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Kevin Harvick explains why Chase Elliott’s 1st Cup Series race win will be monumental for NASCAR

Chase Elliott is bound to get his first NASCAR Cup Series win one of these days. But so far, he’s 0-for-70 with several almost-wins — including in Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway.

The No. 24 driver led 138 of 400 laps, but he finished second to Kyle Busch, who won his second of three Cup Series playoff races so far. Throughout the 2017 season, Elliott has eight top-5 finishes and 16 top-10s — along with a heart-breaking empty gas tank finish after leading late in the Daytona 500 — so he clearly has the talent and equipment to contend.

When he finally gets that first Cup Series win, it will be a great day for the sport, 2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick said on FOX Sports’ NASCAR Race Hub. Both drivers advanced to the Round of 12 drivers in the Cup Series playoffs, which begins Sunday with the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I think it’s very important for all of us that Chase wins because I believe that Chase Elliott is a very big part of our sport as we go forward. So for me as a veteran driver, I want to see Chase Elliott win because I think it’s going to take our sport to another level because of the fact that he has such deep roots in our particular sport.

“So it is very important that Chase Elliott get to Victory Lane because I think he has the potential to be our sport’s most popular driver as we go forward and Dale Earnhardt (Jr.) goes away and Chase Elliott moves forward. And the more he wins, the more popular our sport’s going to be.”

Harvick’s comments make sense and align with what he said this summer about not understanding why the sport’s most successful active driver, Jimmie Johnson, is not the most popular driver (Dale Jr. is). Harvick explained that he believes a correlation between success and popularity will help NASCAR’s fan base.

Elliott has already become very popular throughout his first two full-time Cup Series seasons, and in 2018, he will drive the car his father, Bill Elliott, drove for years.


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