Chase Elliott Optimistic About Exciting NASCAR Race on Bristol Dirt: “Set Up for a Really Cool Race”

Published 03/27/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 23: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, watches on during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott is among those drivers in the Cup field for whom the Bristol dirt race is a bigger challenge, due to lack of dirt racing experience in the past. However, Elliott has certainly had more dirt racing experience in the past few months than before.

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Soon after winning the NASCAR title last November, Elliott jumped right back on the race tracks. Among his off-season racing experiments were the Carolina Midget Showdown and the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals.

Both those events were on dirt tracks, albeit in a different car altogether than what he will drive in the NASCAR race on the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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Chase Elliott feels NASCAR Cup drivers will have a good race on Bristol dirt

While even the regular dirt drivers are concerned about how a Cup car will behave on the dirt track, Elliott expects a good race on Sunday. Elliott feels a NASCAR Cup race on dirt will pleasantly surprise many people.

“I think it’s set up for a really cool race. There’s a lot of excitement around it, which is good,” Elliott said in an interview ahead of the Bristol weekend.

“But I honestly think it’s going to be a good show. I think these cars are going to put on a good race. I’m excited to be a part of it,” he added.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

His dirt racing experience in the off-season will certainly hold him in good stead for Sunday’s race. Not just that, Elliott also pulled a bit of double duty last weekend, driving in the Bristol Dirt Nationals to get a good feel of the track.

How did the Hendrick Motorsports star fare in the practice sessions?

Elliott used his recent experiences to good effect on Friday during the two practice sessions at Bristol, ahead of Saturday’s qualifying event. The no. 9 car driver finished 6th and 7th in the two practice sessions and will start in 8th place in his heat race.

The Cup champion has not yet had the best start to his title defense. Elliott has come close on a couple of occasions, but could not keep up to grab a victory. However, with six more races on road courses this season, Elliott will fancy his chances.

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While many of his Cup competitors will also run the NASCAR Truck race on Saturday, Elliott will hope to gain as much knowledge as he can in the qualifying race.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 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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