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Chase Elliott Feels The Positivity From His No. 9 Team

Chase Elliott

Emotion doesn’t always show with Chase Elliott as seen on Saturday at Talladega, but he’s always proud of his No. 9 team. (Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish

LINCOLN, Ala. — After a 42-race winless streak, Chase Elliott broke through for his first win of 2024 last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Although the Next Gen car has been a struggle for many veteran drivers, for Elliott said, he points out how it has been a team effort to extract the maximum performance.

“We’ve had two years learning this car now, and some things have been a little more difficult to understand, but we are making strides,” Elliott said.

The understanding of the car isn’t limited to the driver. It comes down to the team.

For the No. 9 Chevrolet team, led by crew chief Alan Gustafson, he never let the struggle or the winless streak keep the team down.

“You’ve got to be there, take some swings at it, some cracks at it,” Gustafson said.

Elliott and Gustafson believed they were close to finally reaching Victory Lane, not only at Texas, but Martinsville and Richmond.

“I think Richmond maybe didn’t show up to everybody watching the race, but I thought we had a good shot at that race. It just didn’t go our way at the end,” said Gustafson.

For Elliott, to see his team with a positive mindset, persevering through challenging times and working hard makes him want to drive harder.

“Alan’s comments this week were really referencing the gains the team has made since Daytona,” Elliott said,

While Elliott and his team did not reached Victory Lane until last Sunday, they have only failed to complete one lap this year in the topsy, turvy race at Bristol.

Elliott knows he’s got a strong team behind him, but he also knows that changes can happen at any time. Still, Elliott really likes what he has with this team.

“I’ve been fortunate to experience in my career several times, you just end up with a really great group of people that are really working well together,” Elliott said.

Notably, the Dawsonville, Georgia native, knows that he is lucky to have a great group of people on the No. 9 team and being led by a great leader in Gustafson.

Likewise, Elliott said that it’s really important to take advantage of that cohesiveness while it’s in place.

“People are going to move on, they will have other opportunities within the team, take jobs outside of the sport. These things just don’t last forever,” said Elliott.

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott pursues his third Talladega win with his Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 team. (Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

Likewise, Gustafson knows how to win and lead teams in his 20-year crew chief career. As for his current driver, Elliott is enjoying life with his No. 9 team again.

“It’s just fun to be a part of that,” he said. “You never know when your last win will happen in this sport, and drivers will say you need to celebrate each win like it’s your last.”

For Elliott, he knows he still has a lot of time left. But every win is special, maybe a little extra special after 42 losses.

Of course, he could not be any more proud of the support that he continues to get from Gustafson and his entire team. He would love to go back to back and enjoy another win here at Talladega.

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera. I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO. The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth. Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras. My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports. See you at a track soon

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