Chase Elliott’s new car number may not make him go faster, but it does mean a lot to him to carry his father Bill Elliott’s No. 9 on his Hendrick Motorsports Camaro.
He likes the look of the Camaro and the No. 9 on it. And that has always been his favorite number. But while the change means a lot to him, Elliott does not expect it to change his performance.
“I’m very lucky and honored to carry the number that I’ve carried for a number of years before this year, so it’s like getting back home to me from that sense,” Elliott said during a break in the test session Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway. “But no, I don’t think it’s going to make me go any faster or slower. I wish it did make us go faster. I would love that, but unfortunately numbers don’t.”
But maybe he doesn’t need that much of a boost anyway. In his second season at Hendrick and paired with crew chief Alan Gustafson, Elliott’s top-five finishes, top-10 finishes, laps led, average starting position and average finish all improved.
Elliott qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs, and really put on a show in the postseason, piling up four runner-up finishes, and finishing in the top 10 in seven of the 10 races. Just missing a spot in the Championship 4, Elliott finished fifth in the final 2017 standings.
“I was very proud of our team and the way we ran in the final 10 weeks last year,” Elliott said. “I know it didn’t end like we wanted it to. We had the pace to be there and to have a shot at Homestead and we didn’t, but we had the pace to do it throughout those 10 weeks and I think that is something to be proud of.
“We had the pit stops to do it, we had the race strategy calls to do it. I think I can do it and excited to give it another shot this year.”