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Elliott Earns Top-Five Finish at Sonoma Raceway

  • Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Gold Filters 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.

Elliott remained on the track during the stage break, lining up third to start the second segment of the race on lap 30. After initially holding onto the third position, Elliott got loose and slipped to fourth before the caution came out on lap 32. Once again, the team opted not to pit under the yellow. This time, Elliott chose the outside lane for the lap-35 restart. He was scored fifth when another incident slowed the race just one lap later. Staying out, Elliott lined up fifth on lap 40. A chaotic restart triggered another caution, with the driver of the No. 9 Chevy being scored seventh at the time of the yellow flag. As part of the team’s strategy, Elliott again did not visit pit road. He restarted seventh on lap 43 and improved to sixth before coming to pit road under the green flag on lap 51 for four tires and fuel. He re-entered the track and laid down the fastest lap of the race before ending stage two in the 31st position on lap 55.

“I feel like my balance is pretty good here. Just have to put it together,” was the report from Elliott under the stage-ending caution. He took the green flag for the final stage from the 25th position on lap 60 and improved to 15th before teams began making their final pit stops of the race on lap 68. Elliott remained on the track and took over the lead on lap 81. Just three laps later, Gustafson called his driver to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Elliott rejoined the race in the 12th position and re-entered the top 10 with 23 laps to go. He continued to press forward and was up to seventh with four laps remaining. He gained three more positions to earn a fourth-place result when the checkered flag waved.

The result was Elliott’s fourth top-five finish at Sonoma in the Cup Series and his sixth top-five of the 2024 season. A strong points day moved Elliott up to second in the driver points standings, just 14 markers behind the leader.

“It was a normal road course race,” Elliott said. “I felt like we were on the right strategy, I just lost too much time there early in the race. I fell back a few rows and felt like our group that we were racing against were who we were probably going to be racing for the win. Fell behind there early; lost a couple of rows and just never could get it back. I’m not sure I had the pace Kyle (Larson, race winner) had, but thought we were a solid top-three to five car and that’s where we finished. We’ll try again next week.”

Start / Finish: 4 / 4
Points Standing / Total: 2nd / 547 pts. (-14)

Next Race: Sunday, June 16, Iowa Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: USA, MRN 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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