- Chase Elliott qualified 18th for the NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
- The race, originally scheduled for Sunday, was postponed to Monday due to rain.
- Elliott battled a tough-handling condition on the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro, and the team worked hard throughout the race to make improvements. The 27-year-old driver ended stage one 18th and stage two 23rd before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 12th position.
- The 2020 Cup Series champion is 23rd in the driver point standings with six races left in the regular season. Elliott is currently 60 markers below the provisional cutline to advance to the playoffs.
Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team took to the 1.058-mile oval of New Hampshire Motor Speedway over the weekend. After securing an 18th-place starting position in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, Elliott would have to wait until Monday to take the green flag for the NASCAR Cup Series race after heavy rain forced officials to postpone the 301-lap event originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Elliott rolled off the grid 18th and advanced his position early in the race. By lap five, the 27-year-old driver was up to 13th and was scored in that same position when the caution flag was displayed on lap 28. Elliott relayed to his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team that his No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was loose. Crew chief Alan Gustafson made the call for four fresh tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment once Elliott made his way to pit road. Restarting just outside the top 10 on lap 33, Elliott tried to climb forward but his Chevrolet’s handling was still not to his liking. He continued to battle inside the top-15 running order until dropping to 16th on lap 46. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved at lap 70 to end the first stage, Elliott was scored 18th.
The Dawsonville, Georgia, native radioed that his Chevrolet was tighter across the center and loose in and off, so the team decided to go a different route with adjustments to try to alleviate the tough-handling condition during its pit stop for four tires and fuel. The longer pit stop placed Elliott deeper in the field to start the second stage. He took the green flag 23rd and initially drove up to 21st on lap 80. As the run went on, Elliott began losing ground on the track as the handling issues persisted. Still, he pushed through it until scheduled green-flag pit stops got underway. Gustafson called Elliott to pit road on lap 133 for four tires and fuel. He re-entered the track one lap down in 25th and fought hard to try to be in the free pass position. When a caution came out on lap 162, Elliott was the third car one lap down. The team opted not to pit and instead took the wave around to get back on the lead lap. Just after the field took the green flag, an incident brought out the caution once again. Gustafson took the opportunity to have Elliott come to pit road for four tires and fuel. The 2020 Cup Series champion restarted from the 20th position on lap 174 and gave it his all in the closing laps of the second stage, ultimately ending it 23rd.
With only 10 green-flag laps on his tires, Elliott stayed out on the track during the stage break and gained valuable track position. Scored in the eighth position to start the final stage, Elliott held strong in the top 10 early in the run before falling to 11th on lap 198. However, he remained inside the top 15 during what became a long green-flag run. Teams were once again forced to make pit stops under the green flag, with Elliott making his way down the pit lane on lap 237. After a fast stop for four tires and fuel, Elliott made his way back out on the track in the 25th position and cycled through to 17th before a caution flag waved on lap 270. Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for four tires and fuel, and the NAPA Chevrolet was scored 19th for the restart with just 24 laps to go. Elliott pressed forward, gaining two positions before the yellow flag was displayed once again just three laps later. Staying out, Elliott restarted 17th and raced his way to 14th prior to an incident forcing another yellow flag with just 13 laps to go. The field got the green flag for the final time of the race with only nine laps left. Never giving up, Elliott fought his way to 12th before the checkered flag waved.
Following his 12th-place finish at New Hampshire, Elliott is 23rd in the Cup Series point standings. He is 60 markers below the provisional cutline to advance to the playoffs with just six races left in the regular season.
Start / Finish: 18 / 12
Points Standing / Total: 23rd / 372 pts. (-295)
Next Race: Sunday, July 23, Pocono Raceway
How to Watch or Listen: 2:30 p.m. ET on USA, 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.