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September 17, 2017

Chase Elliott

Joliet, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We are going to get started here with our post race media availabilities for today's Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. We are joined by our second‑place finisher, Chase Elliott, driver of the No.24 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet.
Chase, your second top‑10 finish at Chicago, your 15th top 10 in 2017. Take us through that race for us.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, just a much improved day from where we've been, which is nice. Obviously would have been great to battle with Martin a little bit more. We didn't have anything for him. From where we've been to where we ran today was a major, major step in the right direction, frankly where we need to be, where we deserve to be, to the potential we can run.
It was nice to see that we can do it if all things are clicking in the right way, car is driving good, pit stops are good, race execution was nice. It was a pretty uneventful race for the most part.
I felt like typically when that happens, the better cars always kind of end up towards the front. That proved to be with Martin winning. I didn't have anything for him, without a restart or something. It also proved that we were second to him. I'm not sure about the 18, if he could have got back up there.
Aside from those two, I feel like we could run about everybody else. That's a lot better than we've been.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions for Chase.

Q. Do you think you would have had anything for Martin if there had been a short run at the end?
CHASE ELLIOTT: If you could get in front of him on a restart or something, sure, I think you could stay there for eight, ten laps. But I wasn't going to fall in line behind him after a restart and pass him in eight laps without something lucky happening for me.

Q. Was today's performance more of just an indication of what this team has worked towards, or is it just backing up what you had done last year?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Well, last year isn't this year. A lot of things change from year to year. We haven't run as good through the summer months as we did last year. I did feel like we peaked about this time last year. But this isn't last year, so it really doesn't matter.
This is this year. We need to be better than what we've been in the past. I thought that was an improvement today. Obviously have some work to do to get to that bunch that won the race. Aside from them, I think we were competitive to the rest of the field.

Q. Were you confident in the team's mile‑and‑a‑half program knowing how fast your car was today, and the mile‑and‑a‑half's making up a majority of the Playoff schedule?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, it's encouraging. There are also a lot of races that are not mile‑and‑a‑half's that matter, that are important as well. It was nice to have pace and some good drivability today in our car here at Chicago. A lot of the rest of the mile‑and‑a‑half's that we go to, I guess aside from Homestead, are a little more grippy than this one.
I'm not sure what that will have to do with our pace or not. We'll see when we get there.
THE MODERATOR: Chase, thanks for joining us. Good luck next week in New Hampshire.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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