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August 29, 2020

Chase Elliott

Daytona Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Chase Elliott, our second‑place finisher in the No.9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Talk us through the final laps, getting this second‑place finish.
CHASE ELLIOTT: It was obviously pretty wild there at the end, like it always is. Really hard to know what's going to go, what isn't. Really unpredictable from my vantage point.
Just kind of happened to be at the right place I feel to make up some spots on that last lap. Was in a position where I didn't think me making a move on William was going to benefit myself. It was better to kind of stick to him, get him shoved out in front of the 11 and those guys, hope he would be able to hold on from there.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Chase.

Q. Jim Campbell made it clear the last couple years for the Chevys to work together at the restrictor plate tracks. Did that plan work out as well as you had set in place? Do you feel you had to go with whatever line was moving, who there was to work with?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Yeah, honestly this week was a little different from our vantage point. I felt like it was less this is what we have to do, but it was more of this is the objective. Kind of left it to the drivers, which I thought was a little better personally.
Not every circumstance is always going to work out when you're just trying to stay nose to tail the whole time. There are instances where you can pick and choose who you want to help and who you don't. I think just knowing the objective, kind of letting us have a little bit of free rein there was really good.
Jim has been really laid back and open to trying new things. I thought it was better as a group for us tonight, not because we won, but in general we were a little more fluid which I think is a good thing at these races.

Q. We heard on the radio to stay with your teammate. Was there any other thought in your mind?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I mean, yeah, I was looking for an opportunity for myself, for sure. I never saw an opportunity that I thought was going to benefit me. There were a couple opportunities that would have probably hurt both of us. I didn't see a scenario. Maybe there was. I'm certainly not the best plate racer, maybe there was a spot for me to make it work for me and go on to win.
At the moment in time I didn't see that developing. Tried to give William the best shove I could, go on down the road.

Q. You had a front row seat for the incident between Reddick and Kyle. Many guys were criticizing him for being too aggressive. What is your opinion?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I mean, yeah, it was aggressive for sure. The same guys who complain about aggression are the ones who are rooting and shoving you out of the way at the next plate race. I've been on the other end of that, people jumping down your throat about that stuff. They'll be the ones doing it to you and taking advantage of you if you don't give it back to them.
Yes, it was a little aggressive. At the same time I think the guys who win those races are aggressive, too.

Q. Do you think the date change for Daytona being the last regular‑season event had any effect on the intensity later in the race?
CHASE ELLIOTT: Certainly made for better storylines leading in. This race being in July, I feel like it just kind of got I don't want to say swept under the rug, but it was just one of those things that kind of came out in the wash by the end of the regular season.
But with where it was tonight, it obviously put a lot more emphasis on tonight and the situation the guys around the bubble are in. That's really tough. That's a tough thing to come down here and have to perform. I think it's really honestly near impossible to guarantee that.
Ultimately there were however many races before tonight to get yourself in a good position to not be on the bubble like that. Ultimately that's what it comes down to.
To me the one person I feel the worst for is Jimmie, not because he didn't get in, but because the guy had to miss a race, how much of a setback is why he was on that bubble position. That's the guy I feel for through all that.

Q. What do you think this win can do for William Byron?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I thought he did a really good job. He performed under fantastic pressure I feel like in the Xfinity Series, too, when he was coming along. If you're racing for wins, you're never going to escape those situations, which is a good thing. It's a privilege to be in those spots.
Yeah, he did a good job. He had good opportunities there at the end of the race and made the most of them, went on to grab his first win. More than anything, I'm just happy for him. I felt like they've ran well over the years and been close at times. Cool to see that team go to Victory Lane.
I know some of their pit crew guys were guys I worked with when I was racing the Xfinity Series. Kind of a small community there. Yeah, just happy to see him get a win in the 24 car. That was something I really wanted to do because the only other guy to win was Jeff in that car. I thought that would have been a really neat honor to join him.
I think he should really embrace that. That's a really cool thing, in my opinion, that he should definitely think about or one of y'all should mention to him when you interview him.

Q. Looking ahead to the Playoffs, what will be the key to get over the hump of getting to the championship?
CHASE ELLIOTT: I think just winning more consistently. We see the 11 and the 4 and those guys winning about every other week. When they're not winning, they're running second or third, right? You got to be doing that. You got to be up front more often. You can't hit it one week, then be off for three weeks, then hit it again, then be off for another three weeks, expect the cards to fall your way.
I think for us, I look back to how we started the season, and I thought we were running really competitively. Is that a word? I felt like we were really close to where we needed to be.
After the break I feel like we fired off good. Seems like we got behind a little bit. Then this past week at Dover I thought we were better than what we had been. We just got to get that consistency we had at the beginning of the season and when the break was over. I think we could compete with really whoever.
THE MODERATOR: Chase, thank you for taking the time to join us. We will see you at Darlington.

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