NASCAR Cup Series: Is Chase Elliott back on track after recent rocky stretch?

Chase Elliott’s win at last week’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway was his first since October 2022, which came at Talladega Superspeedway.

With a 42-race losing streak behind him, is Elliott officially back to elite form?

On the latest edition of “Kevin Harvick’s Happy Hour,” Kevin Harvick provided his perspective on what the win means for Elliott.

“He was as aggressive as I’ve ever seen him race, especially over the last couple years. He managed to gain a lot of spots on the restarts, put himself in position [to win]. Chase and Ross Chastain, they were the two guys that I thought were the most aggressive on the restarts, and they were also the two guys that stayed up front the most during the day. Huge win for Chase Elliott, huge win for our sport. Super happy for Chase. We all need Chase Elliott to be successful, and I think sometimes he feels that pressure,” Harvick said. “I would assume that it probably weighs on him a little bit. He’s had a ton of things that have weighed on him really over the last couple years with his injury, getting suspended, switching to the new car, having to answer all the questions about ‘What is it?’ And him openly saying, ‘Hey, this car has presented some new challenges to me.’ 

“But the thing that I love about this particular situation is the fact that there was no crew chief change; there was no team change. It was just ‘Hey, we’re going to work through this, and we’re going to figure out what it takes to get you through this,’ and I think everybody knows that Chase Elliott has the ability to drive a race car fast.”

Elliott led 39 laps and won the race by .558 seconds. The win put Elliott fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series in total points (303), while giving him his fourth top-10 finish and third top-five finish this season. Elliott, 28, has 19 career wins and was the 2020 Cup Series champion.

Last season, Elliott suffered a broken leg one month into the season, which forced him to miss six races. Shortly after returning to the track, Elliott was suspended by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Denny Hamlin. Elliott went on to miss the Cup Series postseason and finish 17th.

With a chaotic 2023 campaign — and now a prolonged victory-lane drought — in the rearview mirror, Harvick thinks it’s full speed ahead for Elliott.

Chase Elliott snaps 42-race winless streak at Texas

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“There’s a mental side to this sport that is something that not everybody understands and looks at. There’s a circle of life that goes through being successful in this sport,” Harvick said. “If you want to be successful in anything that you do to the ultimate level, you have to have your stuff together with your team, your stuff together with your personal life, your stuff together with your finances, whatever that is, you have to have all that in line … I think everything has been unbalanced for Chase over the last couple years because of all the other things outside of racing that he’s had to deal with. Hopefully, this kind of sets that path forward for those guys.”

Elliott will shoot for back-to-back wins this coming Sunday in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (3 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

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