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November 21, 2015

Chase Elliott

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Let's hear now from our defending series champion, and what a great champion he's been for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He finishes as series runner‑up in 2015, that's Chase Elliott. He's the driver of the No.9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.
Congratulations on being such a worthy champion. Just talk about your reign as a champion, and you certainly gave it everything you had this year to try to defend that title.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, first off, I appreciate it. It was definitely an up‑and‑down season. I think first off, congratulations to Chris and everything that those guys did. They just outran us fair and square. From there, there's no reason to be upset about that other than we just need to do a better job and I need to do better. Like I said, they just beat us. So congratulations to them.
But definitely, like I said, our season had its ups and downs. We were fortunate to get to victory lane once. I wish we could have got there more. I think that's kind of the moral of the year and something that I look back on as we move forward and whatnot. This sport definitely has evolved; the only thing that matters is being able to go win races. We definitely didn't do that enough this season, and I know that I need to do a better job with my part to try to give ourselves some more opportunities moving forward.
Looking forward to the off‑season. Obviously really excited about next year. You know, but we have an entire off‑season to get ready for it. I need to do a lot of thinking, go home and prepare the best I can. I know that's not going to get any easier, and I need to make sure I'm prepared the best I can when Daytona rolls around.

Q. I was just curious, are you sticking around for tomorrow? Are you going to hang out with the 24 team?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I definitely don't want to get in the middle of what they have going on. I am going to stick around and watch, and obviously I will be one of the biggest 24 fans here, I think, tomorrow night to see him compete for that championship. So obviously I'm really pulling for those guys.
I really believe that they can do it, and I know Jeff's going to give it all he's got, so I'm excited to watch that like everybody else. As I said at the beginning of the season, the most important thing right now is to be a 24 fan first, and when it comes time, we'll start preparing and worrying about next season after tomorrow night. But they've got a race to go try to win, and yes, I do plan on sticking around. But no, I don't plan on being in the middle of their championship effort.

Q. Chase, we talked a couple days ago about some of the things that have gone wrong. It sounded like it was a bunch of freak stuff that happened to you this season. Is there anything you can chalk it up to or kind of take away from it as you head off into the off‑season?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, chalk it up to we got beat and didn't win enough races. That's the bottom line. Like I said a minute ago, the most important thing in this sport is being able to win and give yourself chances to win a race every weekend. We race from February to November, and we didn't give ourselves enough chances. I didn't do a good enough job to put ourselves in position to go and try to win races. That's the most important thing, and like I said, that's what I chalk it up to is just not being in contention enough.

Q. I just want you to talk about the season, just the championship battle and just racing back and forth with Chris all season. I know you led the points so much last year, but what was that like to be in that runner‑up spot to try to gain some ground every weekend and coming up short here tonight?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, like I said a minute ago, Chris and their entire team did a good job. I think they just flat‑out beat us, and that's really all there is to say about that. We had our misfortune at times, but I really feel like if you're good enough and really deserving, you should be able to give up‑‑ the plate races shouldn't matter. If you're truly good enough and you can go compete to win races, you can wreck at every plate race and it should all buff out if you're really that good and deserving of getting it done. That's kind of the way I see it.
Like I said, we had our misfortune, I can blame it on that all day long, but bottom line is we didn't run good enough.
THE MODERATOR: Chase, thanks for being such a good champion, and we look forward to seeing you next season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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