- Chase Elliott, who qualified fourth for Sunday’s event at Kansas Speedway, finished sixth in the 400-mile race.
- The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion finished ninth in stage one and third in stage two.
- Elliott led twice for 47 laps in the race that went into overtime.
- The No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team is now eighth in the owner playoff standings, 12 points ahead of the elimination line heading into the final race of the Round of 16.
Chase Elliott, who qualified fourth for Sunday’s race scheduled for 267 laps at Kansas Speedway, quickly gained a position before the day’s first caution waved at lap three. He chose the outside for the lap-nine restart but lost positions when the right-rear tire “ballooned” – as he described it – after the early caution period. When crew chief Alan Gustafson called him to pit road for a change of tires and to add fuel at lap 37, Elliott was scored eighth. Upon returning to the track, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native’s No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was “immediately loose” but Elliott continued to battle within the top 10 before another caution waved at lap 62. Elliott stopped for new tires and fuel once more but had fallen to ninth by the time stage one ended at lap 80.
During the stage break, Gustafson again called Elliott to pit road. A lightning-fast four-tire stop by the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts crew vaulted Elliott up five positions in the race off pit road. The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion chose the inside lane for the lap-87 restart, and he was in the runner-up spot one lap later. With new tires much faster than older tires, Gustafson radioed Elliott to pit road for new rubber during a caution at lap 110. On the lap-113 restart, Elliott grabbed the lead and paced the field for the next 30 circuits around the 1.5-mile track. Unfortunately, he dropped two spots in the final three laps of stage two and finished third.
Elliott visited pit road during the stage break for new tires but lost several spots due to extra time needed to put additional fuel into the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet. The 27-year-old driver restarted eighth on lap 171 and maneuvered up to fifth by lap 189. On lap 214, he was up to third. One lap later, Elliott made a green-flag pit stop for tires and fuel. When the green-flag cycle was completed, he was third on the scoring pylon.
A caution waved with seven laps to go, and Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for four fresh tires. Varying strategies – some drivers did not pit while other teams changed only right-side tires – placed Elliott eighth for the final restart. He gained two positions in the two-lap sprint to the checkered flag, scoring a sixth-place result.
The top-10 finish now has the No. 9 team eighth in the owner playoff standings after the penultimate race of the Round of 16, 12 markers ahead of the elimination line.
“Overall, it was a good day for our NAPA team,” Elliott said. “Our Chevrolet’s balance was really good, and I felt like we kept making gains throughout the race and had good speed. It was nice to get up there and lead some laps. If things had gone our way at the end, I think we would have had a shot at racing for the win.”
Start / Finish: 4 / 6
Points Standing / Total: 18th / 600 pts. (-1,517)
Next Race: Saturday, Sept. 16, Bristol Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 7:30 p.m. ET on USA, PRN 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.