Chase Elliott: NASCAR’s king of the road course

He's more than a road course ringer

Chase Elliott

Fans asked and NASCAR answered: There will be more road courses on the 2021 Cup schedule – seven to be exact. And it is on this type of track where Chase Elliott excels.

In fact, were it not for a late-race spinout in February’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Daytona International Speedway’s road course, he might be going for his sixth straight win in the inaugural EchoPark Texas Grand Prix, which airs on FS1 Sunday, Feb. 23, from the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Dating back to August 2019, he’d bagged four consecutive wins on the twisty configurations, taking checkered flags at Watkins Glen, Daytona and two on the Charlotte Roval. And his overall stats on road courses are impressive. In 13 career races, he’s won five, with six top 5’s, eight top 10’s and 284 laps led – all numbers that far outpace those of any other active Cup driver. And his four-straight wins is exceeded only by only Jeff Gordon’s six from 1997 to 2000.

As for the secret of his success, Elliott once remarked that there is none other than “trying to be better than we were last time.” His crew chief Alan Gustafson, however, was a little more succinct. “I think it’s him …,” he said. “He’s really, really good.”

Whatever the case, Elliott will be taking to the 20-turn, 3.426-mile track of the Circuit of Americas on Sunday to do battle with the likes of Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and others in pursuit of his fifth road course victory in six races.

Player Profile

Chase Elliott

Full name: William Clyde Elliott II

Birth date: Nov. 28, 1995

Birthplace: Dawsonville, Ga.

Height/weight: 5 feet 10 inches/145 pounds

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

No.: 9

Make: Chevrolet

Honors and Achievements: Cup Series champion (2020); Cup Series Most Popular Driver (2018-20); Cup Series Rookie of the Year (2016); Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver (2014, 2015)

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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