Key stat reinforces Chase Elliott's resurgence after the HMS driver's recent struggles

NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300
Chase Elliott in the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Famous NASCAR driver Chase Elliott appears to be on the upswing after a poor run of results in the next gen era. After 15 rounds of competition, Elliott has recorded the best average finish, which is testimony to his stunning resurgence.

Elliott experienced a turbulent 2023 campaign due to an injury that kept him out of six races in addition to one extra race for serving a suspension. He failed to win a race and didn't make it to the playoffs for the first time in his Cup career, marking his worst campaign.

Elliott's early form in 2024 has seen the #9 Hendrick Motorsports driver return to the top, snapping his winless streak at Texas. He currently boasts the best average finish of the season, 9.88, among all Cup drivers. His results include five top-fives and seven top-10 finishes. It is also his best season opening in his Cup career.

Chase Elliott has a better average finish than his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, who have won multiple races. With three victories, William Byron's average stands at 12.00, while Kyle Larson has won two races with an average of 12.43. Meanwhile, teammate Alex Bowman has an average of 13.47.

With just 133 laps led, the #9 HMS Chevy driver's lack of outright speed belies his impressive run of results. For reference, his teammate Kyle Larson has led 656 laps, while Denny Hamlin has led in 607.

Elliott has slowly but steadily ascended to third in the regular season standings, 27 points adrift of leader Hamlin. Teammate Larson sits second despite missing a race and is 21 points behind the leader. All three drivers are in the mix for winning the championship this season.


Chase Elliott aims for second win of the season at Sonoma Raceway

This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series will visit Sonoma Raceway for the season's second road course race. Chase Elliott expects the drivers to face a challenge after the 1.99-mile circuit was recently repaved.

With seven road course victories so far, the #9 Chevy driver leads the current grid and will look to increase his total this coming weekend in Sonoma. In a recent interview at Gateway, he elaborated on his expectations for the weekend.

"Yeah man, I would like to think we could go out there [Sonoma Raceway] and have a shot to win. Basically, a new track for all of us, except for whoever the three drivers were that got the test," he told Frontstretch.

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Since his victory at Road America in 2021, Chase Elliott has not won a race on a road course in the next generation of racing cars.

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