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Elliott Tied for Points Lead following New Hampshire

  • Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team secured a first-place starting position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after officials canceled qualifying due to rain, and the lineup was set according to the rulebook.
  • Elliott led the opening 41 laps of the race before ultimately finishing stage one in the third position.
  • The 28-year-old driver finished stage two in ninth and was involved in a multi-car incident at the beginning of the final stage, which put him deep in the field for the next restart. Elliott was scored in the 21st position when rain entered the area, forcing a two-hour red flag. The race got back under way on lap 229 with the field on wet weather tires.
  • The 2020 Cup Series champion raced as high as eighth in the final stint before taking the checkered flag 18th.
  • Elliott is currently tied for first in the Cup Series driver points standings with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson.

Chase Elliott entered the New Hampshire Motor Speedway race weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series points leader. He and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team were prepared for practice and qualifying on Saturday, but the weather had other plans. NASCAR officials ultimately canceled qualifying and set the starting order for Sunday’s race according to the rulebook, which awarded Elliott the first-place starting position. The 28-year-old driver led the field to green on Sunday afternoon and remained out front for 41 laps before the No. 20 of Christopher Bell took over the point position. Elliott continued to battle inside the top-three for the remainder of stage one, taking the green-and-white checkered flag in third at lap 70. Under the caution, Elliott relayed to crew chief Alan Gustafson that the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet was loose and the ride wasn’t as smooth as it had been in practice. The team called him to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to help tighten up the Chevrolet.

Elliott took the green flag for the stage two from the inside of the second row on lap 78.  He settled into the fifth position after the restart and was scored in seventh when he reported to Gustafson that his NAPA Chevy wasn’t as loose, but the ride was still bad. Not long after, green-flag pit stops ensued with Elliott bringing the No. 9 Chevy to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel on lap 124. When a caution slowed the race on lap 142, Elliott was scored in the eighth position and relayed to his team that it was hard for him to be smooth on the track. After pitting for right-side tires and fuel, the 2020 Cup Series champion restarted from the third row on lap 149 and remained inside the top 10 for the rest of the second stage, ending it in the ninth position on lap 185.

After pitting for four fresh tires and fuel during the stage break, Elliott lined up 11th to choose his lane to start the final stage. Opting for the outside lane, he was making headway once the green flag waved when the No. 22 of Joey Logano made contact with the NAPA Chevrolet and caused damage to the left side. The incident brought out the caution flag and Elliott made his way to pit road for four new tires and repairs. He made one more visit to pit road prior to restarting from the 28th position on lap 200. He improved two positions before another yellow flag waved. Gustafson called Elliott to pit road so the team could make additional repairs from the earlier incident. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native restarted in 28th on lap 206 and improved to 21st in the race prior to a caution on lap 216. Rain entered the area while the field was under caution, forcing officials to display the red flag. 

Just over two hours later the red flag was lifted, and the race got back under way with the field on wet weather tires. Elliott was determined to gain ground after taking the green flag on lap 229. He powered his way to 10th by lap 231 and was running in ninth at the time of a caution on lap 234. Staying out, he chose the inside lane for the lap-242 restart and was running in eighth on lap 244 prior to slipping outside of the top 10 on lap 252. Elliott was in the 12th position when the yellow flag was displayed on lap 256. Teams were not allowed to pit for new tires yet, so Elliott lined up in the same spot for the restart on lap 263 and was up to 10th when another caution flag waved on lap 265. NASCAR officials made the call for teams to change into a fresh set of wet weather tires during non-competitive pit stops. After visiting pit road, Elliott restarted in 10th on lap 275. He was running in 11th at the time of a lap-283 caution. With the track beginning to dry, the tires were more worn than the previous run, so NASCAR again allowed teams to put a new set of wet weather tires on. After being 11th to choose, Elliott restarted from the outside lane with nine laps to go. He was running inside the top 12 when a caution sent the race into overtime. Lining up on the inside of the fifth row, Elliott battled hard in the final two laps before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 18th position.

Elliott is now tied with teammate Kyle Larson for the Cup Series driver points standings lead. He remains the only driver to finish all of this season’s points-paying events in the top 20.

Start / Finish: 1 / 18
Points Standing / Total: 1st (tied) / 620 pts.

Next Race: Sunday, June 30, Nashville Superspeedway
How to Watch or Listen: NBC, PRN 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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