- Chase Elliott qualified 23rd for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
- The 2020 Cup Series champion earned valuable stage points throughout the 188-lap race, ending stage one in fourth and stage two in fifth.
- Elliott was in the mix on the final lap when he was involved in a multi-car incident coming to the checkered flag. He still managed to cross the finish line and was ultimately scored with a seventh-place finish.
- The No. 9 LLumar team is now fourth in the owner point standings, 20 points above the elimination line to advance to the Round of 8 in the owner playoffs.
Chase Elliott started Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway from the 23rd position and spent the opening laps getting a good feel for how his car handled in the draft. By lap 25, Elliott reached the top 10 for the first time in the race after making headway in the bottom lane. He continued to make moves within the lead pack as the stage went on. After pitting for fuel on lap 40, the 27-year-old driver made a return to the top 10. Elliott was scored in the 10th position with just 10 laps remaining in the stage and improved his standing from there, earning a fourth-place finish in stage one.
During the stage break, Elliott brought his No. 9 LLumar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native took the green flag for stage two from the second position and traded the lead over multiple laps as both lanes remained even early in the run. As a third row formed and gained momentum, Elliott fell outside the top 10, but continued to hold strong inside the main pack of cars. After a fuel-only pit stop on lap 107, he set his sights on getting back toward the front and powered his way inside the top 10 as the stage wound down. Elliott took the green-and-white checkered flag in the fifth position at lap 120, bringing his total stage points earned to 13.
Under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. The Hendrick Motorsports driver started the final stage in sixth on lap 125 and held strong at the front of the field for several laps. When a car ahead of him got shuffled out of its lane on lap 158, Elliott lost some momentum. He showed how strong his Chevrolet was by maneuvering his way back up to 15th before a caution flag waved for a multi-car incident on lap 162. The race was put under the red flag as crews worked to repair the outside retaining wall. Once the red flag was lifted, teams visited pit road. Elliott’s squad opted for fuel only during its pit stop in an effort to gain track position. Elliott restarted inside the top 10 with 20 laps to go and was still there when debris on the track brought out another caution. The driver of the No. 9 restarted in sixth and was in the lead with six laps remaining. With everyone fighting for position, Elliott continued to hold his own inside the top 10. Coming to the checkered flag, he was caught up in a multi-car incident. Despite heavy damage to his LLumar Chevrolet, Elliott still managed to cross the finish line. He was scored with a seventh-place finish.
It was another strong points day for Elliott and the No. 9 team as they continue their run in the playoffs for the owner championship. The No. 9 team moved up to fourth in the owner points, 20 points above the elimination line with one race remaining in the Round of 12.
You were up there coming to the final lap. What happened from your perspective?
“I have no idea what happened. Just got hit in the door; had four flat tires and I couldn’t drive back.”
Overall, you had an impressive day until that moment. Reflect on how it went before the crash.
“It was fine. We got some decent stage points. Finishing eighth, hopefully that’s good enough to help us in the owner championship points.” (Note: Elliott was scored with a seventh-place finish after the No. 4 car failed post-race inspection.)
Start / Finish: 23 / 7
Points Standing / Total: 17th / 710 pts. (-2,426)
Next Race: Sunday, October 8, Charlotte Motor Speedway (ROVAL)
How to Watch or Listen: 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC, 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.