Chase Elliott says nothing needs to be fixed between him and Kyle Larson

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Chase Elliott says there’s nothing to mend between Kyle Larson and him after they connected at last weekend’s race finish at Watkins Glen International.

Elliott was upset after the race but did not publicly criticize Larson, who moved Elliott onto track in the second half to take the lead and take the win. Elliott spoke with car owner Rick Hendrick and team executive Jeff Gordon on pit road after the race.

Lip readers suggested that Elliot told Hendrick and Gordon that it was beyond repair. Elliott took it up that Wednesday during a break for testing at Martinsville Speedway.

“I would just say there is nothing that can be fixed,” Elliott said. “Really at the end of the day, when you look at the reality of the situation…we finished fourth and we weren’t good enough to win. That’s really what happens, you just need to be faster, you need to do a better job of finishing races. For me, I don’t see where anything needs to be fixed.”

Larson said Monday during a break in testing at Martinsville that he should have raced Elliott with “more respect” at the end of the race.

Elliott said: “That’s his opinion, and look, he’s entitled to it. To me, I’m a very realistic person because it’s about what is and isn’t. The truth is we finished fourth on Sunday and we need to be better, we need to be faster And we need a better restart there at the end of the race to get the job done.

“That’s really what it’s about. For us, that’s where my focus is and what I want to do better. I’m excited about the next 11 weeks and the opportunity that lies ahead as a team.

“I feel like our group is special. I’ve been telling you guys that for years. We just have to make sure we do our best when it counts. The big time is coming up.”

It might just be a good time for Hendrick Motorsports. With all four cars in playoffs for the second year in a row, there is potential for team members to race for victories, advance to the next round or even the championship.

So how are Hendrick Motorsports teammates supposed to race?

“I think this is difficult,” Elliott said. “He’s kind of over me, I feel. I’m not the one to make that kind of call. The boss spends a lot of money doing these things, and I think maybe we should respect him, but he wants us to deal with that, whatever that answer is. … If we all made it to Phoenix, it would be a big deal and any organization would be happy to be there.”

Teammate William Byron, who was also testing at Martinsville on Tuesday, admits that how to race a teammate can be “tough”.

“You always have to do what’s best for your racing team because these guys work day and night on your race cars and try to make them go faster,” said Byron. “It’s kind of always balancing what’s best for your team.

“It’s kind of two things – balancing what’s best for your team and balancing what’s best for HMS or Chevrolet. It’s tough but you have to navigate it. The first priority is to do what’s best for the 24 and try to make them win.”

Byron also says that Hendrik showed the drivers how to race each other.

“Mr. Byron (Hendrick) was really good at setting those criteria early on,” said Byron. “We all know what those are. I feel like I get along really well with my three teammates. We really work well together.

“We’ve all had times where we’ve had extra laps, and we’ve all worked it out. It’s just a general respect for my other teammates. Kyle, Chase, Alex (Bowman), we all raced really well together so I don’t see that changing.”

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