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Elliott Finishes Third at Martinsville


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  • Chase Elliott and the No. 9 UniFirst team qualified third for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway
  • The 28-year-old driver finished stage one in the third position and followed that up with a fourth-place result in stage two
  • Elliott took the lead for the first time of the race in the final stage, pacing the field for a total of 64 laps
  • After an overtime finish, Elliott ultimately took the checkered flag in the third position – part of a 1-2-3 finish for Hendrick Motorsports during the organization’s 40th anniversary weekend at Martinsville
  • The 2020 premier series champion is now sixth in the Cup Series points standings, only 51 points behind the leader

Chase Elliott and the No. 9 UniFirst team qualified third for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway during a special 40th anniversary weekend for Hendrick Motorsports. Driving the ruby red No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Elliott held steady inside the top five throughout the entirety of the caution-free first stage. He took the green-and-white checkered flag in the third position at lap 80, collecting eight valuable stage points in the process.

During the stage break, the 28-year-old driver reported that his UniFirst Chevrolet fired off tighter than he anticipated. To help, the team made an air-pressure adjustment during its pit stop for four tires and fuel. He lined up fourth to start the second stage and continued to run inside the top five. Elliott was scored in the fifth position when the caution came out on lap 113. He relayed to crew chief Alan Gustafson that his Chevrolet was a little better than the last run. The team opted not to pit, and Elliott restarted from the fifth spot on lap 119. He remained there until he made the pass for fourth with three laps left in stage two. That’s where the Dawsonville, Georgia, native would finish the second stage, collecting an additional seven stage points.

Under the stage-ending caution, Elliott relayed that his UniFirst Chevrolet was tighter to start that run. A fast stop for four tires and fuel gained the driver of the No. 9 two spots on pit road, allowing Elliott to fire off for the final stage from the front row. Taking the green flag in second on lap 193, the 2020 Cup Series champion powered to the lead and remained there through the lap-204 caution. Elliott continued to hold point for several laps until the No. 11 caught up to him. The two battled side-by-side until Elliott settled into the second position on lap 258. He held steady in the runner-up spot until green-flag pit stops got under way. After pitting for four tires and fuel on lap 298, Elliott worked his way by the No. 11 as green-flag stops continued, putting himself in position to assume the lead once the field cycled through pit stops. However, Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron passed Elliott prior to pit stops concluding. Byron eventually took over the top spot with Elliott not far behind in second. An incident on the track with less than five laps remaining brought out the yellow flag and sent the race into overtime. Elliott lined up beside Byron for the final restart of the race. He gave it his all in the final two laps, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the third position – Elliott’s second consecutive top-five finish.

Elliott’s result was also part of a 1-2-3 finish for Hendrick Motorsports. Byron won the race with Kyle Larson finishing second. Following the third-place finish, Elliott and the No. 9 team are sixth in the Cup Series points standings, just 51 markers behind the leader.

“Congrats to William (Byron) and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Rick and Linda (Hendrick), Jeff (Gordon), Jeff (Andrews), Chad (Knaus) and all the people that put this together for us,” Elliott said. “They have an unbelievable program and I think we are all proud to call it home. It was awesome hosting over 1,000 people from Hendrick today – employees and their families. Glad one of us could get it done. Obviously, I wish we could have got it done, selfishly, like anybody would. But it is nice to have a good couple of solid weeks and be in contention for a win. We haven’t been in contention to win one for a while, so (it was) kind of nice to get to that last restart when it actually mattered. So, enjoyed that aspect and certainly hungry for more.”

Start / Finish: 3 / 3
Points Standing / Total: 6th / 258 pts. (-51)

Next Race: Sunday, April 14, Texas Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN 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.
      During the stage break the team opted not to visit pit road, placing Elliott as the fifth driver to choose his lane to start the second stage. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native took the green flag from the inside of row two on lap 78. He continued to battle inside the top five until another caution slowed the race at lap 81. Staying out once again, Elliott lined up in the second row for the lap-87 restart. Getting loose, he dropped to seventh but found his way back inside the top five prior to lap 100. Showing speed on the long run, Elliott advanced to third on lap 130 and took over the second position less than 20 laps later. He set his sights on the leader and began reeling in the No. 12 of Ryan Blaney as green flag stops got under way. Elliott paced the field for one lap after Blaney made his way to pit road before he followed suit on lap 173. After pitting for four tires and fuel, Elliott returned to the track in 18th and was up to seventh as the pit cycle continued. When the caution came out on lap 182, the teams that still needed to pit made their stops. This put Elliott third in the running order. Once the race was back under way, he held his own inside the top five, finishing the stage in the third position.
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      Start / Finish: 9 / 3
      Points Standing / Total: 1st / 591 pts. (+8)
      Next Race: Sunday, June 23, New Hampshire Motor Speedway
      How to Watch or Listen: 2:30 p.m. ET on USA, PRN or SiriusXM
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    • By NAPA
      Chase Elliott and the No. 9 link hidden, please login to view team qualified fourth for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, leading the Hendrick Motorsports contingent. The 28-year-old driver finished stage one in fourth and followed that up with a 31st-place result in stage two after short pitting. In the final stage, Elliott took over the lead on lap 81 during the pit cycle prior to visiting pit road on lap 84 for four tires and fuel. Rejoining the race in the 12th position, he battled back to fourth before the checkered flag waved. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native advanced to second in the driver points standings and is now just 14 markers behind the leader. Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Gold Filters team qualified fourth for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, leading Hendrick Motorsports’ four-car contingent. Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA Gold Filters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 showed speed from the drop of the green flag. He maintained his fourth-place running position in the opening laps. When the caution flag was displayed on lap three, Elliott relayed to crew chief Alan Gustafson that the NAPA Gold Filters Chevy’s handling wasn’t bad. Opting to restart from the outside lane in the third row, the 28-year-old driver retook the fourth position on lap seven and remained there until the yellow flag waved again on lap 16. Staying out under the caution, he restarted from third on lap 19 and was scored in fourth when another incident brought out the caution the very same lap. The No. 9 team opted not to pit, and Elliott took the green flag from the second row on lap 23. With the remainder of the stage going caution-free, the 2020 Cup Series champion took the green-and-white checkered flag in the fourth position at the conclusion of lap 25.
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      Start / Finish: 4 / 4
      Points Standing / Total: 2nd / 547 pts. (-14)
      Next Race: Sunday, June 16, Iowa Speedway
      How to Watch or Listen: USA, MRN or SiriusXM
      NAPA: 
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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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      Elliott brought the NAPA Chevrolet to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel during the stage break. With teams on varying pit strategies, the driver of the No. 9 lined up 14th to start the final stage on lap 149. Elliott continued to battle inside the top 20 and was scored 13th when the first of the teams started making pit stops on lap 174. Having pitted more recently than some of the field, Elliott remained on the track and reported to his team that the NAPA Chevrolet was “tighter with the front end and loose with the back.” Gustafson called Elliott to pit road from the second position on lap 208 for right-side tires and fuel. He was running in 12th once the pit cycle was completed on lap 225. When the checkered flag waved on lap 240, Elliott crossed the line to finish 13th. 
      Elliott improved one position in the driver points standings and is now third, only 27 markers behind the leader.
      Start / Finish: 17 / 13
      Points Standing / Total: 3rd / 507 pts. (-27)
      Next Race: Sunday, June 9, Sonoma Raceway
      How to Watch or Listen: 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN or SiriusXM
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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.
      During the stage break, Elliott brought the NAPA Chevy to pit road for four tires and fuel. With varying pit strategies by teams, he took the green flag for stage two from the 14th position on lap 111. After initially losing some track position, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native maneuvered his way back inside the top 15 by lap 116. He reached the 14th position before green-flag pit stops got under way. Gustafson kept Elliott out on the track longer than much of the field before having him come to pit road from the second position on lap 153. When the caution flag came out less than 10 laps later, Elliott was scored in the 22nd position. With Elliott having fresher tires than most due to the team’s strategy during green-flag stops, he stayed out on the track and lined up fourth for the restart on lap 165. From there, he advanced his position and powered to the lead on lap 168. Elliott paced the field for two laps before Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron worked his way by on lap 170. The race was slowed at lap 172 for an on-track incident. Again, the No. 9 team opted not to pit. Elliott restarted from the front row on lap 177 and was scored in the seventh spot when another caution came out on lap 197, which ultimately ended the second stage.
      After pitting for four tires and fuel, Elliott lined up fourth to start the third stage on lap 207. He maintained a top-10 running position early in the stage, racing in seventh at the time of a caution on lap 229. Elliott brought the NAPA Chevrolet to the attention of the No. 9 crew for fuel and four tires. Restarting from the third row on lap 236, he continued to race inside the top-eight running order. With weather in the area, the race fell under caution for precipitation before it was red flagged for lightning. The rain cleared the area, but the air remained too humid for the track to dry. Consequently, officials were forced to call the race with 249 laps completed. Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA team were credited with a seventh-place result.
      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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    • By NAPA
      Chase Elliott and the No. 9
      link hidden, please login to view team started 15th in Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway after Saturday’s heat races were rained out and the lineup was set by qualifying results. When the first caution flag of the race came out on lap two, Elliott was scored in the same position in which he started. Under the yellow, crew chief Alan Gustafson called the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion to pit road for the primary tire option after starting the race on the soft tire option. Elliott restarted 16th on lap 11 and found himself inside the top 10 for the first time of the race on lap 41. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native battled with the ninth-place driver for several laps, but he couldn’t make the pass before the scheduled lap-100 caution occurred. The field came to pit road for mandatory pit stops, with the No. 9 team opting for the soft tires it had on earlier in the race. A fast, four-tire stop by the NAPA Racing crew gained Elliott two spots on pit road, and he lined up eighth for the choose cone, taking the inside lane for the restart on lap 109. The Hendrick Motorsports driver continued to battle inside the top eight and was scored in the seventh position when an on-track incident brought out the yellow flag on lap 118. Staying out on the track under the caution, Elliott lined up on the inside lane for the lap-124 restart and was running in the ninth spot when the second scheduled caution slowed the race on lap 150. Elliott relayed that his NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 needed more security, so the team made a chassis adjustment during its pit stop for four soft tires and fuel.
      With some teams opting to pit for only two tires, Elliott lined up 12th for the choose cone and took the inside lane for the restart on lap 159. From there, he pressed forward and moved back into the top 10 on lap 165. He managed to gain two more positions before the checkered flag waved, claiming an eighth-place result in the 200-lap all-star event. It was Elliott’s second consecutive top-10 finish in the exhibition event and seventh top-10 overall in nine All-Star Race starts, which includes his 2020 victory at Bristol Motor Speedway when he took home the $1-million prize.
      Start / Finish: 15 / 8
      Points Standing / Total: 4th / 437 pts. (-49)
      Next Race: Sunday, May 26, Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
      How to Watch or Listen: 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM
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