CONCORD, N.C. – Chase Elliott knows to expect the unexpected at Richmond Raceway. The 24-year-old driver has started at the track nine times in his Cup Series career and has two top-five finishes there. However, six of those races saw Elliott place outside the top 10.
“I never know what to expect, as you can see by my results at Richmond.” Elliott said. “But I think for us, we just want to be solid. I’m not so much worried about everybody else – just trying to be solid, try to get the areas of the track that I think we really struggle in to be better. Hopefully, if we can improve those areas, we can improve our finish and running position throughout the event.”
The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE’s best finish came in the April 2018 race, but it was the September playoff event several months later where Elliott ran for 34 laps out front more than halfway through the race. Despite this, Elliott said on the Cup side he has been “horrific” at the Virginia track.
“We had some really good runs there on the Xfinity side – was solid there for two years. Got over there to the Cup side and it’s just been horrific for whatever reason,” Elliott said. “But it hasn’t been for the lack of effort. Man, we’ve worked super hard at it to try and get better. We’ve put a lot of effort into it this week already.”
The No. 9 team this week has taken extra care to curate a game plan and make sure the handling of his NAPA AUTO PARTS Camaro is perfect. Unfortunately for Elliott and the rest of the Cup Series field, the didn’t have a spring event at the track and will take their first laps as their warmup right before the race. Elliott said he won’t worry himself with the “what-if” outcomes if he doesn't do well in the second playoff race of the season.
“I don’t know that you can ever be comfortable in this playoff format, really. I honestly think that the more that you keep that mindset, the better off you’re going to be,” he said. “... I think the more you enjoy that position in having to perform and not ever feeling comfortable, I think the better off you will be and the better you’ll be prepared if you ever get to that last race.”
Watch Elliott make his 100th start in the No. 9 Chevrolet Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN