The 2021 Nascar Cup Series playoff is just around the corner with only two months, or seven races, left in the season.
Dawsonville native Chase Elliott has had an up-and-down season up until this point. He has finished in the Top 5 in eight of the 19 Cup Series races so far this season, but has finished outside of the Top 20 in five races.
Elliott’s last race on Sunday, June 27, was the first race he did not finish without being removed due to damage to his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro. He was a lap down when the race ended.
However, Elliott had one of the best stretches of racing in his career throughout all of May and the first race of June. During the six-race stretch, Elliott finished five races in the top-5 and finished seventh in the other race. He won the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas, for his first win of the season and then finished the next two races in second place.
Currently, Elliott sits in sixth place in the Cup Series standings and eighth place in the Cup Series Playoff standings. Elliott finished the 2020 regular season in third place and eventually won the 2020 Nascar Cup Series Championship for the first Cup Series championship of his career.
With seven races remaining in the regular season, Elliott will return to Atlanta and Daytona for a second time this season. Elliott finished second in the Daytona 500 to kick off the 2021 season and finished 38th after experiencing engine failure in this season’s first race in Atlanta.
Three of the final races will be road courses at Road America in Wisconsin, Watkins Glen and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. Elliott began the 2021 season with a four-race road course win streak, the second highest consecutive win streak on road courses of all-time, behind Jeff Gordon’s six. The uptick in road course races could see Elliott shoot up on the standings just in time for the playoffs.
The other two races to end the regular season will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway. Last season, Elliott finished in ninth place at New Hampshire last season and in his career, has only finished in the Top 5 once. In two races at Michigan last season, Elliott finished in seventh and ninth place. Historically, Michigan is one of Elliott’s better tracks, averaging a seventh place finish in 10 career races.
Barring the worst run of races in Elliott’s Cup Series career, he will get a chance to defend his 2020 Cup Series title during the 2021 Cup Series championship.