Despite sitting on the sidelines for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this season, Chase Elliott remains arguably the most popular driver on the field.
Driving the #9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 fielded by Rick Hendrick, the Georgia native has not had a great 2023 regular season. With several setbacks during the year that were out of Elliott's control and several reprimands that came courtesy of his own actions, the 27-year-old has found himself on the sidelines for the postseason.
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion, however, has been working on re-inventing himself even as the other drivers battle for title glory during the final part of the season. And the results are starting to show for the #9 crew at Hendrick Motorsports.
Since retiring from the Cup Series event at Watkins Glen International after running out of fuel gunning for the playoffs, Chase Elliott has had a string of top-10 finishes. The last four races of the calendar have seen Elliott finish no lower than P8 and no higher than P4.
It can be argued that the final few regular season races presented a must-win scenario for Elliott. However, it is easy to lose sight of consistent results when gunning for the ultimate prize.
Finally feeling like he can challenge for victories again, Chase Elliott elaborated on his state of mind recently to speedwaymedia.com:
"Kansas was super refreshing. I thought we were much improved. Anytime you put the effort and time into different areas and you see the results, I think that’s encouraging for everyone involved."
"If you’re in that fight and you’re in that hunt, the wins will come. The good news is all the pieces of the puzzle, in my mind, are there. We’ve just got to put it together.”
It remains to be seen whether Chase Elliott can bag a trip to victory lane this season or not.
Chase Elliott still challenging in the owner's playoffs with the #9 entry
As opposed to the driver playoffs, which award the driver a championship trophy, owner's playoffs award the team with prize money depending on the number of races and if the championship is clinched by the same team.
With Hendrick Motorsports paying attention to the owner's playoffs with their #9 entry, Elliott will be expected to perform to the best of his abilities despite not being a part of the postseason himself.