Can This NASCAR Cup Rookie End Chase Elliott’s Road Course Dominance in the 2021 Season?

Published 01/10/2021, 9:35 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 15: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, stands in the garage with crew chief Alan Gustafson during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


It has been quite a few races now since any Cup Series driver other than Chase Elliott won a road course race. Many have tried to come close, but the last four events have all been won by the Hendrick Motorsports no.9 driver.

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One surprise contender to break that streak, however, might be Stewart-Haas Racing’s rookie driver, Chase Briscoe. His record on road courses does seem to impress, and driving for a top team, he could well stop Elliott from extending his record.

That said, there are still a few factors that work against Briscoe in his pursuit of road course glory. The only question then, can the No.14 work against the odds and put an end to Elliott’s run?

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Chase Briscoe possesses an excellent record at road courses

Some interesting stats from NASCAR’s official website are as follows, “Chase Briscoe will look to carry over a strong record on road courses from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to his rookie year in the Cup Series.”

“Briscoe owns seven top 10s in nine Xfinity road-course starts, including wins at Charlotte and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was added to this year’s Cup slate.”

Briscoe’s consistency certainly highlights his case when he eventually takes to a more powerful and swifter Cup Series car with SHR. Although in comparison to Xfinity Series, his adaptation and inexperience might hinder his effort to stay in front of the field during such races.

BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 17: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #60 Ford Ford, stands by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

“The last time the No. 14 went to Victory Lane at a road course came with Briscoe’s childhood hero and owner, Tony Stewart, at Sonoma in 2016. If Briscoe can accomplish the feat, he would become the first rookie to win at a road course since Juan Pablo Montoya at Sonoma in 2007,” the stats said further.

Will Briscoe’s inexperience with Cup cars hurt his challenge to Chase Elliott?

While the SHR No.14 does have a good record in Xfinity, he still has to make the full transition into the Cup Series.

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Briscoe’s adaptation to a car with a larger wheelbase and more powerful engine as well as pace pickup ability at the tight corners on road courses is something that will then become of paramount importance.

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 16: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #98 Ford Performance Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Elliott meanwhile has the awareness and knowledge in these tracks with full-fledged Cup cars for the last five seasons or so.

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Nevertheless, it will still be interesting to see if Briscoe could make a solid effort to break the run that has been held so impressively by the 2020 Cup Series champion.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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