Chase Elliott Misses ‘Home Advantage’ at Atlanta But Aims to Convert Good Record into NASCAR Cup Win

Published 03/19/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
HAMPTON, GA – FEBRUARY 22: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott is set to race at his home track in Atlanta, for the first time since winning the title. Memories of the huge title celebrations in Dawsonville, Georgia, might still be very fresh in Elliott’s mind.

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Fans at the Atlanta Motor Speedway will certainly cheer for their hometown hero this Sunday as well. However, ‘home advantage’ is not a big factor in NASCAR, like it is in other sports, that can turn the tide in favor of a particular driver.

Elliott acknowledges the same, giving the example of MLB side Atlanta Braves. While the fans will cheer for him, he knows that some other top drivers will also have a lot of support from their fans on Sunday.

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Chase Elliott wishes he had home advantage like the ‘Braves’

It’s definitely not like the Braves having home-field advantage for their playoff run,” Elliott said during a recent media chat.

“(It’s) very different. I wish Atlanta was like that for me, but there’s a lot of people there who want to see other drivers do well too,” he added.

Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliot (9) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

While home advantage might not be a big factor, Eliott has done fairly well at his home track. In 5 Cup races at Atlanta, he has 4 finishes inside the Top-10. That is the best record at Atlanta among active drivers.

However, Elliott still believes his record could have been even better at Atlanta. He feels like he has faced both extremes there already.

“We’ve gone there and had some really good runs, a couple days where I thought we were capable of winning. And then, we’ve been there and been way out to lunch,” Elliott expressed.

The reigning champ aims for a good race at his home track

Going into this Sunday’s race, Eliott wants to ‘hit’ rather than ‘miss’ at his home track, in front of his home crowd.

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“I’m not exactly sure what that is all the time. Obviously, car configurations and rules, and different packages play a role in it. Hopefully, this week, we can be more on the ‘hit’ side and execute a good race,” the Hendrick Motorsports superstar said further.

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) makes a pit stop during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Elliott does need that big hit soon, after missing out on wins despite some close finishes in the 5 races so far. The defending champion is in 6th place on points, but he will aim to book his playoff spot with a win, sooner rather than later.

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Aayush Majumdar

995 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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