Column: 2020 Series Champ Chase Elliott Falls Short In 2021
Column By: HOLLY CAIN / NASCAR – AVONDALE, AZ – Chase Elliott, 25, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion certainly turned in an effort worthy of a title chance. The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet finished fifth on the day and his 94 laps led was second only to his teammate Larson.
As with Hamlin, that final restart really proved difficult to overcome. He came out of the pits fourth among the four Playoff eligible drivers and never could get higher than third place as he chased Larson.
“I felt like our NAPA Chevy was really good and I thought our team did a really good job preparing this week,” Elliott said. “I was really proud of our group. I thought we brought a really good car and did a lot of things we were wanting to do today, just didn’t work out. The sequence of the way all that went certainly was unfortunate for us.
But look, proud of our team, a lot to build on and congrats to Kyle [Larson] and [his crew chief] Cliff [Daniels]. What an amazing season. Very deserving champions and glad to see Kyle have some good success.
“When you’re a good driver and a good person and you surround yourself with good people, success is warranted. It’s good to see that. But we’ll be back stronger next year and try to give them a run.”
Elliott finishes the season ranked fourth in the championship with victories at the Austin, Texas and Elkhart Lake, Wisc. road courses and 15 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.