AJ Appeal - RacingRefresh.com
Years prior to him chasing his 8th road course win in the top stock car racing circuit in the nation, NASCAR's most popular driver was winning on road courses in NASCAR's truck series and the ARCA Menard's West tour. While he seems to be the favorite this weekend at Watkins Glen, Chase assured members of the media today that he felt no added pressure or confidence when competing at the right-turning New York track.
When asked if he felt like road racing would be a specialty of his at a younger age, he had this to say.
"Well I wouldn't say [that]..i mean you know I've always kind of taken it week by week but no I didn't think just because we won the truck race (Canada) and K+N [Now ARCA Menard's West] (Sonoma) race in a row course that certainly our first win would be [on a road course]. I feel like it was kind of random really. I'm not really sure why you know...why that's been, but it's been fun. We're proud of our accomplishments but we also are hungry for more and we'll try to do that this weekend." Despite saying there was no added pressure, the always calm driver of NAPA's #9 Chevrolet was also asked about mental health and his thoughts in response to the recent Simone Biles US Olympics headlines. "I think mental health is important for everybody. I think you have to respect that being in a good place mentally is key to success in all walks of life. I feel like I support that. I think everybody should be sharp in their head and make sure their head is in the right place, so i support it. I think it's vital to being happy and doing a good job professionally. That's a that's a key element in doing that so it should matter." Elliott is the winner of the last two races in NASCAR's Cup Series at Watkins Glen International Raceway. He again emphasized no added pressure when pursuing his third win in a row this coming weekend, instead he says that finding the proper places to pass will be the weekly challenge. "Yeah I think the most challenging part about Watkin's Glen is passing. It's a racetrack that has a lot of grip and you know you're kind of getting a rhythm and there's just not a lot of passing zones. It seems like a lot of the heavy breaking zones are after some fast straightaways or the 'essses' which are really aero-dependent and if you have clean air you can certainly get through that section faster than you would if you're directly behind somebody and that leads to an opportunity in the bus stop...but it's just hard to get close. I think passing to me is the first thing that comes to mind, so track position is huge. Positioning yourself well for that second-to-last run, the last pit stop, and then obviously the last run of the race are key." If Chase earns the win, he will tie NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Tony Stewart for 2nd place all-time in road-course wins, with 8. Another road course event will follow on August 15th, at Indianapolis. With big road racing accomplishments already this season, he will be the driver everyone has their eyes on this month.