Chase Elliott Earns First Top-Five of 2024 Season at Richmond

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

A historic night at Richmond Raceway netted Chase Elliott his first top-five of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

As the race started on Goodyear Racing’s ‘Wet Weather Tires,’ Elliott took the lead from his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson. The 2020 Cup champion became the first driver to lead a lap on wet weather tires in a points race on an oval in the Cup Series. However, that lead was short lived as Elliott slipped back to just outside the top-five. after five laps

The No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ran just outside the top-five for much of the remainder of the Toyota Owners 400. A caution halfway into Stage 2 briefly dropped the Dawsonville, GA native outside of the top-10.

Chase elliott earned his first top-five finish of the 2024 nascar cup series season at richmond raceway.
Chase Elliott at Richmond Raceway (Photo: Zach Catanzareti, Kickin’ The Tires)

Over the final two green flag runs in the final stage Elliott began to pick off his competition one-by-one, moving back into the top-10. A fast pit stop by his Alan Gustafson-led pit crew kept him in contention.

A late-race caution pushed the race into overtime where a controversial restart for eventual race winner Denny Hamlin led to the shuffle of the running order further back. In the final laps Elliott worked his way by Christopher Bell to take the checkered flag in fifth.

Despite the top-five finish, Elliott wasn’t happy with the result.

“No, I probably made the most of it there at the end,” Elliott admitted. “I honestly never felt like our UniFirst Chevy was all that bad. The caution came out there in the middle of that one-stop, two-stop strategy, and it set us back a little bit. I had a couple poor restarts there in a row, and then it was like after that, everybody was just the same.

“We would run around there and just kind of run the same pace. I felt like we kind of found a little pace there those last two runs, and we were able to actually pass a couple of cars under green. We got ourselves in a position there to have a good pit stop there at the end. I stopped a little short in my box. I think we could have been one spot better there off of pit road, but nonetheless, had a good restart and gave ourselves a top-five.”

After qualifying on the outside pole and taking the lead in the opening laps, Elliott dropped out of the top-five before non-competitive pit stops switched the field back to the traditional Goodyear Racing dry tires. He went on to finish Stage 1 in seventh, gaining an additional four points.

The fifth-place finish was Elliott’s first of the 2024 season and his first since the 2023 regular season finale at Daytona Int’l Speedway. It was the 94th top-five finish of his Cup Series career.

The top-five finish moved Elliott up from ninth to eighth in the points standings. He is 61-points behind leader Martin Truex Jr., and 46 ahead of the cutoff, currently held by Brad Keselowski.

Next for the 28-year-old is the Cook Out 400 at Martinsville Speedway. At ‘The Paperclip’ he has one victory, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. Elliott also has one pole at Martinsville.

“It was a solid night,” Elliott said. “Obviously looking forward to getting to Martinsville (Speedway) and trying to be a little better.”

The Cook Out 400 at Martinsville is scheduled for Sunday, April 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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