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MENCS: Chase Elliott Finishes Second Again

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The words Chase Elliott finishes second again are becoming second nature for the young Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver.

Elliott who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports is still looking for his first win in NASCAR’s top series.

While the 21-year old has come very close to closing out a victory this season the final pieces just haven’t come together yet.

Elliott has finished second a total of seven times in his MENCS career, tying him for the most without a win in NASCAR Cup Series history. The seventh time being this past Sunday in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway where he finished second to race winner Matt Kenseth.

Elliott came very close to not only his first MENCS win but a spot in the Championship 4. He had quite the battle going with rival Denny Hamlin, a feud that has been going on since Martinsville, until Kenseth took the top spot away and was able to hold him off for the win.

The rivalry between Elliott and Hamlin continued as expected on Sunday afternoon.

Elliott got into Hamlin’s car on multiple occasions while racing aggressively. The contact and damage to Hamlin’s car eventually caused the driver of the No. 11 to cut a tire, sending him into the wall and ending his playoff hopes.

With the veteran Kenseth claiming the victory the outcome not only left Elliott without the victory, but he failed to advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami next Sunday.

Elliott was Hendrick Motorsports only hope for not only a Chevrolet but a HMS car to make the final four after teammate Jimmie Johnson cut down a tire as Stage 2 was coming to an end leaving him heavy damage and a trip to the garage which ultimately ended his hopes for an 8th MENCS Championship.

Elliott knew how close he came yet again to that first Cup victory.

“Man, it’s such a bummer to be so freaking close again. Had a shot to go race for a championship next week, so we fought as hard as we could today. I told my guys a minute ago, at some point we will figure out how to close or I will figure out how to close and we can have some great opportunities down the road, I hope, said Elliott to reporters after the race.”

Elliott has had an impressive year even though he hasn’t visited victory lane yet. In just his first full-time season in NASCAR’s premiere series he has 11 top-five’s, 20 top-10s, and 560 laps lead for an average start of of 10.5 and an average finish of 12.2.

Even without advancing to the Championship 4 Elliott has a chance to be a spoiler at Homestead and claim his first victory on Sunday.

It will mark his first time at Homestead in the Cup car but in last year’s XFINITY Series race at the 1.5-mile track he went on to finish in the 11th position after starting the race in fifth.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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