Chase Elliott and team ‘all in’ heading to Michigan

Chase Elliott is looking to pick up where he left off in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

The rookie Hendrick Motorsports driver finished second to Joey Logano back in June — his best result of the 2016 season.   

Since then, Elliott has failed to finish in the top 10.  

But here’s something that works in Elliott’s favor — Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 will once again feature the ultra-low downforce package that was run first at Kentucky Speedway, as well as June Michigan event.  

And Elliott doesn’t foresee any major changes or surprises this time around.  

"I think it will be very similar to what we have every other week and obviously, what we had the first Michigan race," Elliott said. "We’re still sealed to the ground, we’re still fighting for a sixteenth-of-an-inch with the skirts being so close to the ground, so having a little bit of spoiler or splitter length taken away isn’t going to chance it drastically."   

"The first race gave you some different opportunities and the balance of the car was also different, but overall, you’re still fighting for some of the same things," he added. "I expect it to be real similar."   

Elliott has earned six top-fives, 11 top 10s and two poles so far this season. He and his No. 24 team are hoping the extra hard work they’ve put in recently will propel them to Victory Lane in the Irish Hills.   

"Our guys have been working really hard these past few weeks," said Elliott. "Everybody is fired up at Hendrick Motorsports. Mr. (Rick) Hendrick himself is fired up — he has been around the shop a lot."   

Elliott currently sits 12th in the points standings with three races remaining before the Chase cutoff. A win this Sunday would not only be the first of his Sprint Cup career, but it would also officially punch his ticket into the playoffs.   

"We are all just trying to give it the best effort we can to try and make the most of these next 14 weeks," Elliott said. "We are all working hard and we are all in. Hopefully, Michigan will be a step in the right direction."

Could this be the year of the rookie in the Chase?