|TWO RACES, TWO PARTNERS: NAPA AUTO PARTS will serve as Chase Elliott’s primary sponsor for Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. For Sunday’s 312-lap event at the 2-mile track, the green and black Mountain Dew colors will return to the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.
DO THE DEW: On Monday, Hendrick Motorsports showcased the No. 9 Mountain Dew Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE that Elliott will pilot on Sunday at Michigan via the Hendrick Motorsports Twitter account. For a look at the No. 9 Mountain Dew Chevy, click here.
MICHIGAN STATS: Elliott currently holds the best average finish (7.63) of all drivers with more than two starts at Michigan. He has finished inside the top 10 in seven of his eight career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 2-mile oval – no other driver has more top-10 results in the last eight races at the track. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native has also collected three top-five finishes at Michigan, all of which were runner-up results.
RUNNER-UP FINISHERS: Elliott is in good company as one of four drivers with the most runner-up finishes at Michigan before their first win at the track. NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon also earned three second-place results before capturing his first win at the Irish Hills oval (1998), and both Martin Truex Jr. and NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte have three runner-up results without a win at Michigan.
2020 PERFORMANCE: This year, Elliott has seven top-five finishes – the most he has collected through 20 races in a season – and 10 top-10s. He has the second-most stage wins (five), and his 460 laps led are a career high at this point in the year. Elliott has garnered the third-most stage points (182) and is currently fifth in the driver standings, 143 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
TOP-10 TRACK: As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for a weekend doubleheader, Elliott currently holds seven top-10 finishes at the 2-mile venue, which tie his results at Pocono for the most total top-10s he has at any track.
GUSTAFSON AT MICHIGAN: In his 16th season as a crew chief, Alan Gustafson is set to call his 31st and 32nd races from atop the pit box this weekend at Michigan. In his previous 30 starts at the venue with five different drivers (Elliott, Gordon, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and Casey Mears), Gustafson has collected two wins – with Martin in June 2009 and Gordon in August 2014 when he started from the pole position. The No. 9 team crew chief has garnered five top-five finishes, 14 top-10s and 293 laps led at the track.
PIT STOP POWER: The No. 9 team owns the second-best average time for four-tire stops at 13.94 seconds through 20 races in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. The team is comprised of jackman T.J. Semke, gasman John Gianninoto, tire carrier Jared Erspamer, and tire changers Chad Avrit and Nick O’Dell.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: Gustafson will celebrate his 45th birthday on Wednesday, Aug. 5. The last two seasons, on Aug. 5, 2018, and Aug. 4, 2019, the crew chief celebrated his birthday by going to victory lane at Watkins Glen International. Gustafson grew up just down the road from historic Daytona International Speedway, where he got his start in racing turning wrenches on the go-karts of a childhood friend, Casey Yunick. Yunick is the grandson of legendary car builder and mechanic Smokey Yunick.