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Restarts Give Elliott Fits At CMS

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 11 2014

Chase Elliott won't sit still during his off weeks. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Tom Copeland)

CONCORD, N.C. – After 18 straight weeks of racing, NASCAR’s Nationwide Series teams now have a two-week break before the final three events, but standings leader Chase Elliott doesn’t plan on taking a vacation.

“I’m going to try to find as many short-track races to run as I can,” said Elliott, who possesses a 42-point lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. “I like to go race rather than sit at home.”

And no doubt during those races the 18-year-old Elliott will work on his restarts, something that left the Dawsonville, Ga., driver angry at himself after Friday night’s Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“(For my guys) to give me the lead (four or five) times (on restarts) and to not come back around to the flag with the lead, that is a 100 percent pitiful,” said Elliott, who finished eighth after leading four times for 66 laps in the 200-lap event. “Restarts happen in any form of racing that you do along the way – short-track racing, go-karts – it doesn’t matter. For myself, I would think I would know how to restart a race at this point. I just did not do my job tonight in that aspect. I completely let my guys down there.”

For the first-year Nationwide driver, the championship is his to lose heading into the Nov. 1 Texas race. He has held the point lead for the last 12 weeks and takes his largest advantage of the season into the final three races.

“I would much rather be racing than to have a couple off-weeks for sure, but I think these two off-weeks are important, in a way, for the guys on the Nationwide side,” Elliott said. “It can be a time to step up the program and massage on those cars. It can also go the other way if you’re not up on your game doing that, so we have to make sure that we do our end at the shop to really make those cars for those last three weeks the best that we can. I need to make sure I try to do my part to step up and make sure I’m as well prepared as I can be before we go to Texas.”

The series travels to Phoenix after Texas and then concludes its season Nov. 15 in Homestead.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 11 2014
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