Things didn’t go well for Chase Elliot
The “dump” heard around the NASCAR world happened this past October at Martinsville Speedway. Denny Hamlin dumped fan favorite Chase Elliot in turn one with three laps to go and sent Chase spinning and costing him the race. Fans were angry, Denny and Chase had a heated discussion after the race, social media went crazy, everyone forgot that Chase ran Brad Keselowski out the race just before that, and everyone forgot that Chase drove like an angry teenager for the first half of the race. (just ask David Ragan who brake checked him causing the damage to the front of Chase’s car and leaving the 24-team worrying about the car overheating) I then nicknamed Chase Elliot Dale Jr 2.0 because he has taken on the role of NASCAR’s most popular driver without earning it, living through his legendary father’s name and no matter what the fans are going to defend Chase.
As I look back at the dump done by Denny I really don’t see anything wrong with the move. I thought it was aggressive and entertaining. It was the playoffs, there were three laps to go, and when you’re in the playoffs like Chase and Denny were, you must go for the win. Chase, who has yet to win a race, was angry because he was leading the race and thinks he deserves to win because of who he is. Chase doesn’t deserve anything. He’s already been handed everything because of his father and now he thinks he should be handed a win. Chase would go on to be leading at the end the very next week and would blow it allowing Matt Kenseth to achieve the final win of his career.
Chase Elliott is the next Dale Earnhardt Jr. Why may you ask? Simply because he can’t win consistently and in today’s NASCAR point system you need to win in order to be successful. In his two years running full time the Xfinity Series, he only racked up four wins. (A fifth win would come at Daytona in 2016 when he ran part-time) Now he won the championship in 2014 when they were still running the old points system, but he would not have won the championship that year under the current point system. He would have had no wins in the playoffs and would have most likely been eliminated. He finished second in points in 2015 but under the current format, he also would not have finished as high as he did due to simply not winning late in the year.
Chase Elliot will go on to have a long career. He will be NASCAR’s next most popular driver for many years and he’ll have a good career. But that’s it, just a good career. He’ll never win a championship under the current format because he can’t win when it matters. He will be like Jr. He may have some big wins, and he’ll be consistent. But he will never win enough or when it counts, and he will live under his father’s shadow.