NASCAR playoff drivers in trouble: No. 5 – Chase Elliott
FanDuel championship odds: +900. Bet now!
An 84-point gap to the playoff cut line is certainly not insurmountable over the course of 10 races, especially not for the driver who led the NASCAR Cup Series in wins, total points scored, laps led, and average finish in year number one of the Next Gen car. After all, he did just take 14 points out of that deficit in a race during which he scored zero stage points.
However, Chase Elliott needs to get in some sort of a rhythm, or his seven-year streak of playoff appearances, seven-year streak of round of 12 appearances, six-year streak of round of 8 appearances, and three-year streak of Championship 4 appearances may come to an end when the regular season does.
Elliott missed six races earlier this season with a fractured left tibia he suffered in a Colorado snowboarding accident, and he missed another race when he was suspended for intentionally hooking Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in the right rear at Charlotte Motor Speedway as an act of retaliation.
While he has had solid results, posting seven top 12 finishes and three top five finishes in his nine starts, he hasn’t been nearly the frontrunner he was a year ago, having led just 37 laps. Even with his current points per race average, he would only be sitting in 12th place in the point standings with 16 starts.
Fortunately for Elliott, three of the tracks remaining on the regular season schedule are tracks where he won last year, and three of the others are road or street courses. Elliott is the active leader in road course victories with seven. Can he jump above the cut line with a win, or perhaps still get in on points?