NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
28 Feb
Event finished
07 Mar
Event finished
14 Mar
Event finished
21 Mar
Event finished
28 Mar
Event finished
10 Apr
Race in
12 Hours
:
05 Minutes
:
26 Seconds
R
Richmond
18 Apr
Next event in
7 days
R
Talladega
25 Apr
Next event in
14 days
R
02 May
Next event in
21 days
R
Darlington
09 May
Next event in
28 days
R
16 May
Next event in
35 days
23 May
Next event in
42 days
R
Charlotte
30 May
Next event in
49 days
R
06 Jun
Next event in
56 days
R
13 Jun
Next event in
63 days
R
Nashville
20 Jun
Next event in
70 days
R
Pocono I
26 Jun
Next event in
76 days
R
Pocono II
27 Jun
Next event in
77 days
R
Road America
04 Jul
Next event in
84 days
R
Atlanta II
11 Jul
Next event in
91 days
R
New Hampshire
18 Jul
Next event in
98 days
R
Watkins Glen
08 Aug
Next event in
119 days
R
Indianapolis
15 Aug
Next event in
126 days
R
Michigan
22 Aug
Next event in
133 days
R
Daytona II
28 Aug
Next event in
139 days
R
Darlington II
05 Sep
Next event in
147 days
R
Richmond II
11 Sep
Next event in
153 days
R
Bristol II
18 Sep
Next event in
160 days
R
Las Vegas II
26 Sep
Next event in
168 days
R
Talladega II
03 Oct
Next event in
175 days
R
Charlotte II
10 Oct
Next event in
182 days
R
Texas II
17 Oct
Next event in
189 days
R
Kansas II
24 Oct
Next event in
196 days
R
Martinsville II
31 Oct
Next event in
203 days
R
Phoenix II
07 Nov
Next event in
210 days

Chase Elliott scores strong finish, but "wore out" after tough Atlanta race

Chase Elliott began his first season in the Sprint Cup Series winning the pole for the Daytona 500 but wrecking out early in the race. This weekend was just as tough, but Elliott was rewarded this time with a strong finish.

Chase Elliott scores strong finish, but "wore out" after tough Atlanta race
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports
Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Polesitter Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
3M paint scheme for Chase Elliott

Elliott, who took over the driving duties of Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 Chevrolet this season in place of Jeff Gordon, entered Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway looking for a much better result than Daytona.

There are just a lot of areas that I need to do better – they may be small things but they go a long way

Chase Elliott

He got it, but it wasn’t easy. Elliott said the race tested him in more ways than any previous race he’s been a part of.

Over 200 laps of green running

The race began with an uncharacteristic 210-lap green-flag run, which forced teams into multiple pit stops under green-flag conditions. Add to that, the race served as the debut of NASCAR’s new low-downforce package – which left drivers having much more difficulty handling their cars.

It was a test of the strongest of veterans, let alone a rookie two races into his first full season.

“I’m wore out – I’m as tired as I’ve been in a long time racing these cars. It made for a long day,” Elliott, 20, said after the race. “The length of the race and the green-flag runs and not getting a break for hundreds of miles, it was longer than anything I’ve experienced before.”

Elliott ran in the Top 10 virtually the entire race and ended up finishing eighth – the first Top 10 of his Cup series career.

“I thought it was going to be really important to stay on the lead lap. And there were a lot of challenges in the race,” he said.

“Having a lot of green-flag runs like that, I felt like I gave up a lot of time getting on pit road. There are just a lot of areas that I need to do better – they may be small things but they go a long way.”

Impressing the competition

In the garage after the race, Elliott’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson, received a slew of congratulations from fellow competitors and rave reviews of his rookie driver.

“Chase did a great job. It’s a tough track, a tough place. You were battling guys with new tires and old tires. I was really impressed,” Gustafson said.

“We’ve got some things to clean up and do better but it’s a nice start. We had a pit stop a couple from the end that hurt us a little bit and we lost a spot or so on that last restart. It was a good day to build on – last week was a little disappointing with not getting to run many laps.”

Rick Hendrick pleased

Elliott’s team owner, Rick Hendrick, said he was also impressed his performance on Sunday.

“Chase impressed me today about as much as I've ever seen a young driver drive in a race with a low downforce car,” he said. “When he's having to race Kyle Busch and the guys he was racing, Brad (Keselowski), all day long, never make a mistake, just as cool on the radio as any seasoned driver, getting and giving great feedback. I am really excited about that young man in the future.”

shares
comments
Dale Jr. believes Dale Sr. "would have thought the world of" Jimmie Johnson

Previous article

Dale Jr. believes Dale Sr. "would have thought the world of" Jimmie Johnson

Next article

NASCAR got back to what racing is all about with Atlanta package

NASCAR got back to what racing is all about with Atlanta package
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Atlanta
Sub-event Sunday post-race
Location Atlanta Motor Speedway
Drivers Chase Elliott
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020