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It’s no secret that Chase Elliott is one of the most dominant active drivers on short tracks. Throughout his career, the #9 Hendrick Motorsports driver has brought in more than a handful of top fives and even wins at tracks like Martinsville. That being said, NASCAR and Goodyear’s short-track tire package dilemma has seen that notion change. With the rise to rumors of a short track losing a date in favor of a venue like Mexico, Dale Earnhardt Jr shared the prospect that NASCAR is making way for more intermediate racing.

However, not every stakeholder believes this is the right direction to head in. Despite Chase Elliott’s drawbacks at short tracks lately, the HMS driver believes that the answer to NASCAR’s dilemma isn’t moving away from the problem. Instead of increasing the focus on intermediate tracks, Elliott believes the sport shouldn’t over-saturate type of racetrack.

It’s quality over quantity for Chase Elliott!


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Alongside Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been one of the strongest advocates for short-track racing. But with the new packages failing to make good on their promises, Junior interpreted recent rumors of Richmond losing a day as NASCAR altogether shifting away from the format slowly. But Chase Elliott believes this gives rise to an alarming pattern.

The HMS driver believes that choosing to exploit the quality of certain tracks may end up backfiring in the long run. He shared with media ahead of the All-Star Race, “The races at the mile-and-a-half stuff has been really good. But I don’t think that’s always a reason to get more of them. I always feel like less is more. The Bristol Night race is the perfect example of less is more that there is, because you go there once a year, it’s super exciting, everybody loves a Bristol Night race, and it’s because it only happens one time a year, it makes it special.”

Adding to his argument, Elliott also highlighted how road-course racing seemed to lose its charm as of late. Compared to when there were only two events on the calendar, the frequent visits to road courses had diluted its exclusivity. So Elliott shared, “I just think that that the more you do that and you lean in one direction and add more more more, you can easily make things that are exciting and neat, stale really quickly. So I think we just need to be careful not to do that.”

Going over better solutions, Elliott felt that making the Next-Gen car more suited to tackle the short-track dilemma would benefit the sport more. Not only would the calendar retain diversity in the type of tracks, but it would also allow each weekend to have its unique charm. The HMS driver concluded, “I would rather see a better product on the short-track stuff than take them away. I don’t think they’re taking them away, but I would hate to see a movement away from that, just because I think it’s an important part of our sport.”

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Elliott’s opinion seems to clash with that of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. “We can’t just continue to ignore the short tracks,” Hamlin stated on ‘Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin’ before opening up about the dilemmas with short track racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. Similarly, Junior wrote on X recently, I love short track racing. I know the NextGen has struggled at those tracks but I believe they will solve the riddle one day. And #MoreShorttracks will trend once more.”

But coming to Elliott, it’s safe to say he has a different opinion and is eager to protect short tracks from taking a hit on the Cup Series calendar. Speaking of which, the #9 HMS could prove his point further with his return to another glorious short track, this time in a late-model car.


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Could Elliott’s late-model run at Hickory prove that short tracks aren’t the issue?

As Chase Elliott makes his way to the iconic Hickory Motor Speedway for the ASA Stars National Tour, the HMS driver is eager to experience short-track racing in a late-model car. Lining up for the Tar Heel 250 with a payout of 15,000 dollars to the winner, Elliott is eager to get back to racing in the beloved series.

That being said, the last time Elliott was in a late model car at New Smyrna, he came home in sixth. With the HMS driver standing by his point that the issue lies within the Next-Gen car, a solid result at Hickory could further cement his argument. With Josh Berry’s prior Hickory prowess proving to be the only hurdle toward a solid finish, Chase Elliot could leave his short-track woes now that he isn’t in the Next-Gen car.


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Setting aside talks of NASCAR, Elliott shared his excitement to go back to Late Models; “I’m looking forward to it. The last time, I guess was New Smyrna at the beginning of the year so I’m excited to go run with those guys again. I hope we continue to progress and improve and it’s tough hitting one every two or three months, but I’m excited to go. And hopefully, have a little fun. We’ll see.”

With Chase Elliott standing by the side of short-track racing, do you think that NASCAR will truly move away from the iconic format?