9 CHASE ELLIOTT
Age: 25 (Nov. 28, 1995)
Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia
Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia
Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
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No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
NEW TRACK WRANGLER: The NASCAR Cup Series season will take on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the first time this weekend and Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, is no stranger to bringing home a win at new tracks on the circuit. The 25-year-old driver has won at the DAYTONA Road Course and Circuit of The Americas in their inaugural Cup Series debuts.
ROAD RACING RECAP: Elliott is set to make his 18th Cup Series road course start Sunday at the Indy road course. He has garnered seven road wins across five different tracks with a combined 10 top-five finishes, 12 top-10s and 326 laps led. On road courses in 2021, Elliott has led the second-most laps of all drivers (86).
RUNNING DOWN THE RECORD: Elliott’s seven road course wins are the most of all active drivers and the third-most all-time road course wins behind only Jeff Gordon (nine) and Tony Stewart (eight). The Dawsonville, Georgia, native also leads the way for the most wins on different road courses in the series (five).
TAKE NOTE: Elliott’s wins account for seven of the last 12 road course victories in the Cup Series. He holds the second-best all-time win percentage on road courses (41.18%) and remains the youngest road course winner at 22 years, 8 months, 8 days. Elliott also holds the best average finish (7.88) of active drivers and the third-best all-time average of drivers with at least five starts. Elliott has garnered the most stage wins (six) of all time at road courses, as well.
23 RACES DOWN: We are down to the final three races of the 2021 regular season. Elliott’s two wins and 13 top-10 finishes are tied for career bests for him through 23 races in a year. His five runner-up finishes, 10 top-fives and 11.6 average finishing position are all career bests for him through this period. Elliott has spent 1,846 laps inside the top five and 3,381 laps running in the top 10.
GUSTAFSON AT ROAD COURSES: Crew chief Alan Gustafson continues to lead the charge with seven wins at road courses – the most of active crew chiefs. This weekend at the Indianapolis road course, the 46-year-old crew chief will call his 40th road course race from atop the pit box. In his previous 39 starts, Gustafson has garnered 14 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and 383 laps led.
NOT LETTING UP: The No. 9 team owns the third-best average time for four-tire pit stops at 13.8 seconds through 23 races. The Hooters pit crew is comprised of jackman T.J. Semke, gasman John Gianninoto, tire carrier Jared Erspamer and tire changers Chad Avrit and Nick O’Dell.
WELCOME BACK, HOOTERS: This weekend at Indy, Hooters will make its second 2021 appearance on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE with the Night Owl paint scheme. A casual dining establishment with a deep history in NASCAR, the Atlanta-based company will be a three-race primary sponsor of the No. 9 team this year. Elliott also piloted the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet in May at Darlington and will again later this season in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway.
HOME SWEET HOME: No. 9 team engineer Tom Gray hails from Indianapolis. Gray attended Purdue University and majored in mechanical engineering technology. The Indy native was interviewed by Gustafson on “Behind the 9.” Watch the episode here.
PADDING THE RECORD: With Kyle Larson’s performance Sunday at Watkins Glen International, Hendrick Motorsports extended its NASCAR Cup Series record for all-time road-course victories to 24, which is 11 more than any other team. The organization has won on road courses with a series-high seven different drivers: Jeff Gordon (nine wins), Chase Elliott (seven), Tim Richmond (three), Larson (two), Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Rudd and Geoff Bodine. Hendrick Motorsports also has the most road course stage wins of any team with 11.
ROAD RUNNERS: In NASCAR Cup Series road races since 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has gone to victory lane in nine of 13 events, including eight of the last nine. The team has won 10 of 24 stages (the most) and led more than anyone else with 502 of 1,140 laps (44%). It has posted four 1-2 finishes during the stretch, all coming in the last eight races.
DÉJÀ VU: Sunday will mark the Cup Series’ first-ever race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 27 years after NASCAR’s debut at the historic venue. On Aug. 6, 1994, Hendrick Motorsports won the inaugural event on the IMS oval with driver Gordon. Dating back to that race, Hendrick Motorsports has won six of the last 13 Cup events held on new tracks, including three of the last four. In 2021, the team has gone to victory lane at two of the three new tracks on the circuit: Elliott at Circuit of The Americas and Larson at Nashville Superspeedway.
INDY TRENDY: Although Hendrick Motorsports has never raced on the venue’s road course, it has posted a record 10 NASCAR Cup Series wins competing on the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval – twice the total of any other team. The organization holds the track records for Cup Series top-five finishes (27), top-10s (42) and laps led (1,030). Its five Cup pole positions on the Indy oval are tied for the most.
NINE ON THE LINE: Over the last 11 NASCAR Cup Series points races, Hendrick Motorsports has won eight times (most), scored six-runner-up results (most), finished 1-2 on five occasions (most), won 10 of 26 stages (most), and led 1,335 of 2,221 laps raced (60%). With 44 total entries across the most recent 11 events, the team has scored 21 top-five finishes (most) and 29 top-10s (most).
23 AND WE: After 23 of 36 points-paying races in 2021, the four-car Hendrick Motorsports stable has won 11 times, which is its most ever at this time of the year. Its 16 stage wins are the most in history by any organization going into the 24th points race. Hendrick Motorsports has its most top-five finishes (36) and posted its fourth-most laps led (2,083) at the 23-event mark. The team’s 56 top-10s in 2021 represent the second-most by anyone ever at this point in a season.
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the configuration of Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course: “You know, that road course, to me, is not going to be your average infield road course. That place was the host of an F-1 event, many INDYCAR events over the years, and obviously Xfinity last year. It was laid out probably more like a traditional road course – a place that was kind of made for it and has a little more flow to it than some of the infield tracks that we see, like the ROVAL. A lot of these tracks have infield tracks. We just might not go to them. But I think it’ll be more like a normal road course, more so than the ROVAL. One thing about those types of tracks is they don’t have any elevation really. And that, to me, is kind of what makes them different. Charlotte has a little more elevation and up and down than you might think, but watching that race last year, the thing that stood out to me the most was it is super flat. There is really no up and down to it. So, I think that could be a little different than the norm.”
Elliott on moving from the oval to road course: “The oval has always been a place that I wanted to do well at; unfortunately, I just never have. I was old enough for Dad’s win at the Brickyard that I was a part of those photos. I always thought it would be really cool to have a win there, just win that race and have my family there. I am not sure what the road course will bring. It’s definitely going to bring a different feel for me because it is hard to view it as the same event as what Dad won. I am still excited about it and looking forward to it. I have never run there or run anything on the course. The big thing this weekend will be practice on Saturday. Until you get to a place and you can see it, feel it, and kind of find your rhythm with it, it’s hard to tell especially with a new road course.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!