CONCORD, N.C. -- According to Chase Elliott, Richmond Raceway is a tough track to conquer not because it’s tricky but because perfection is needed to be successful there.
The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE said driving at Richmond is “straight forward” but it’s extremely difficult to break the mold and try different maneuvers on the track.
“Everyone is doing the exact same thing,” Elliott said. “Obviously, you have to have your car balance really good there and it has to be perfect. You’re riding that really razor thin edge much like you do at Martinsville. But it’s definitely a challenge. And I think the reason it’s a challenge is that everyone is just doing the same thing. … everyone is just in the exact same boat and it’s hard to be different. I think that’s what makes that place tough.”
Elliott has 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the .75-mile track and has posted three top-five finishes – one being a runner-up result – and four top-10s. Additionally, he has 11 top-five finishes and 17 top-10 results in 34 starts at short tracks.
Like many on the Cup Series circuit, Elliott is looking for his first win at Richmond. However, he’s not hitting the panic button in trying to secure his first win of the season at the Virginia track. The reigning Cup champion had to wait until May 28 last year for his first win of 2020 before he went on to secure his first title.
“I would have loved to win, for sure, before now,” Elliott said. “At the same time, I feel like we have a great team. I feel like I’m in a good place. I don’t feel any different today than I did approaching the end of the season last year. So, we just have to continue to push and work hard to focus on what makes us go fast and what makes me comfortable behind the wheel and just focus on us. I feel like that’s something we’ve always done a really good job of with the No. 9 team, in particular.
“(Crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) and I have a good relationship and I think we understand what I need behind the wheel to go fast. We just have to achieve that and get it the next few races.”
Elliott will roll off the grid third at Richmond Raceway on Sunday to try and secure his first 2021 win. The race will begin at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.