There are few drivers on the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series grid more eager for a season re-start than 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. The series’ reigning—and perpetual—Most Popular Driver broke his leg in a snowboarding accident early last year and missed six races while recovering.
The lost time behind the wheel of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and a highly competitive title essentially proved too big an obstacle to overcome. Elliott missed the Playoffs for the first time in his eight-year full-time career. It was Elliott’s first non-winning season since 2017 and so, understandably, the 28-year-old is eager for this year’s first green flag.
“I’m excited for another year,’’ said Elliott, who had left shoulder surgery during the offseason.
“For me, the way it feels, my career doesn’t feel like one book, and every season is another chapter. It feels like every year is a whole different book in itself, and I think they have all had different feels, to me. Every year, from my rookie year up to last year, has felt so entirely different. I closed that book up and will try again. I’m thankful for the opportunity and ready to go to work.”
Elliott’s last victories came in a five-win 2022 season. He finished 21st in last year’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. His best career finish in the annual preseason exhibition is runner-up in 2021, when the race was run at Daytona International Speedway.