Chase Elliott Triumphs at Road America

Surely, Chase Elliott scored a rather impressive win at Road America. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

Surely, Chase Elliott scored a rather impressive win at Road America. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

Without doubt, Chase Elliott reminded his competitors, fans and critics about his road course winning ways on Sunday.

All things considered, Elliott rolled into the Jockey Made in America 250 race weekend at Road America without much fanfare. Indeed, Elliott suffered a heartbreaking disqualification at Nashville and a forgettable Pocono doubleheader.

Moreover, Chase Elliott posted the 14th fastest effort in the sole practice session before Sunday’s qualifying session. In fairness, Elliott, preparing for a flying lap, saw his efforts curtailed due to two caution periods essentially negating his runs.

However, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, despite starting 34th, quickly drove toward the front. On account of a respectable 10th place result in stage 1, Elliott finished 15th in stage 2, setting up for the win in stage 3.

In fact, Elliott stepped up to the plate, initially taking the lead on lap 38 for seven laps. In the end, Elliott retook the lead from Aric Almirola on lap 46.

As a result, Elliott held onto the lead for good, urging his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy Camaro into an insurmountable margin from the pack. At last, Elliott snapped his short four race skid with his second victory of the season.

To put it another way, Chase Elliott and road courses go together like Larry Bird and the Boston Garden. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

To put it another way, Chase Elliott and road courses go together like Larry Bird and the Boston Garden. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

“Just really proud of our team for overcoming some adversity early and having to start in the back, having good pit stops,” Elliott acknowledged. “Had a really fast NAPA Chevrolet. Just so proud.”

Until now, Elliott searched for the balance with his car considering the limited on-track time ahead of the race. Nevertheless, Elliott and his No. 9 team demonstrated why they prevailed with last year’s championship.

“Yeah, I never felt like I got in a real good rhythm all of yesterday,” Elliott said. “For whatever reason there, after about halfway through the race, I started finding some of that rhythm, was able to put it together, piece different parts of the track. Finally, I felt like I was able to piece most of it together.”

Indeed, Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson hit on the combination with the car and everchanging track conditions. While others struggled with grip and pace, Elliott simply capitalized at the unique 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America.

In addition to a fast car, Elliott observed the unique nature of the 66-year-old venue in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

“Yeah, it’s just this track has a lot of character to it,” Elliott offered. “It’s so long. You have a lot of opportunity to make mistakes or be good whenever you hit it. I mean, four miles is a long course. Just has a lot of character to it, a lot of bumps, a lot of sections that are really tricky to get through. I think conserving your tire was actually a little bit of a thing today, which to be honest we don’t have much of that I feel like any more.”

Furthermore, Elliott seemingly cemented a place as a beloved athlete with Wisconsin sports and race fans. Namely, the 25-year-old Dawsonville, Ga. native proved himself as a man of the people with a post race tradition.

On occasion, Chase Elliott proves his worth as a Talking Heads fan. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

On occasion, Chase Elliott proves his worth as a Talking Heads fan. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

“I haven’t spent any time in Wisconsin, so I’m not sure why they were so loud,” Elliott said. “It was super cool. Man, they were fired up. The amount of peer pressure I felt to do a burnout was, like, wow. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that much peer pressure in my life to do a burnout.

“NASCAR was yelling at me to make sure I went around the whole track. I did a burnout in the frontstretch. I was out of tire [and] I knew they were going to blow out. All these people are chanting ‘burnout’ at me. I wasn’t going to say no. So I did. Blew the back tires off of it, then ran out of gas, had to have a push. It was just a timely deal.”

Ultimately, Elliott, NASCAR’s most popular racer since 2018, gave the people what they wanted with a win and turn 5 burnout. In like manner, Elliott and his No. 9 team vie for another crowd-pleasing moment next Sunday (July 11) in the homecoming Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Meanwhile, Elliott savors his 13th career Cup win, a feat he appreciates like his previous victories and accolades.

A man of the people. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

A man of the people. (Photo: Mike Moore/The Podium Finish)

“I learned that lesson firsthand in how many races I threw away on the way to that first win,” Elliott said. “It makes you appreciate it more. I mean, bottom line, it makes you appreciate wins more and being in this position. When the day comes that I don’t appreciate it, I should probably go do something else.”

Jockey Made in America 250 Top 10 Finishers

Elliott-Bell-Kyle Busch-Kurt Busch-Hamlin/Briscoe-Chastain-Reddick-Truex-DiBenedetto

Rob Tiongson

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes.

From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat.

Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Communications at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's just as happy to be a Texan.

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