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NASCAR Cup: Chase Elliott on pole at Daytona road course

Chase Elliott leans on his car on pit road while waiting for the start of the NASCAR Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2021.

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chase Elliott will begin his quest for a fifth-straight points-paying NASCAR Cup Series road-course win from the pole Sunday in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course. The starting grid for Sunday’s race was determined by a formula implemented by NASCAR late last season that includes car-owner points and the last race’s fastest laps and finishing order. The reigning Cup Series champion finished second in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 14 and heads into this weekend’s race fourth in the driver points standings. and his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet fourth in the owner standings.

Elliott’s string of four-consecutive points-paying road-course wins includes a victory in the Cup Series’ first race on the Daytona road course last year. Elliott finished second in the 2021 Busch Clash exhibition race, also on the Daytona road course, Feb. 9. The record for most-consecutive road-course wins in the Cup Series is six, held by retired NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon.

“There’s quite a few similarities,” Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson said, comparing Elliott and Gordon on road courses. “I’ve seen this with all the good road racers I’ve worked with, and I’ve been fortunate to be around quite a few; it’s all slowed down for them. There’s so much going on road courses, between shifting, braking, turning, corners and handling in the corners. When you work with guys that are really good and successful, the level of detail they can describe and how they know what’s going on with the car and how it all just slows down for them. You see that from Chase, for sure, and I certainly saw that from Jeff.”

Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell will start next to Elliott on the front row Sunday.

“Even without the Daytona 500 win, we would still feel confident coming back this weekend,” McDowell said. “We have really worked hard on our road-course program this offseason and we are getting better. It’s another good opportunity for us.”

Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin will start in the second row in the third and fourth positions. Kevin Harvick and Ryan Preece will start in row three.

Below, is the complete starting grid for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253:

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Posted by on February 19, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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