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Elliott Battles Back to Finish 18th at Nashville

  • Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team qualified 13th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.
  • The 28-year-old driver finished stage one in 11th and stage two in sixth.
  • During the final stage, Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 got loose and slid through the infield grass, bringing out the caution. He was back up to 12th when an incident brought out the yellow flag with less than five laps to go, sending the race into overtime.
  • The race ultimately went into a record five overtimes, with Elliott running out of fuel on the fourth overtime attempt from inside the top 10. After a separate incident on the same lap brought out the caution, Elliott visited pit road for fuel and four fresh tires. He restarted just outside the top 20 and battled hard to earn an 18th-place result, extending his streak of top-20 finishes this season to 19.
  • Elliott is currently second in the Cup Series driver points standings, only 20 points behind the leader, Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson.

Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team qualified 13th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. Once the green flag waved, Elliott pressed forward, advancing to 10th on lap 26. Teams began making green-flag pit stops shortly after lap 30, with crew chief Alan Gustafson calling his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment on lap 39. Some teams opted to run long, extending the cycle of green-flag stops. Elliott was scored 11th once the final car made its way to pit road with just 12 laps remaining in the first stage. The 28-year-old driver was reeling in 10th place ahead of him but ultimately ran out of time before taking the green-and-white checkered flag in 11th.

During the stage-ending caution, Elliott relayed that his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet was tight through the center of the turns to start, then was really good for the middle of the run before getting too loose off the corners. Gustafson made the call for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Elliott lined up 12th for the choose, opting for the bottom lane to start the second stage. He was up to ninth before the caution flag waved on lap 117. After pitting for four tires and fuel while some teams only took two, the 2020 Cup Series champion restarted from the 11th position on lap 123. Elliott wasted little time advancing his position, climbing to sixth before another incident brought out the caution on lap 126. Staying out, he restarted from the outside of row three on lap 131 and made his way to fifth before the race was slowed for lightning near the track. The race was ultimately red flagged for nearly an hour and a half due to rain. Once back underway, Elliott lined up on the outside of the third row for the lap-141 restart. He maintained a top-10 running position for the remainder of the stage, crossing the line in sixth on lap 185.

After pitting for four tires and fuel, Elliott was fifth to choose his restart lane, claiming the outside to begin the final stage. He remained inside the top seven through two caution periods and was running in sixth when his No. 9 NAPA Chevy got loose and slid through the infield grass, bringing out the caution. Elliott avoided major damage and made his way to pit road for four tires and fuel. He restarted deep in the field on lap 225 and re-entered the top 15 on lap 255. Elliott continued his climb, reaching the 12th position with less than 10 laps to go. A late caution sent the race into overtime and the team opted not to pit, allowing Elliott to restart from the fourth row. However, another incident slowed the race again, bringing a second overtime restart. By the third overtime, some cars were starting to run out of fuel. Elliott’s Chevrolet held strong until running out of fuel on the fourth attempt at overtime. A separate incident on the same lap brought out the caution, giving Elliott the opportunity to head to pit road for fuel and four fresh tires. He restarted outside the top 20 for the fifth and final overtime restart, driving to an 18th-place finish.

Elliott is now second in the Cup Series driver points standings, only 20 markers behind the leader, Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. With his 18th-place result at Nashville, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native is the only driver to finish all 19 of this season’s points-paying events in the top 20.

Start / Finish: 13 / 18
Points Standing / Total: 2nd / 644 pts. (-20)

Next Race: Sunday, July 7, Chicago Street Course
How to Watch or Listen: NBC, MRN or SiriusXM

NAPA: @NAPARacing
Chase Elliott: @ChaseElliott
Hendrick Motorsports: @TeamHendrick
No. 9 Team: @Hendrick9Team

Hendrick Motorsports View All

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 (308) and laps led (over 80,000). 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.

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