Quietly, Chase Elliott had a solid performance in Sunday’s postponed Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
While the reigning NASCAR XFINITY Series champion contended for a top-10 finish late, the Dawsonville, Georgia native eventually settled for a respectable 16th-place finish in his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start of the season. The effort was a worthy recovery from his Sprint Cup Series debut at Martinsville Speedway last month where an early race accident resulted in a disappointing 38th-place finish.
“I felt like we had a really solid day overall,” said Elliott, who finished fifth in Friday night’s XFINITY Series race. “I was a little disappointed though there at the end that I fell back and then couldn’t get going at the restart. But overall, everybody on our NAPA team did great this weekend.”
Elliott, one of nine double-duty drivers this weekend at Richmond added, “I thought we had a fast car, especially in race trim. The guys made good adjustments to qualify where we did. We had a great car on the long run. We could really run well and run some guys down late in the run.
“Unfortunately, it always comes down to the short runs in these things. So, we’ll try to get better and hopefully try to have a better effort at Charlotte.”
Elliott, the soon-to-be successor of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 in 2016 will attempt his third of five Cup races this season at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the series’ longest race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24.