The Marty Smith Podcast: Chase Elliott Explains Why Momentum Is Difficult To Sustain In the NASCAR Cup Series

by Chris Haney

Fresh off of his huge win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, NASCAR champion Chase Elliott stopped by The Marty Smith Podcast this week to talk all things racing and much more. During his conversation with co-hosts Marty Smith and Wes Blankenship, Elliott opened up about the No. 9 Chevrolet’s momentum in recent weeks. However, the 26-year-old also spoke about how difficult it is to sustain momentum in the Cup Series.

Chase Elliott and his team are on one hell of a hot streak right now. His team’s win at the Quaker State 400 in Atlanta is their third of the season, which is the most NASCAR Cup Series victories for any driver in 2022. Sunday’s checkered flag also makes it two wins in the last three races for Elliott. Plus, their team took second place just last weekend at Road America. In fact, the No. 9 car is your leader in the standings as Chase Elliott currently sits in first place.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver has obviously been dominant in recent weeks. Elliott and his team have all the momentum right now as the back half of the NASCAR season gets underway. Yet the Cup Series is a whole different beast compared to other sports.

“How hard is it to continue that momentum in this part of the year as you go down that home stretch?” co-host Wes Blankenship asked. “Or do you even believe in momentum in this sport?”

“Momentum’s a… I feel like a unique word in our world. I find it difficult to carry momentum when you have it sometimes,” Chase Elliott explained on The Marty Smith Podcast. “Just because I feel like each race that you go to, each track you go to, is almost a different book. It’s always a bit of a different story, you know? Like how do you have a good run at Road America and then go to Atlanta next week, which is just a completely different ballgame, and to be like, ‘Yea, we’re going to be just as good this week as we were last week.’ Like that’s difficult for me. I look at the reality of it, and I’m like there’s nothing to compare those two places.”

Chase Elliott Says NASCAR Drivers Can ‘Get Humbled Really Fast’

As their conversation continued, Chase Elliott further explained what separates NASCAR from other sports. Considering that drivers are racing on a completely different track each week, it’s hard to get into a routine. You may dominate one week at a superspeedway, but struggle on a road course the next week. That’s why Elliott says racing will humble even the best drivers around.

“So certainly from a standpoint of your confidence being up, I think that’s a great thing. But you can also get humbled really fast too,” Chase Elliott said with a laugh on The Marty Smith Podcast. “And I know, like this week for instance, coming off a good run at Atlanta, which is basically a superspeedway now. And now we’re going to Loudon, which is a flat one-mile racetrack that has zero similarity to Atlanta or Road America or Nashville for that matter. So you try to carry those things forward the best you can, but you also recognize that it’s just different.”

For now, Elliott and his team are staying focused as the second leg of the season continues on. The driver is hoping they haven’t peaked early in 2022 as his team has their eyes on a second championship.

“Like I said, you try to ride the wave [of momentum],” Elliott added. “You try to peak in the last 10 [races], so I hope we’re not peaking right now. We want to peak a little later cause this deal pays in November, October and November. So we want to be alive there when it counts.”

Chase Elliott talks about that and much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out his entire interview below, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.