2020 Cup champion Chase Elliott returns to Darlington after winning for the first time this season in last Sunday’s race at Dover Motor Speedway. Despite being winless in the Cup Series at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped track, Elliott won the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington in 2014, his first time racing there.
He won his first race of the season at Dover Motor Speedway on Monday, giving Hendrick Motorsports drivers 4 for 4 in the record books of wins this season. His teammates Kyle Larson, William Byron and Alex Bowman are already in the playoffs, and it’s only May.
Elliott spoke on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio this week to discuss his season, which included finally winning his first race at Dover last weekend and joining his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates at Victory Lane. He was then asked about Darlington and why he chose to compete in the Xfinity Series on Saturday.
In the discussion, Elliott admitted:
“I feel like I’ve struggled over there for the last couple of years. Just haven’t gotten a good handle on a direction that I want to be in or a specific feel that I’ve been looking for. And obviously, with this car change now, it’s going to be a bit different but, like you say, it’s been a place that I just don’t feel personally I’ve brought a ton to the table and I think that an opportunity that came up to run the Xfinity Series race with JRM on Saturday and I jumped on it as quick as I could because I felt like that was one that I really needed. So I’m hopeful that that helps me. I want to get some extra laps. I want to try to better our program there on Sunday.”
Chase Elliott’s entrance in the Xfinity Series 2022 season at Darlington Raceway
Chase Elliott hopes that the Xfinity Series race will assist him in the Cup Series on Sunday. He also believes that some of the lessons he learned in Dover can be applied to Darlington.
Rain interrupted qualifying on Friday afternoon, putting an end to Chase Elliott’s aspirations for a strong finish and, more crucially, receiving some track experience. Chase Elliott and Brennan Poole were both disqualified due to NASCAR rules.
Elliott’s appearances in the Xfinity Series have become increasingly rare in recent years. He only raced once last year and finished fourth in Indianapolis. In 2019, he had another one-off race at Daytona to start the season, finishing 10th.