Elliott: Talladega Is Such A Toss Up

9 CHASE ELLIOTT

Age: 25 (Nov. 28, 1995)

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia

Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia

Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson

Standings: 6th

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No. 9 A SHOC Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

ROUND OF 12: As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to the second race of the Round of 12, Chase Elliott currently sits sixth in playoff standings, 22 points above the cutline. For the sixth consecutive season, Elliott has advanced into the second round of the playoffs. In his previous 54 playoff races, he has collected six wins, 22 top-five finishes, 31 top-10s and led 1,651 laps.

SIX TO GO: With six races remaining in the 2021 Cup season, Elliott’s eight top-two finishes are tied for the most that he has collected in a single season and is also the second-most of all drivers this year. With 30 races in the books, the Dawsonville, Georgia, native has also picked up two wins, 13 top-five finishes, 18 top-10s and 525 laps led – fourth-most laps led of all drivers.

‘DEGA DOWNLOAD: On Sunday, Elliott is set to make his 12th Talladega Superspeedway start in the Cup Series. His win at the track in April 2019 was his first superspeedway win at the Cup level. In his previous 11 starts at the venue, the 25-year-old driver has earned the pole position twice – his first start in May 2016 and in October 2019. Elliott has garnered four top-five finishes and led 173 laps in his NCS career at the Alabama track. He also has three Talladega starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with one top-10 finish.

TALLADEGA PLAYOFF RECAP: When the series visited Talladega during the playoffs last season, Elliott and the No. 9 team led 41 laps and raced inside the top 10 for the majority of the race before finishing fifth.

SUPERSPEEDWAY STATS: Elliott has made 23 superspeedway starts in the Cup Series. In those races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, the driver of the No. 9 Camaro has claimed one win, six top-five finishes and led a total of 299 laps.

LAST FIVE: In the last five superspeedway races, Elliott leads all drivers with two runner-up finishes, four top-10s and an 8.2-average finish. He also is tied for the most top-fives (three) in those five events with Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron.

GUSTAFSON AT TALLADEGA: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will call his 34th Talladega Cup Series race from atop the pit box on Sunday afternoon. He collected his first superspeedway victory at the 2.66-mile track on April 28, 2019, with Elliott and the No. 9 team. In his previous 33 events calling the shots for five different drivers (Elliott, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon), Gustafson’s teams posted eight top-five finishes, 10 top-10s, 276 laps led and six pole awards.

PIT PERFORMANCE: The No. 9 team owns the third-best average time for four-tire pit stops at 13.73 seconds through 30 races. The A SHOC 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.

A SHOC IS BACK: This weekend at Talladega, A SHOC will return as a primary partner with Elliott and the No. 9 team for the final time this season. Earlier this season, the brand made its Cup Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in July. In January, it was announced that A SHOC, the fast-growing, performance energy beverage distributed by Keurig Dr Pepper, would join Hendrick Motorsports as a sponsor of the defending Cup champion.

SEE ELLIOTT: On Sunday, Elliott will be making an appearance and participating in a Q&A session in the Talladega Garage Experience at 10:30 a.m. local time.

TALLADEGA HEIGHTS: Hendrick Motorsports holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for the most Talladega Superspeedway wins by a single organization with 13. It has sent seven different drivers to victory lane there: Jeff Gordon (six wins), Jimmie Johnson (two), Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader.
 
SUPER STATS: Going into Sunday’s race at Talladega, Hendrick Motorsports owns more combined superspeedway wins than any team in Cup Series history. At the big tracks of Daytona and Talladega, it has posted a record 28 victories with 11 different drivers.
 

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on heading to Talladega: “Talladega is such a toss up with how crazy that place can be. I’m not sure you can ever really feel good about heading into Talladega. Maybe if we would’ve won at Las Vegas, I’d feel good about heading into the weekend. The next couple weeks are going to be wild. We are looking forward to it.”
 
Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the No. 9 team: “We believe in each other and support each other. When it gets tough, that’s what matters. It’s kind of easy to get along when things are going well. It’s hard when it’s tough. This team has been together long enough. We’ve been through a lot of tough times, so we can navigate through different things and different scenarios. It’s a great team; a great group, and we all believe in each other and what we are trying to do. That can become a powerful thing.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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