INDIANAPOLIS – Chase Elliott led the way for Hendrick Motorsports in qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. The No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will take the green flag in the third position for the 82-lap main event.
Despite only running two road course races so far in 2023, Elliott’s numbers have stood out. His 79 laps run inside the top-five spots are the sixth-most of any driver this season and he has finished in the top five in both events. The 27-year-old driver will look to earn his eighth career road course win on Sunday afternoon and tie Tony Stewart for second on the all-time road course wins list for NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
Both Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman joined Elliott in the final round of qualifying. For the No. 5 HendrickCars.com entry, Larson put down the sixth-fastest lap time of the final session. The driver from Elk Grove, California, will look to earn his fifth career victory on a track turning left and right and extend his active top-10 streak to three on road courses.
As for Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Racing team, the group went ninth-fastest in the second round. At 44 markers below the cutline, the track position could play a role in how crew chief Blake Harris chooses to call the race. Although Bowman has yet to find victory lane on a road course, his two runner-up finishes on facilities of this nature make Indianapolis a prime opportunity for the No. 48 team to compete at the front of the pack.
William Byron did not qualify on Saturday. After failing technical inspection three times on Friday, the No. 24 entry was penalized with a loss of a crew member, loss of pit selection and was not allowed to post a qualifying lap. Byron will also need to make a pass-through penalty at the start of Sunday’s race. He’ll roll off 39th at "The Brickyard."
As far as practice, three Hendrick Motorsports drivers posted lap times inside top-10 spots. Those drivers were Larson (second), Bowman (fifth) and Byron (ninth) were all in Group B as the track condition suited faster lap times for the second group of drivers. Elliott took part in Group A and was eighth-fastest driver in the segment.
On Sunday, the Cup Series will compete at Indianapolis. Catch all of the action at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).