CONCORD, N.C. – In the spirit of the off weekend, Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, looked back on this season's opening nine races to see what he could work on.
So far this year, Elliott has a pair of top-10 finishes and a top-five finish, which was a runner-up result at Martinsville. He has also earned one pole and led 122 laps to this point in the campaign.
“It’s definitely early," he said. "I think it’s been, I would say, decent thus far. I feel like we’ve had some really good runs, runs that I feel like we were capable of winning an event in, and then we’ve had runs where we weren’t even close.”
Elliott’s best finish of the season's nine races was at Martinsville. After starting the race in seventh, Elliott went on lead 49 laps and battle for the win all the way to the checkered flag. Ultimately, he finished second. In addition to his two top-10s, he has finished inside the top 15 five additional times, including two 11th-place results.
"I think this year thus far there have been certain types of tracks that we have had better success at than others,” the driver said. “I don't necessarily think it’s a dice roll, I just think there have been areas where we've done a better job and areas we haven't. On the areas where we do a better job, we have had some chances and the opposition we haven't. I think that is the bottom line."
When it comes to qualifying, Elliott has placed the No. 9 Chevy inside the top 10 to start six consecutive races, though last weekend inspection issues saw him moved to the rear of the field to take the green flag at Richmond Raceway. Now, he's just looking to continue to capitalize on the solid starts and turn them into strong finishes.
"There have been days that I felt like I put myself in the good positions and I felt like I made good decisions and it didn't work out, but there were more days than not that I didn't," the driver said. "It's hard to put all that together at the right time. Hopefully we will get it right one day."
Following the off weekend, the Cup Series returns at Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday, April 28, at 2 p.m. ET on FOX.