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November 12, 2017

Chase Elliott

Avondale, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Chase Elliott, driver of the No.24 hooters Chevrolet. He was the second‑place finisher in today's race. Chase, so close once again. Take us through the end of the race there.
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, our car was really, really fast on those short runs after the rubber got picked up, and we had struggled to be super tight on the long haul and kept taking off really good and was able to kind of work our way forward. I gave everything I had to try to get a big enough gap so that I could try to keep Matt back there, and tried with everything I had, and it wasn't enough.
I felt like I gave my 110 percent today, although very disappointed, again, to be so dang close to winning and having a chance to race for a championship. Learning the hard way, I guess, in some ways, but it's hopefully making me a better person and making us better down the road.

Q. You just said a minute ago you gave 110 percent; when Matt Kenseth closed the gap to you in the final stages, can you let me know where exactly he had the advantage? Was there a special part on the track where he was quicker than your car?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I don't know; ask Martin. He was behind us. I don't know, I felt like our car turned the middle really good on the short runs, and I felt like I just had to park it in the center after a few laps and just kept getting worse and worse and had to over‑slow the corner and just left myself really vulnerable to getting passed. I just tried to get as big a gap as I could possibly get to keep him back there, and unfortunately wasn't enough, and I got real tight off 2 there one lap and gave away my gap, and after that it was just hard to get him off my bumper once he was there.

Q. Was the battle with Hamlin and the contact any result from Martinsville, or if Martinsville never happened do you race the same way?
CHASE ELLIOTT: A wise man once told me that he'll race guys how they race him with a smile on his face, so that's what I did today. I raced him how he raced me, and that's the way I saw it. That's about all I have to say.

Q. Was the wise man your father?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Doesn't matter. (Laughter.)

Q. Is the more disappointing the win or not being able to go for the title?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Both. I mean, I don't know how you pick. You know, when one means that you have an opportunity to do the other, then I'm not sure how you differentiate the two. But I don't know, just very disappointing, and I just hate that‑‑ I just hate so bad for my team. They've been so close to winning a handful of races the past couple years, and just, like I told them after the race, at some point I've got to figure out how to close better, and I take responsibility for that. I felt like I gave it my all today, and we'll try to go to Homestead next week, finish the season as strong as we can and then get ready to come at them next year as hard as possible.

Q. Can you take some solace in knowing that the support you have from the crowd is overwhelming? The only time they really‑‑ even MRN they were saying you would have thought Dale Jr. took the lead when you passed Kenseth the first time. Do you get anything from that, that maybe you can take that with you going forward?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, that means a lot to me to have great support and great fans. You know, I want people to pull for whoever they want to pull for and it be genuine, and if that's me, then I certainly will take all the help I can get, so I appreciate each and every one of the folks here that came out, that had the right hats and shirts on and even the ones that didn't. Happy to have them, and hopefully we can‑‑ I just want to make them proud some day and tried to do it today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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