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Jacob Smith: Breaking down Chase Elliott’s path to a NASCAR Series Cup win
ChaseSunday.jpg
Image by Jared C. Tilton with Getty Images Chase Elliott on August 2, 2020 in New Hampshire for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. Elliott finished the race in ninth place. - photo by Photo/File

The NASCAR season is starting to wind down. With only four races left in the regular season, drivers are battling for the final playoff positions. 

Luckily, Dawsonville’s own Chase Elliott won at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this season and locked in an opportunity to race in at least the first round of the playoffs. 

Elliott is also fifth in playoff points, giving him a strong advantage to continue advancing throughout the playoffs. 

However, every driver would feel more comfortable with as many playoff points that they can acquire. Based off of the tracks that the remaining races are at, how good of a chance does Elliott have to rack up more playoff points before the regular season ends?

Let’s take a look at how the #9 driver has fared on these tracks in the past. 


DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

From Elliott’s worst career track to one of his best tracks, Elliott won the first Round of 12 playoff race at Dover back in 2018, holding off a late push from Denny Hamlin. 

In eight career races at Dover, Elliott has finished in the top 5 six times, making his average finish 9th place. 

Dover will host the first two remaining regular season races on a Saturday and then the next day. If Elliott can race well on Saturday, his momentum should continue onto Sunday. In back-to-back races earlier this season, Kevin Harvick won both back to back races. 


DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Daytona is statistically Elliott’s worst career track, with his average race finish being in 27th place. The only other track that he finished worse than 20th place is Las Vegas. In his nine career races at Daytona, Elliott has never finished within the top 10. 

Elliott was racing well in Daytona earlier this season. He led for 23 laps of the race before falling out of contention and finishing in 17th place. 

The final regular season race will happen at Daytona. Fans should avoid crossing their fingers. Statistically, this has been Elliott’s best season to date and could definitely compete for playoff points with the right strategy. After his victory at the road course race, who knows? Elliott may have the hot hand in Daytona. 


DARLINGTON RACEWAY

Darlington will be the first race in the first round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Elliott has raced at Darlington seven times. 

During those races he finished in the top five twice, but his career average finish is 18th place, which is on the lower half of career finishes. 

Darlington had two back-to-back races this season, with a few days in between. In the first race, Elliott finished in fourth place and in the second he raced well until he wrecked on lap 200. 


RICHMOND RACEWAY

Though he hasn’t ever won at Richmond, Elliott always drives well there. Throughout his career, he averages starting in 17th place, but has an average finish of 13th place. In nine career races, Elliott has finished in the top 5 twice. 

There has yet to be a race in Richmond this season, which will likely disadvantage all racers, since NASCAR is not allowing practice laps this season. 

Last year, Elliott finished outside of the top 10 in both races, including a race in the round of 12 playoff races. 


BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

The last round of 16 race will be at Bristol, a track that Elliott has been dominant at this season. 

Early in the season, Elliott was set to win at Bristol but wrecked with Joey Logano late in the race, keeping them from finishing. 

To make up for it, Elliott came back and dominated the 2020 All Star Race in Bristol this year. He was the fastest car on the track all night and nobody looked like they were in contention to steal the lead from him. 

Elliott has raced at Bristol nine times in his career and has three top five finishes. On average, he finishes 13th at Bristol. 


If this season has any connection to how Elliott will perform for the remainder, Elliott should find himself racing past the first round of the playoffs.