Chase Elliott’s No. 9 team has officially been eliminated from NASCAR Cup Series owner championship contention following the round of 8.
While Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott did not qualify for this year’s NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, his No. 9 team still managed to lock into the owner playoffs, thanks in large part to the points scored by the drivers who replaced him behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet in the seven regular season races he missed.
Elliott missed six races with a broken left tibia he suffered in a Colorado snowboarding crash, and he missed another when he was suspended for intentionally wrecking Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Elliott’s No. 9 team ended up taking the 16th and final spot in the owner playoffs over the No. 23 team of 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace, who took the 16th and final spot in the driver playoffs himself.
With a strong round of 16, Elliott advanced the No. 9 team to the round of 12, and with a strong round of 12, he advanced the team to the round of 8. But a disappointing round of 8, which saw him place no higher than 15th place, saw the No. 9 team knocked out of owner championship contention.
The four drivers battling for this year’s NASCAR Cup Series title are also the drivers whose four teams remain in owner championship contention.
This wasn’t the case a year ago. Despite the fact that Elliott made it to last year’s Championship 4, the No. 9 team was eliminated after last year’s round of 8 as well. The No. 5 team of teammate Kyle Larson advanced to the Championship 4, even though Larson himself was eliminated in the round of 12.
Elliott’s team has made it to the round of 8 in seven straight seasons going back to 2017, the longest streak of any driver’s team. Since Elliott moved from the No. 24 team to the No. 9 team, the latter is six for six.
With his failure to qualify for this year’s playoffs, Elliott saw his seven-year playoff streak, seven-year round of 12 streak, seven-year top 10 points finish streak, six-year round of 8 streak, and three-year Championship 4 streak come to an end. All but the seven-year playoff streak were series-highs among active drivers.
He also hasn’t won a race yet this year, meaning that his series-high five-year streak of winning multiple races has also come to an end.
He still has a chance to extend his win streak to six seasons by winning Sunday’s season finale at Phoenix Raceway, but the Championship 4 race has never been won by a non-Championship 4 driver since the format was introduced back in 2014.
The NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race is scheduled to take place this Sunday, November 5, with NBC set to provide live coverage from Phoenix Raceway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!