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MENCS 2018 Season Preview: Chase Elliott

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Chase Elliott is long over-due for his first win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and with the 2018 season right around the corner, the question that remains is can Elliott finally seal the deal and win in NASCAR’s top series this season?

The 22-year old had an impressive 2017 season with 12 top-10 finishes, including five runner-up finishes and a fifth-place finish in the final Championship standings.

Elliott’s Cup series career thus far has been impressive as well. In 77 MENCS races he has finished in the top-5 22 times with 38 finishes in the top 10 and one pole position in the Daytona 500.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver will pilot the No. 9 this year which is the number his father made legendary throughout his career. Bill Elliott drove the No. 9 to 38 victories in NASCAR’s premiere series and won the 1988 Championship. The younger Elliott himself has piloted the No. 9 and had success as well. He captured four XFINITY Series victories and a 2014 NXS Championship.

Elliott makes the move from the No. 24 made famous by Jeff Gordon with his new teammate William Byron taking over that car this season. Not only will Elliott be sporting a new number, but Chevrolet has moved from the SS to the ZL1 Camaro in the MENCS.

There’s no question that Elliott has the talent needed to win in the Cup series and he has proven he can race up front with the veterans of the sport. He came very close to winning at Dover, Martinsville and ISM Raceway (previously Phoenix) last season.

However, with Chevrolet switching its equipment it may take some time for Elliott to get use to the new car, but only time will tell with that one. He could come right out of the gate and surprise everyone.

It’s important to note that Elliott did give the new 2018 ZL1 Chevrolet Camaro its on-track debut in January at a tire test at Texas Motor Speedway and spoke about it in the YouTube video provided below.

With all the changes this season has already brought for Elliott, one thing remains and that is veteran crew chief Alan Gustafson will remain on top of the pit box.

During the 2018 Charlotte media tour Elliott shared his thoughts on the upcoming season.
“Try to win a race. Starting year three, I think at this point I ought to know how to do that much at least,” he said. “Think that I’m capable of doing it. I think we’ve had the speed and the ability to compete for wins. I think we’ve shown that on more than one occasion.”

Just a matter of actually doing it,” added Elliott. “I sound like a broke record, but you just got to go do it.”

Elliott knows his team is capable of winning and he is with one of NASCAR’s most successful organizations. The only thing eluding him at this point is that first Cup win on his resume and when his name is announced in victory lane it’s sure to be a name you will continue to hear for years to come.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah Handy is a NASCAR writer. You can find her on Twitter at @SarahHandy85. A college student studying Communications/Public Relations Field and an Electronics Associate at Walmart. Sarah enjoys tweeting about racing, running, reading, puzzles, video games, and photography. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah avidly follows all major New England Teams (Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins & Celtics) as well as a huge fan of what she considers her “home track” New Hampshire Motor Speedway which she attends each year.

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