When it comes to young drivers looking for their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, this weekend’s race at Chicagoland Speedway could be the one for 22-year-old Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Chase Elliott.
Looking at his average finishes, Chicagoland is Elliott’s best race track, with second and third-place finishes under his belt in only two starts.
“Well, the past two races here at Chicago have been really good for us,” said Elliott. “I think that a lot of it is kind of circumstantial. But we had some great things going on.”
Each race continues to be a learning experience for Elliott as the young driver expands his knowledge not only on the sport but on how his career is shaping.
“I feel like in my career thus far, I’ve had some portions of seasons that were really good car wise and we were really strong, had some great things going for us, things that if I knew then what I know now I would love another shot at them,” Elliott explained.
Elliott could get that shot this weekend in his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), but there are a lot of things that he knows must go into it.
“I feel as if we have a good baseline from a general set-up perspective, so I think that is encouraging and we have some upgrades coming for this race this weekend,” said Elliott. “We had a week off from our intermediate program to improve and make our cars better, so hopefully that shows up. If it does, great, and if it doesn’t then we will go back to work.”
With the beginning of Playoffs in sight, Elliott and his No. 9 team know what they must do to push themselves into contention. Chicago is a big opportunity for Elliott, a track he has posted two top fives and an average finish of 2.5 in two starts.
“I enjoy challenges and I know our team does too,” Elliott said. “We have been working really hard throughout the year to try to improve our cars and improve myself and get better and hopefully be able to put ourselves in some good positions moving forward.”