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Elliott Avoids Last-Lap Incident, Earns Top-15 Result at Talladega


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  • Chase Elliott and the No. 9
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    team qualified ninth for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Elliott led laps en route to a second-place result in stage one and followed that up with an eighth-place finish in stage two.
  • After making multiple moves to try to advance to the front of the field towards the end race, he avoided a last-lap multi-car incident to finish 15th.
  • The 28-year-old driver now sits third in the Cup Series point standings, just 22 markers behind the leader.

Chase Elliott advanced to the final round of Saturday’s qualifying session, ultimately claiming a ninth-place starting position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Early in the race, Elliott opted to drop back in the field in an effort to conserve fuel. He maneuvered his way forward utilizing the outside lane as the field went three wide. Eventually, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 found the front of the pack and took over the lead for the first time of the race on lap 42. Just two laps later, Elliott made his way to pit road for a fuel-only stop. Once green-flag stops cycled through, the 28-year-old driver retook the lead. He raced side-by-side with the No. 2 for the top spot as the field ran double file. Elliott came up just short of the stage win, taking the green-and-white checkered flag in second at the conclusion of lap 60.

Under the stage-ending caution, Elliott relayed that he thought he wore out the right front tire. After the team made a pit stop for four tires and fuel, crew chief Alan Gustafson examined the tires and relayed to Elliott that the right front looked fine. The 2020 Cup Series champion was the second one off of pit road but opted to line up on the outside of row two to start the second stage. The majority of the field went back to three-wide racing and Elliott utilized all the lanes throughout the stage to find momentum. On lap 103, he brought the NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet to the attention of his crew for fuel. In the closing laps of stage two, Elliott was running among the front half of his competitors and scored an eighth-place result at its lap-120 conclusion.

After pitting for four tires and fuel during the stage break, the team opted to pit again to top off the fuel tank of the NAPA Auto Parts Chevy. Elliott took the green flag for the final stage deep in the field and was running just outside of the top 20 when the yellow flag waved for a multi-car incident. After pitting for fuel only, Elliott restarted inside the top 15 and continued to run among the top 20 in the running order. After another caution came out on lap, the No. 9 NAPA team took the opportunity to pit for the final time for fuel. Elliott was the 16th to choose his lane for the lap-161 restart and opted for the inside. As the laps wound down, Elliott joined a third lane of cars on the outside. After initially making progress, the lane stalled out and he lost his momentum. On the final lap of the race, the leaders triggered a multi-car incident and Elliott avoided the melee to earn a 15th-place finish.

A solid points day for Elliott moved him up to third in the Cup Series driver standings. He’ll head to Dover Motor Speedway next week just 22 markers behind the leader.

Start / Finish: 9 / 15
Points Standing / Total: 3rd / 337 (-22)

Next Race: Sunday, April 28, Dover Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 2:00 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.
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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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      Points Standing / Total: 2nd / 547 pts. (-14)
      Next Race: Sunday, June 16, Iowa Speedway
      How to Watch or Listen: USA, MRN or SiriusXM
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    • By NAPA
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      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.
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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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    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
    • By NAPA
      Christian Eckes took an unorthodox path to secure a top-10 finish and extended his points lead on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). The driver of the No. 19
      link hidden, please login to view Chevrolet Silverado RST earned a 10th-place finish after persevering through a trying day and now owns a 30-point advantage in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) championship standings after 11 of 16 regular season races. Eckes was instantly faced with adversity in practice after posting the third-quickest time in the session. He received significant damage to the left side of his Chevrolet after contact from another truck in practice and forced the team to make major repairs. Consequently, Eckes was scrubbed in qualifying and started from the tail of the field. The repairs did not deter Eckes as he targeted the front and rapidly charged forward at the start. He advanced from 35th to 14th by the end of Stage 1 on lap 30, despite simultaneously dealing with a low voltage issue.
      Under the first stage caution, crew chief Charles Denike and the NAPA team executed an efficient diagnosis of the situation which was attributed to a disconnected alternator. The team kept Eckes on the lead lap during the pit cycle to make repairs, but he was forced to restart at the tail of the lead lap. Once again, Eckes moved forward and advanced to 20th by the end of Stage 2 on lap 60.
      After pitting during the stage break, Eckes also pitted under caution on lap 75. The strategy allowed him to get off sequence with most of the lead lap trucks, and it paid off with a caution on lap 81. As the majority hit pit road, Eckes stayed on track to inherit the fifth position for the lap 88 restart. In his trademark fashion, Eckes wasted no time on the restart and immediately went from fifth to first. He paced the field for 37 laps while in fuel-savings mode until the final caution flew on lap 121. Eckes elected to stay on track in the lead as all but six trucks behind him dove to pit road for fresh tires. Over the final nine laps Eckes did his best to hold off competitors the fresh rubber, but took the checkered flag in 11th position.
      Following post-race technical inspection, the No. 11 truck was disqualified and Eckes was credited with a 10th-place finish.
      “We had a ton of adversity all day, for sure.” Eckes said. “We put ourselves in position to win the race and needed it to go green to the end for everything to work out like we wanted. It’s unfortunate, but really proud of the effort all these guys showed on our NAPA Auto Care, Black’s Tire Chevrolet. To get this truck repaired and turned around to race with that much speed says a lot about our team. Really proud of that and we’ll try to finish it off at Gateway next week.”
      Start / Finish: 35 / 10
      Points Standing / Total: 1st / 453 pts. (+30)
      Next Race: Saturday, June 1, WWT Raceway
      How to Watch or Listen: FOX, MRN or SiriusXM
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