- Chase Elliott qualified 16th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- The 27-year-old driver finished stage one in 24th and improved to 18th to end stage two.
- Elliott and the No. 9 Hooters team took the checkered flag at the 1.5-mile track in the 15th position. They remain eighth in the owner point standings with one race remaining in the Round of 8.
Chase Elliott rolled off the grid for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway from the 16th position. After initially advancing his position at the drop of the green flag, Elliott lost some ground and was scored in 19th on lap eight. Shortly after, he relayed to crew chief Alan Gustafson that his turn was in a good place. He improved to as high as 17th before green-flag pit stops got underway. Elliott brought the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel on lap 31. He cycled back up to 18th by lap 36 but as the run went on, he reported that the right front was over built and dropped back to 24th before an incident brought out the caution on lap 77. The stage ultimately ended under the yellow flag with Elliott and the No. 9 team scored in that same position.
Prior to coming to pit road during the stage break, Elliott relayed that the Hooters Chevrolet got tight during the last run, and he wasn’t able to run the wall. After pitting for four tires and fuel, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native lined up 20th to start the second stage on lap 85. Elliott continued to race inside the top 25 and was running in 19th when green-flag pit stops started on lap 113. The 27-year-old driver reported that his drive was good, and his Hooters Chevrolet’s handling was better. As a part of the team’s strategy, Gustafson kept Elliott out on the track longer than several of his competitors. Elliott finally got the call to come to pit road on lap 124 for four fresh tires and fuel. Gustafson relayed to his driver to make the most of the tire advantage. Elliott made up ground quick, advancing to 18th before the end of stage two at lap 165.
During the stage break, the 2020 Cup Series champion reported to his team that his Hooters Chevrolet was much better that run. He brought the No. 9 Hooters Chevy to pit road for four tires and fuel before taking the green flag for the final stage in 16th. Elliott battled inside the top 20 until slipping to 21st at lap 186. Elliott reported a tight-handling condition but continued to fight hard for position. After dropping to 24th on lap 203, Gustafson made the call for Elliott to come to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. Before the field could cycle through pit stops an incident brought out the yellow flag, which trapped Elliott a lap down. The team opted not to pit under the caution, and Elliott took the wave around to get back on the lead lap. He restarted in 20th on lap 221 and was scored in the 17th spot when the yellow flag was displayed once again the very next lap. Elliott took the green flag from the 18th position on lap 229 after pitting for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. From there, he improved to 16th and was scored in 14th after an incident brought out the caution on lap 237. Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for the team’s final stop of the race for fuel and four fresh tires. The Hendrick Motorsports driver restarted in 12th with just 25 laps to go and battled hard in the closing laps, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 15th position.
With one race remaining in the Round of 8 in the owner championship playoffs, the No. 9 team sits eighth in the standings. The group is 77 markers below the cutline to advance to the Championship 4. Elliott and his team will need to win at Martinsville Speedway next weekend to punch their ticket to the final round of the elimination-style playoffs.
Start / Finish: 16 / 15
Points Standing / Total: 17th / 779 pts. (-3,347)
Next Race: Sunday, October 29, Martinsville Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN or SiriusXM
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (291) and laps led (over 77,000). Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, the team fields four full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.