Chase Elliot was seventh in the points standings entering the race at Bristol. He is the highest ranked driver without a win. The 21 year old driver had contact with Kevin Harvick and then slid into the inside wall and sustained heavy damage.
Elliot knew going into the race that he couldn’t get comfortable without a playoff-clinching win despite his good standing in the points.
“So, it’s tight for sure where we are,” Elliot said before the race via Autoweek. “We need a victory to feel good about it. (NASCAR) isn’t many from having a full playoff list of winners. We aren’t real comfortable because in that position, you’re not really guaranteed anything.”
Elliot made the playoffs last year on his way to a rookie of the year award. Fighting back from this wreck to finish 18th won’t let him relax, but it could have been much worse.