- Chase Elliott qualified 14th for Sunday’s 300-lap NASCAR Cup Series event at Nashville Superspeedway.
- Elliott earned valuable stage points in each of the race’s first two stages, finishing stage one in sixth and stage two in seventh. His strong run continued into the final stage, ultimately resulting in a fourth-place finish.
- This fourth-place finish marked his second consecutive top-five effort, and his fourth top-five finish of the season in just 10 starts.
- Elliott has now achieved two top-five finishes in just three Cup Series starts at Nashville. The 27-year-old driver emerged victorious in the race in Music City last year.
- With nine races remaining in the regular season, Elliott currently holds the 25th position in the Cup Series point standings, trailing the provisional cutline to advance to the playoffs by 64 markers.
Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team entered the race weekend as the defending NASCAR Cup Series winners at Nashville Superspeedway, and they were poised for a repeat. The 27-year-old driver qualified 14th for Sunday’s afternoon 300-lap race but wasted little time powering his way into the top 10 once the green flag waved. Elliott reached ninth by the second lap and continued climbing from there, running in sixth when teams began their first round of green-flag pit stops on lap 42. Crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment on lap 45. Once the field cycled through pit stops, the native of Dawsonville, Georgia, was scored in seventh. Shortly after, spotter Eddie D’Hondt relayed to Elliott that his NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was the fastest car on the track. Elliott made a pass to move into the sixth position on lap 68 and held onto it to close out the first stage on lap 90. The Hendrick Motorsports driver earned five valuable stage points with the top 10 stage finish.
Under the stage-ending caution, Elliott brought his NAPA Chevrolet to the attention of his crew for four fresh tires and fuel. Scored in the seventh position following the pit stop, the driver of the No. 9 chose the top lane to start the second stage on lap 97. Elliott continued to battle inside the top 10 and was scored in seventh when green-flag pit stops commenced. Gustafson radioed for Elliott to make his way to pit road on lap 137 for fuel and fresh tires. Not long after Elliott left his pit stall, a caution came out for a car stopped on pit road. The NAPA crew was one of several teams trapped a lap down but ultimately took the wave around to get back on the lead lap. Elliott was the 11th driver to choose for the restart and went with the top lane for the lap-146 restart. Just after the field took the green, an on-track incident brought out the yellow flag once again. This time, Elliott was scored in the sixth position and took the bottom lane. The race went back to green on lap 152 and Elliott settled into the seventh spot, where he remained until the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 185 to end the second stage. Another strong stage result netted Elliott four additional stage points.
With the NAPA Chevrolet’s handling not quite to Elliott’s liking, the team decided to make another air pressure adjustment during its pit stop for four tires and fuel. Elliott lined up sixth to start the final stage on lap 192. After initially dropping back to seventh early in the run, the 2020 Cup Series champion methodically started his climb forward, moving into sixth on lap 220 and maneuvering his way to fifth on lap 226. He was running in that same position when teams started making their final pit stops of the race. A fast stop for four tires and fuel by the No. 9 crew helped Elliott make up ground on the racetrack. Once pit stops cycled through on lap 267, Elliott was scored in the fourth position. He battled hard in the final laps of the race before ultimately taking the checkered flag in fourth.
Elliott now has two top-five finishes in just three Cup Series starts at Nashville. With nine races left in the regular season, Elliott currently sits 25th in the Cup Series point standings, 64 markers below the provisional cutline to advance to the playoffs.
“Our NAPA Chevy was solid, but we still needed a little bit. I actually thought we were the best at the start of the race and then we kind of got off there in the mid-stage and I think we basically just kind of got back to where we were and everyone else got a little better. But yeah, proud of the effort and to get two top-fives in a row is a good thing for us. Trying to get things going, so we will try again in Chicago.”
Start / Finish: 14 / 4
Points Standing / Total: 25th / 289 pts. (-287)
Next Race: July 2, Chicago Street Race,
How to Watch or Listen: 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC, 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.