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Elliott Earns Top-Five Finish at Richmond


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  • Chase Elliott and No. 9 UniFirst team qualified second for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway
  • The 28-year-old driver led the opening five laps of the race before ending stage one in the seventh position
  • After finishing stage two in the 13th spot, Elliott rebounded for a fifth-place finish at the Virginia short track – his best result of the season
  • The 2020 premier series champion is now eighth in the Cup Series points standings

Chase Elliott earned a front row starting position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway, taking the green flag in second. Soggy conditions required teams to start the race on wet weather tires and Elliott powered his way to the lead by the end of the first lap. He stayed out front for five laps before his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson got by him. With the track quickly drying, NASCAR officials called for a competition caution at lap 30 so teams could make the switch to slick tires. Teams were able to maintain their positions as pit stops were deemed non-competitive. Elliott was third at the time of the caution and that is where he would restart on lap 48. He continued to battle inside the top 10 and was scored seventh when an on-track incident brought out the yellow flag on lap 63. The race stayed under caution for the remainder of stage one with Elliott gaining valuable stage points for his top-10 stage finish.

Under the stage break, Elliott relayed that his No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was tight through the center of the turns, so the team made a chassis adjustment during its pit stop for four tires and fuel. A fast stop by the UniFirst crew gained Elliott two spots on pit road. He lined up fifth coming to the choose cone and opted for the outside lane. The 2020 Cup Series champion settled into seventh after the restart and stayed there until green-flag pit stops got under way on lap 124. Crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for a four-tire stop just a handful of laps later. Back out on the track, the driver of the No. 9 had to be patient as teams were on different pit strategies. Eventually, he cycled back to seventh on lap 154 and lost a position just prior to an incident forcing a yellow flag on lap 169. Elliott radioed to crew chief Alan Gustafson that he was pretty happy with the UniFirst Chevy’s handling. After pitting for four tires and fuel, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native restarted ninth and lost some momentum after a chaotic restart. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end stage two at lap 230, he was scored 13th.

Elliott brought the UniFirst Chevrolet to the attention of his crew for fuel and fresh tires. He took the green flag for the final stage from the 12th position on lap 240. The Hendrick Motorsports driver settled into 13th before retaking 12th on lap 247. Elliott held steady there until Gustafson called him to pit road for a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 287. He found his way back to the top 10 on lap 299 and advanced to ninth before another round of green-flag stops. After pitting on lap 335, Elliott cycled back to 10th and continued to fight hard for position. He was running in seventh with less than five laps to go and that looked like that’s where he would finish, but a caution prior to the white flag sent the race into overtime. The field came to pit road under the yellow and a fast stop by the UniFirst pit crew gained Elliott a position for the restart. He restarted from sixth and picked up one more spot to earn his first top-five finish of the season.

Following the fifth-place finish, Elliott and the No. 9 team are eighth in the Cup Series points standings, just 61 markers behind the leader. 

“I felt like we kind of found a little pace there those last two runs, and we were able to actually pass a couple of cars under green. We got ourselves in a position to have a good pit stop there at the end. I stopped a little short in my box. I think we could have been one spot better there off of pit road, but nonetheless, had a good restart and gave ourselves a top-five. It was a solid night.”

Start / Finish: 2 / 5
Points Standing / Total: 8th / 209 pts. (-61)

Next Race: Sunday, April 7, Martinsville Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 3:00 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN or SiriusXM

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    • By NAPA
      Chase Elliott and the No. 9 link hidden, please login to view team qualified ninth for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway. The 28-year-old driver finished stage one in ninth and stage two in third as his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 showed speed on the long run. In the final stage, Elliott continued to battle inside the top 10 and advanced to third before the checkered flag waved. With the third-place result, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native took over the driver points standings lead by eight markers over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. It was Elliott’s second consecutive top-five effort, seventh of the season and 100th of his young Cup career. Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team earned a ninth-place starting position for Sunday’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway. The 28-year-old driver initially lost some ground to the leaders upon the drop of the green flag and was scored in 11th at the time of the first caution of the race on lap five. Under the yellow, Elliott reported that his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was loose. Staying out, he lined up 11th for the restart on lap 10 and made his way back up to ninth by lap 41. As a long run ensued Elliott continued to gain ground, advancing to seventh before an incident brought out the caution. He relayed that he “overbuilt the right rear.” Once pit road opened, crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott in for four fresh tires and fuel. A fast stop gained the driver of the No. 9 a position on pit road, however two cars did not pit which put him eighth for the lap-59 restart. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end stage two, Elliott was scored in the ninth position.
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      Next Race: Sunday, June 23, New Hampshire Motor Speedway
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    • By NAPA
      Chase Elliott and the No. 9 link hidden, please login to view team qualified 17th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at WWT Raceway. The 28-year-old driver advanced to 10th to end the first stage before finishing the second stage in the fourth position. During the final stage, pit strategy came into play. After pitting for right-side tires and fuel on lap 208, Elliott took the checkered flag to earn a 13th-place finish. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native advanced to third in the driver points standings, just 27 markers behind the leader. Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team qualified 17th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at WWT Raceway. The 28-year-old driver’s No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 showed speed from the drop of the green flag. At a track that was difficult to pass on, Elliott advanced to 15th by lap two and was scored 16th when the first caution of the race came out on lap three. Staying out, Elliott restarted from the 16th position and improved to 14th before another yellow flag waved on lap 17. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native radioed to crew chief Alan Gustafson that the No. 9 NAPA Chevy had “a little more build to the right rear than I’d like to have.” The team ultimately made the call not to pit and Elliott lined up 13th for the lap-23 restart. From there, he pressed forward and entered the top 10 for the first time of the race on lap 26. He remained there until the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end the first stage on lap 45.
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      Start / Finish: 17 / 13
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      Next Race: Sunday, June 9, Sonoma Raceway
      How to Watch or Listen: 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN or SiriusXM
      NAPA: 
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    • By NAPA
      Chase Elliott and the No. 9 link hidden, please login to view team qualified fifth for the Coca-Cola 600. The 28-year-old driver made his 300th NASCAR Cup Series start on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After finishing the first stage in the 11th position, Elliott improved to seventh to end stage two. During the third stage of the scheduled 400-lap event, weather entered the area and ultimately brought an early end to the Coca-Cola 600. Elliott and the No. 9 team were scored with a seventh-place result. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native is fourth in the Cup Series driver points standings, 17 markers behind the leader. Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team qualified fifth for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 28-year-old driver took the green flag – making his 300th NASCAR Cup Series start – and continued to run inside the top 10 in the opening laps of the race. Prior to the first set of green-flag pit stops, Elliott reported that the NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was loose. On lap 43, crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for four tires, fuel and air-pressure and chassis adjustments. He cycled back to 11th by lap 51 and re-entered the top 10 on lap 83. The Hendrick Motorsports driver advanced one more position before the caution flag was displayed for an on-track incident on lap 87. Under the yellow flag, Elliott visited pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. A fast stop by the NAPA crew gained Elliott two positions on pit road, putting him seventh for the lap-94 restart. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end stage one at lap 100, the driver of the No. 9 Chevy was scored with an 11th-place finish.
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      Start / Finish: 5 / 7
      Points Standing / Total: 4th / 475 pts. (-17)
      Next Race: Sunday, June 2, WWT Raceway
      How to Watch or Listen: 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN or SiriusXM
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