|UNSTOPPABLE AT CHARLOTTE: Chase Elliott notched his seventh career NASCAR Cup Series win Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway where he led the final 28 laps on the oval and secured his fifth playoff berth in his fifth full-time season. The 24-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver became the fourth-youngest in history to record seven Cup victories, which have come on six different racetracks, and the fifth-youngest to record 15 NASCAR national series wins.
MILESTONE WIN: Elliott’s win Thursday night altered NASCAR’s record book. He became the eighth driver to win a Cup Series race for car owner Rick Hendrick on the Charlotte oval, making Hendrick Motorsports the first team in history to field eight different winners at one racetrack. The performance also marked Hendrick Motorsports’ 60th Cup victory at a 1.5-mile venue, extending the team’s all-time record. The Charlotte oval became the third track where Hendrick Motorsports has recorded at least 20 points-paying Cup wins, and the organization is now 10 away from tying Petty Enterprises’ all-time record of 268 victories.
TAKE A BOW: Elliott’s win capped off wild week in which he finished a disappointing second in Sunday’s 600-mile race on the Charlotte oval after leading 38 laps and then won Tuesday night’s Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at the track. His truck victory with GMS Racing made him the 10th driver in history to win at least three races in each of NASCAR’s three national touring series.
NINE’S A CHARM: On Sunday, Elliott will make his ninth NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway in the ninth race of the 2020 season. In his first eight appearances at the 0.533-mile oval, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has collected three top-five finishes, four top-10s and one pole award (April 2019). He also ranks fourth in average finish (11.5) of drivers with more than six Bristol starts since 2014. In addition, Elliott has posted a top-10 finish in all five of his NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track.
OUT FRONT AT BRISTOL: In eight Cup-level starts at Bristol, Elliott has led 199 laps. It represents his fourth-highest total of laps led at any track behind only Dover International Speedway (294), Phoenix Raceway (249) and the Charlotte oval (224). Elliott has led laps in six of the eight races run thus far in 2020.
LAST TIME AROUND: In their most recent visit to Bristol in August 2019, Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team collected top-10 results in each stage and led a total of 33 laps en route to a fifth-place finish.
FIRST EIGHT: After eight Cup races in 2020, Elliott is third in the driver standings. He ranks third in laps led (280) and has collected four top-five finishes, five top-10s and one pole award (Phoenix in March). The Dawsonville, Georgia, native holds the third-highest average running position for the season (8.16), and his three stage wins in 2020 are one behind teammate Alex Bowman for the series lead.
BRISTOL KNOW HOW: Primary sponsor NAPA AUTO PARTS will once again be featured on Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. The familiar blue, white and yellow scheme will be on track for 26 races in 2020. Earlier this year, it was announced that NAPA AUTO PARTS and Hendrick Motorsports will continue their partnership through 2022. Click here to read the full release.
GUSTAFSON HITS 30 AT BMS: On Sunday, No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 30th NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. In his previous 29 events atop the pit box for five different drivers (Elliott, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon) at the Tennessee track, he has collected nine top-five finishes, including a win and two runner-up results, and 799 laps led. The win came in 2007 with Busch.
BEHIND THE 9: Gustafson is trying his hand as a host in a new Hendrick Motorsports video series called “Behind the 9” in which he interviews each member of the No. 9 crew. Fans are able to learn about where they came from and the role they serve on the team, with each bringing a unique personality and skillset. Episodes are released every Tuesday on the Hendrick Motorsports Facebook page and YouTube channel. The most recent episode features gas man John Gianninoto.