Two years ago this weekend, Chase Elliott arrived at Talladega Superspeedway in search of his first win of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season. NASCAR’s most popular driver left Talladega with just that, which ultimately guaranteed his spot in the playoffs. Elliott returns to Talladega in a similar spot this weekend, having gone winless in the first nine races of the season and looking to recapture that same magic.
The good news for Elliott is that he and his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team appear to be headed somewhat in the right direction after finishing second at Martinsville Speedway two weekends ago. It was Elliott’s best finish since he placed second to Michael McDowell in the season-opening Daytona 500.
“Every week I feel like it’s been one thing or another, a bad run or just whatever,” said Elliott, who owns just three top fives in nine starts this season after his remarkable run to the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title. “It was just nice to have just a smooth day, no damage. We didn’t break anything. Everything was just smooth. It was uneventful. That’s the days you have to have to compete for wins ultimately. Some of that is in your hands; some of it’s not. It was truly nice to have an uneventful day, so to speak, just get a solid finish. Got some solid stage points. It was definitely a step in the right direction for us.”
Elliott finished 12th this past weekend at Richmond, so he’s certainly hoping for a much better day at Talladega.