It’s a good thing Chase Elliott believes everything comes full circle. Because if he didn’t, he’d have legitimate cause for serious depression.
Elliott, the second-generation, second-year Hendrick Motorsports driver, has flashed huge potential throughout his brief career, making NASCAR’s playoffs as a rookie last season.
But the month of May was a nightmare for him.
In the first eight races of the year, Elliott had three top fives, six top 10s and a worst finish of 14th, leaving him second in points in late April.
But the last four races have been disastrous for Elliott.
At Richmond, Elliott finished 24th.
At Talladega, he got caught in a big wreck and ended up 30th.
At Kansas, Elliott collided with Michael McDowell on pit road and wound up 29th.
gallery: NASCAR community prepares for triple-header weekend at Monster Mile
And most recently, in last week’s Coca-Cola 600, calamity.
Something fell off the lapped car of Jeffrey Earnhardt and got underneath Elliott’s No. 24 Hendrick Chevrolet, causing a big fire in the engine compartment. And then he got nailed from behind by Brad Keselowski, who got in oil or grease and couldn’t slow down or turn.
Elliott ended up finishing 38th at Charlotte, giving him an average finish of 30.25 in the last four points races, when he’s slid from second to seventh in points.
Not surprisingly, Elliott is trying to temper his expectations this weekend at Dover International Speedway, site of Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism.
“Our goal this weekend (is) to try not to have anything stupid happen, finish and hopefully just try to move on down the road and try to get some just solid days,” said Elliott. “Just good experience, execution and just exercise all the parts of the race that you have to do to run well and compete to win.”
Elliott was asked by FOXSports.com if he’d ever had a stretch like the last four weeks.
“I don’t know that I have had an entire month be quite as rough as May has,” Elliott said. “Maybe at some point, I don’t really know, I definitely have had things like that happen over time, but I just don’t know that it’s all been back to back to back like it seems like it has been here lately. We will take this weekend for what it is and try to get a good finish.”
Elliott’s teammate, Jimmie Johnson, said he expects Elliott to bounce back from the recent misfortunes soon.
“He and I haven’t had any deep conversations on it other than, ‘Man, that’s bad luck,’” Johnson said of Elliott. “And I expect he and the No. 24 team to rally back and be up front and winning; hopefully winning their first race very soon.”