CONCORD, N.C. – Chase Elliott is on a hot streak with five top-five finishes in the past five races. Climbing to third in the point standings, the driver reflected on the past weekend’s success.
Last Sunday at Pocono Raceway, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 spent plenty of time inside the top 10 and even led two laps, but he sacrificed stage points in order to finish strong at the Pennsylvania venue.
“Playing the strategy game was really important,” Elliott said. “Pitting before the stages was giving up stage points doing that, but ultimately having track position in the back half was where it was worth it. Luckily, (No. 9 team crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) and our group saw that early in the race and we kind of jumped on board with that strategy. It worked out for a top-five. I’m proud of the effort.”
Pitting just before the end of Stages 1 and 2 saw him finish those segments in 35th and 18th, respectively, but it allowed him to start the final segment in fifth. He capitalized on that position to finish fourth for the third consecutive race. With one win this season in the books, the driver hopes as his top-five streak continues to build, another first-place finish will be in the cards.
“We had a solid day,” he said. “Things kind of went our way there at the end to get that top-five. It was nice to be running in the top five and be close, just not close enough.”
As momentum continues to build for the No. 9 team, they hope to take their second trip to Victory Lane this season as teams head to Michigan International Speedway this weekend.
“I feel like we’re really close,” Elliott said. “I’ll go to work and try to do a better job, and we’ll see what we can do next week.”