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Elliott Rallies to Fifth-Place Result at Dover

  • Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team qualified 29th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway.
  • Elliott showcased a 16-position gain by lap 60 en route to a ninth-place result in stage one and followed that up with a fifth-place finish in stage two.
  • The 28-year-old driver remained in the top 10 during the final stage, ultimately finishing the 400-lap race in the fifth position.
  • The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion ranks third in the points standings, just 33 markers behind the leader.

Following Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions at Dover Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott started Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race 29th. At the start of the scheduled 400-lap race, Elliott navigated among the surrounding cars, advancing to 20th by lap 39 before the first caution waved over the field. Under the caution, Elliott brought the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. Unfortunately, when exiting pit road, he made contact with a competitor but sustained no damage. On lap 48, Elliott took the green from the outside lane in the 15th position. Progressing steadily, he maneuvered to 13th halfway through stage one, making a gain of 16 positions at the “Monster Mile.” Continuing his charge, the 28-year-old driver entered the top 10 behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman with 46 laps to go in the stage. As the first stage drew to a close, another caution came out with two laps to go, ultimately leading to a ninth-place finish for Elliott under the yellow flag on lap 120.

Amid the caution, Elliott communicated to the No. 9 team that his Chevrolet experienced some tightness when near to his competitors. On lap 123, he pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. When the green flag waved on lap 130, Elliott resumed in the ninth position. Shortly after the restart, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native reported that he got into the wall, but No. 9 crew chief Alan Gustafson reassured him that the NAPA Auto Parts Chevy was good and had no visible damage. On lap 182, Elliott visited pit road for fresh tires and fuel as green-flag pit stops were underway. He raced inside the top 10 as the pit cycle continued and advanced to the top five in the closing laps of the second stage. Ultimately, he took the green-and-white checkered flag in the fifth position on lap 250.

During the stage break, Elliott expressed confidence in his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, stating that he felt “just as good as everyone else” before pitting for four tires and fuel on lap 253. As the green flag waved for the start of the final stage on lap 259, Elliott was in the fifth position and continued to battle inside the top 10 until green-flag pit stops began. Elliott pitted for more tires and fuel on lap 320, but following his return to the track, a caution came out. Leveraging the No. 9 team’s strategy, Elliott stayed out during the caution, along with other drivers who had already pitted, which put him in the fourth spot for the restart. Following another caution, the green flag waved again on lap 339, with Elliott placed fifth. Demonstrating resilience, Elliott fended off his competitors to secure a top-five finish, taking the checkered flag in the fifth position at the conclusion of Sunday’s race on lap 400.

Elliott leaves Dover Motor Speedway third in the Cup Series points standings, just 33 markers behind the leader.

“I was really happy with our car, honestly. A couple of moves here or there… I needed to just get myself a little further forward. But I’m really happy with the NAPA Chevy. We had a really solid day, and it was fun. It’s always fun when you can pass your way to the front.”

Start / Finish: 29 / 5
Points Standing / Total: 3rd / 377 pts. (-33)

Next Race: Sunday, May 5, Kansas Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 3:00 p.m. ET on FS1, 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 (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.

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