to our entire group, to try to climb this mountain again together and try to get back to where we need to be as a group,” Elliott said. “We’re not all together, but a lot of us are still there that have been on our team for most of my nine years. That’s pretty special.

Elliott was close at Martinsville and was there on the final restart, but he didn't have enough to take the checkered flag in P1, finishing third. He’s finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races and produced fifth, third, and first finishes over the last three. It's a far cry from where he was this time last season. 

"Well, I felt like we’ve just been running better throughout, not just the last few weeks,” he said. “I mean, yes, we’ve had better finishes over the last few weeks. I feel like just generally speaking from a competitive standpoint we’ve been better to the competition throughout really most of the season, we just haven’t always had great finishes and great results.

“But relative to the guys that have won a lot of these things over the last year or so, I felt like we’ve been closer to them. I still think we have a lot of work to do. A lot of things went our way today. I’m not naïve to that, for sure, as well."

 

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, NASCAR Cup, Top Sports Stories
  • Associated Tags: Chase Elliott, NASCAR Cup Series
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