Everything to know about the No. 9 team heading into the 2023 owner playoffs.
No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team
POINTS POSITION: 16th at 2,001 points
POSITION TO CUT LINE: -7
SEASON STATS: Eight top-five finishes, 12 top-10s and 51 laps led. Chase Elliott made 19 starts, Josh Berry made five starts, Corey LaJoie made one start and Jordan Taylor made one start.
RELATED: No. 9 team makes owner playoffs
PLAYOFF ELIMINATION HISTORY: Won championship in 2020; Reached Championship 4 in 2021; Eliminated in Round of 8 in 2022, 2019, 2018 and 2017; Eliminated in Round of 12 in 2016. (Elliott reached the Championship 4 in 2022, but the No. 9 team was eliminated in the Round of 8.)
BEST PLAYOFF TRACK: Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, with two wins, two top-five finishes, three top-10s, 94 laps led and an average finish of 8.0 in five starts with Elliott.
BEST ROUND OF 16 TRACK: Kansas Speedway, with one win, six top-five finishes, nine top-10s, 202 laps led and an average finish of 10.9 in 15 starts with Elliott.
AVERAGE FOUR-TIRE PIT STOP: 11.462 seconds, which ranks ninth in the series (per Racing Insights).
PIT CREW MEMBERS: Chad Avrit (rear-tire changer), Jared Erspamer (tire carrier), John Gianninoto (fueler), Nick O’Dell (front-tire changer) and T.J. Semke (jackman).
CREW CHIEF: Alan Gustafson, eighth season with Elliott | Learn more about Gustafson
OUTLOOK: It’s been a challenging season for Elliott and the No. 9 team. Due to injury and a one-race suspension, Elliott has missed seven races and it has been tough for him and the team to find their rhythm throughout the season. The 10-race playoffs help reset that slate. The Round of 16 should be a good one for Elliott and the No. 9 team – he finished third at Darlington Raceway and seventh at Kansas Speedway in the spring. The 27-year-old driver also has four top-seven finishes in the last five Bristol Motor Speedway summer/fall races. With four victories combined at Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte ROVAL, the Round of 12 serves as a great opportunity for the No. 9 team as well. With only one playoff point in the bank, they will almost certainly have to win one of the Round of 8 races to advance into the title round.
WHAT ELLIOTT IS SAYING ABOUT THE STRENGTH OF THE NO. 9 TEAM: "Being together as long as we have is a big deal. Because of that time together, there’s been a wide range of achievements but also disappointments. I think that you grow together through both of them, maybe even more through the disappointing days than you do through the good ones. That is a huge strength in my opinion. Just having that time together, going through those ups and downs and being able to ride that wave as middle of the road as possible is setting yourself up for success."
WHAT ELLIOTT IS SAYING ABOUT WORKING WITH GUSTAFSON: "We just have a really good working relationship. I know what is expected and he does too. We show up each week and go to work. I have a lot of respect for not only his time before me but the time that we have spent together and the amount of work he has put in to make me better. That’s all you can ask for from someone in his role. Somebody that is going to put in the time and make you and your needs a priority. How you want to drive the car. How you want to approach the weekend. He has never forced me down any path. He’s let me be me and he’s done his very best to help me get what I need."