The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro won the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26. This was Chase Elliott’s second win of the season, and it showed that he is not suited to one particular style of track on the NASCAR schedule.
The Georgia native has spent his career with a reputation built on his road course success. This is fitting considering that he has seven wins on road courses, which is third-most all-time behind Tony Stewart (eight wins) and Jeff Gordon (nine wins). He also has 15 top-10 finishes in 21 starts. However, the win at Nashville Superspeedway was his eighth on an oval, and it showed that he can contend at a variety of tracks.
Elliott entered the 2022 season with 13 career wins. Road courses accounted for 53.8% of them. The 2020 Cup Series champion has since added two more wins on oval tracks, which has dropped that number down to 46.7%.
Obviously, there are more ovals than road courses on the Cup Series schedule, so there was always an opportunity for Elliott to add more wins at tracks other than road courses. He drives for a top-tier team, and he has a longstanding relationship with crew chief Alan Gustafson. The pieces were in place, but Elliott had to be the one to deliver the results.
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Track Diversity Remains Key for Elliott
There are certain drivers that have achieved success on one particular style of track at NASCAR’s top level. Both of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s wins were on superspeedways while AJ Allmendinger’s two wins took place on road courses.
Elliott, for comparison, has conquered 12 different tracks during his career. He first reached Victory Lane at Watkins Glen International in 2018 before adding wins later that season at Dover Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
Elliott’s list of wins also includes races at Talladega Superspeedway, the Charlotte Roval, the Daytona Road Course, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Circuit of the Americas, Road America, and Nashville Superspeedway. The only tracks where he has repeated are Watkins Glen, the Charlotte Roval, and Dover.
Of course, the type of track is less important to Elliott. His goal is to win numerous races and return to the championship four for the third consecutive season. The Nashville Superspeedway race certainly helped him pursue that goal considering that he now has a 30-point lead over Ross Chastain in the championship standings.
Elliott is also in a tie with Chastain and William Byron for the most playoff points at 13. If he can continue to hold this advantage, he will win the regular-season championship and lock up another 15 playoff points. This would essentially move him past the Round of 16.
Elliott’s Previous Wins Set Up Another Playoff Run
Elliott already has a secure spot in the playoffs. He is the points leader, and he has two wins in 2022. However, there is a scenario where he adds even more before the season finale at Phoenix Raceway and makes a Joey Logano prediction about upcoming winning streaks come true.
There are several tracks remaining on the schedule where Elliott has previous wins. The next race takes place at Road America where he is the defending winner. The Cup Series drivers will also head to Watkins Glen International (two previous wins) before the end of the year.
The playoffs also feature Talladega Superspeedway (one win), the Charlotte Roval (two wins), Kansas Speedway (one win), Martinsville Speedway (one win), and Phoenix Raceway (one win). Elliott will be the favorite in some of these races, and he will have a prime opportunity to add even more wins to his career total.