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Elliott Earns 13th-Place Finish at WWT Raceway

  • 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 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.

Under the stage-ending caution, Elliott relayed that he didn’t think the No. 9 NAPA Chevy was in a bad place. Gustafson called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. With some teams opting not to pit and others pitting for only two tires, Elliott took the green for stage two from the 17th position on lap 55. During a chaotic opening lap, the 2020 Cup Series champion was battling four-wide for position when the NAPA Chevrolet was forced up into the wall. Elliott was able to stay out on the track but reported that the contact knocked the toe out. Still, he continued to advance his position, moving into the top 10 on lap 56 and improving to sixth by lap 72. As a long green-flag run ensued, pit stops got under way on lap 91 with Elliott pitting from the third position on lap 96. Gustafson made the call for right-side tires and fuel. Elliott re-entered the track in the 24th position and improved to 15th before a caution slowed the race at lap 112. Opting not to pit under the yellow, Elliott restarted from the second position on lap 120. He continued to race in the runner-up spot until the closing laps of the stage when cars on fresher tires caught up to him. The Hendrick Motorsports driver held his own and remained inside the top-five running order to finish stage two in the fourth position on lap 140.

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

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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