DRIVER: Chase Elliott / No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS
RACE: Pure Michigan 400 (Race 15 of 36)
TRACK: Michigan International Speedway
DATE: Sunday, June 12, 2016
TOP-10 TEAR: Chase Elliott is on a top-10 tear, earning one in each of the past five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Only two drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have more top-10 finishes than Elliott's 10 (Kevin Harvick with 11 and Kurt Busch with 12 -- both Sprint Cup champions). Additionally, in the non-points-paying NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Elliott raced his way to a sixth-place finish.
LOOKING FOR A WIN: Consistency continues for the NAPA AUTO PARTS driver as he has earned his fifth top-five finish this season to go with his 10 top-10 finishes through the first 14 races. Only three Sprint Cup drivers own more top-five finishes than Elliott this year (Kyle Busch with nine, Harvick with six and teammate Jimmie Johnson with six). As Elliott’s consistency increases so does his chance at closing in on his first Cup victory. According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Elliott ranks third in closers. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native secured his first top-10 finish of 2016 at his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway. He earned his career-best finish, third, at Dover International Speedway in May.
TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Michigan by 39 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 72 points over third-place Brian Scott. Elliott has accumulated a total of 196 rookie points this year through the first 14 points-paying races. Among active drivers, his 10 top-10 finishes are tied with teammate Johnson for the most top-10 finishes through the first 14 races of a rookie season.
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits seventh in the standings with 413 points. The rookie trails points leader Kevin Harvick by 77 markers. The 20-year-old driver is younger than any driver currently inside the top 16 – the amount of drivers NASCAR takes into its playoffs – while also being the highest ranked rookie.
GEORGIA DRIVER IN THE IRISH HILLS: Dawsonville, Georgia, native Elliott has had success in the Irish Hills of Michigan in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series. He has two XFINITY Series starts at the two-mile track, capturing a sixth-place finish in his 2014 track debut and a second-place finish during last year’s event.
TWO-MILE TRACK SUCCESS: Elliott earned success earlier this year on NASCAR’s only other two-mile, D-shaped oval track, Auto Club Speedway. The rookie driver captured his third top-10 finish in just his fifth start of the year in an exciting fashion. Elliott was a contender all day, running in the top 10, top five and even leading a lap to earn a bonus point on Lap 83. After continuing to race within the top 10 after pitting, Elliott raced his way into the third position with 21 laps to go. As laps counted down, the NAPA driver surged to second as the caution flag waved with a mere two laps remaining. The NAPA team called him to pit road during that caution for fresh tires and he returned to the track in seventh, ultimately finishing just outside of the top five in sixth.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I’m really proud of our team and the work that everybody at Hendrick has put in this year. We had four really fast cars at Pocono and I hope that's a good sign for races to come. We certainly had one of our best days of the year there. For us to be able to contend and lead laps all day and have a car that could fight for the lead the majority of the day I thought was great. Hopefully we can carry that momentum to Michigan this weekend. Michigan is a fast track with a lot of character. I’m looking forward to getting back there.”– Elliott