Hendrick Motorsports recently announced that Chase Elliott will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono Raceway on July 22. Elliott will do double duty when he visits the famous tri-oval in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
Chase Elliott will drive the #17 HendrickCars.com Chevy in the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 Xfinity race scheduled for Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. July 22. The 2014 Xfinity Champion will return to the series for the first time since his last outing in 2021 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The #17 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet made its Xfinity Series debut in 2022. The team had four starts scheduled for the car this season, two of which have already been made.
William Byron drove the #17 Chevy in the road race at COTA to a second-place finish. Kyle Larson made the second start at Sonoma Raceway and finished third to take the checkered flag.
Chase Elliott will drive the #17 Chevy in NASCAR’s return to the “Delicate Triangle”. The former Xfinity champion has five wins, 34 top fives and 66 top tens in his 82 starts in the series.
Elliott has only made one Pocono start in Xfinity machinery, finishing second when he drove the No. 23 Chevy for GMS Racing in 2018. He also won the Pocono 400 Cup race last year.
The #17 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy was winless in its seven starts, but finished in the top five six times. Chase Elliott will have two chances to win his first race of the year when NASCAR visits Pocono.
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Jeff Gordon outlines Chase Elliott’s chances of making the playoffs
Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman are currently out of the playoff scene after missing a few races. Elliott is currently in 23rd position 60 points from the cutoff position. His teammate Bowman has a lead position with a deficit of 44 points.
HMS Vice President Jeff Gordon wants his two drivers to win races to book their playoff spot.
“I mean, I think Alex is closer than Chase. I don’t know where that… I haven’t looked at the points after today, I know we want to win. That’s kind of the one of those situations where if you don’t feel like you can win, how far are you really going to go in the playoffs?” Gordon recently said.
“For these guys, if they can get some momentum here quickly or find a way to get to Victory Lane, then it’s about getting back to their game when the playoffs roll around,” he added.
Both drivers can still collect enough points to qualify for the playoffs, but would face problems if 16 different winners emerge. Gordon wants both drivers to step up their game and win a race to maximize their chances.