|Chase Elliott won one of the Duels at Daytona in February.|
“It’s not a ton different. Typically, the July race is at night and the February race is a little cooler, so, to me, I think it’s pretty close to a wash. For the February race, the sun shines on the track and I think it gets a little slicker, whereas when the sun is down I think the track has more grip and the cars typically handle a little better. To me, I think it’s real similar.”
Elliott on restrictor-plate racing:
“I feel like I have more just accepted plate racing more than I would pick it as my favorite. It’s just one of those things that you have to go do. The points still count the same and you have an opportunity to go and score just as many points there as you do anywhere else. I think that is why it is important to accept, but I feel like I have had a good approach. I feel like we as a team have a good approach. We haven’t had very good finishes to show for our approach and our methods of going about things, but I think that we have had fast enough cars and I feel like I have had good enough feels and have seen things well enough at times to give ourselves a chance. So, I’m going to stick to what I’ve been doing and hopefully it works out.”
Elliott on the Fourth of July weekend:
“The Fourth of July weekend of Daytona is always one of my favorite weeks of the year. Obviously, a very fun race and a fun race weekend, but just a fun week to kind of be down around the beach. So, I like to go down a couple of days early and hang out. I have some friends that live in that area, so I might go down there a couple of days early and spend some time with them.”
HOOTERS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 DEBUTS: For the first time this season, the orange-and-white Hooters paint scheme will adorn the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. A casual dining establishment with a deep history in NASCAR, the Atlanta-based company will be a two-race primary sponsor of the No. 9 team in the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season. Chase Elliott will also pilot the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Richmond Raceway in September.
DAYTONA STATS: Elliott is set to make his sixth points-paying NASCAR Cup Series start at Daytona this weekend. In his previous starts, the 22-year-old driver has led 50 laps and averages a starting position of 6.4, winning the pole two consecutive times for the Daytona 500. Elliott won a Duel at Daytona in each of the last two seasons, and was in position to win the 2017 Daytona 500 before running out of fuel from the lead on Lap 198 of 200. He has also competed at Daytona seven times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, highlighted by a victory in the season-opener in February 2016 and collecting two top-five finishes and three top-10s. Elliott finished ninth in his lone ARCA Racing Series start at the 2.5-mile track in 2014.
DAYTONA VICTORY TOUR: At the beginning of the month, Elliott visited Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Daytona International Speedway to promote this weekend’s race at Daytona. While on the ERAU campus, the driver of the No. 9 took his turn inside a flight simulator and met with the ERAU Motorsports, a team of students that build a Formula SAE race car from scratch. For a behind-the-scenes look at Elliott’s day, click here.
HOME SWEET HOME: This weekend, No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson will return home to the "Birthplace of Speed" and call his 28th Cup Series race at the 2.5-mile track from atop the pit box. Gustafson grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, just down the road from Daytona International Speedway. After graduating from Seabreeze High School, he enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. At his home track, Gustafson has two Duel wins, both with Elliott (2017, 2018). The 42-year-old crew chief also has two runner-up finishes at Daytona, both in the July race and both with Kyle Busch (2006, 2007). The 2007 second-place result to Jamie McMurray was the closest margin of victory ever in the summer race (0.005 seconds). Gustafson has also won four Daytona pole awards, two with Elliott and one each with Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.
SEE ELLIOTT AT DAYTONA: On Saturday, July 7, Elliott will appear at the Team Chevy Stage at 4:45 p.m. local time for a question-and-answer session.
DOUBLE DUTY: In addition to his full-time duty piloting the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Cup Series, Elliott will once again compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race driving the No. 23 Chevrolet for GMS Racing on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will also drive the No. 23 Chevy in the upcoming Bristol (Aug. 17) Xfinity race.
DARLINGTON UNVEIL: On Tuesday, July 10, Elliott will reveal his No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 throwback scheme that he will pilot on Sept. 2 at Darlington Raceway. The unveil will take place at 5:30 p.m. local time at the Axalta Customer Experience Center on the Hendrick Motorsports campus and is open to the media. For more information or to RSVP, contact Morgan Overstreet.