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AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, makes his parade lap during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 06, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) | Getty Images
AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, makes his parade lap during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 06, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Transcript: Chase Elliott – Press Conference

Press Conference

Sunday, November 6, 2022

An Interview with: Chase Elliott

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Chase Elliott.

Can you just kind of explain or walk us through the situation with the 1 car and what happened there?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I’m not sure. I’m not sure. Looking forward to the off-season, and really proud of our team for the fight that we put in today. I felt like we just kind of peaked right there before we crashed, and I felt like we got our car driving pretty good, we just had our best pit stop of the day, so that was all really solid. And heck, we were right there next to the 22.

I thought we had a shot at it all the way up until we didn’t, and that’s unfortunately the way it goes sometimes.

It was a track position race; do you feel like you ever got a chance to show what that car was? Because we saw the 22 when he lost track position, he struggled for a little bit, too. Did you ever get the chance to show what the car could have been had you got track position?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, maybe. I feel like we had gotten it driving about as good as it had been all weekend, honestly. When we split the stage and some of those guys stayed out and ran long and we went a lap down and made our lap back up there under green, that run, I thought our car was driving pretty good.

We had been adjusting to that point, and I thought we had gotten into a decent spot. It’s hard to tell. We were out there on fresher tires, and other guys were on old stuff.

I was looking forward to seeing if that held true, but from where I sat, obviously it’s difficult because you don’t have a lot to gauge off of pace-wise. But I felt like our balance was getting pretty close. That was good.

But until you kind of get back in the mix and reset there, it is tough to say. Would have loved to see what it looked like on the front couple of rows. I felt like we just had, like I said a second ago, our best pit stop of the day, guys were rolling there on pit road. And yeah, would have loved a shot there at the end, but that’s the way it works.

Chase, I know it’s not the finish you wanted, but how do you assess the year as a whole and especially with this new car now that you guys have had a whole year? What do you expect going into 2023?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I don’t really care about 2023 right now. We had five wins on the season, and we had — you tell me what the stats are. That’s how you would assess it, right? I know we won five races. That’s more than we did last year.

But do not tell me what the countdown clock is because I don’t want to know.

Chase, you have probably addressed this by now, I’m sure, but just what was your viewpoint on how everything went down with the 1 car today, and just how you were able to react throughout the course of the rest of the race?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, just disappointed, obviously, ended our day and ended our chance at a win or a championship. Just disappointing.

After the incident when the 1 came up on you, certainly made it challenging. Why didn’t you just wreck him there?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, like I said, just proud of my team and appreciate the effort that they put in and the fight that we had for these last nine weeks.

Chase, you would have won the regular season title going away, obviously, without the post-season reset. You had five wins this season. But you guys seemed a little more inconsistent during the playoffs. Do you have a sense yet as you head into the off-season what gains you needed to make over the last 10 races, where you might have fallen off a little bit?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, I think we certainly have a target to look at as we go into next year. Yeah, when the time comes, we’ll go to work on it.

But that’s not today. I can assure you that. We’re going to enjoy a little time off, just like a lot of you guys are. It’s a long season. A lot of effort goes into this deal. And yeah, looking forward to that.

But yeah, when we get back to Daytona next year, we’ll be ready to go, and we will put the focus on the things that we feel like we need to put them on and see where we stack up then.

Yeah, again, 2023 is not on my radar right now.

This is kind of a random question, but will it be nice to kind of go out and take on the Nitro Rallycross stuff as a way to reset in a different competitive setting?

CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, that’s just fun for me. Yeah, it’s just different. That’s just a fun opportunity for me.

— NASCAR —