Chase Elliott momentum rising: Eyes Bristol night race victory

Published 6:00 am Monday, August 12, 2019


BRISTOL – Chase Elliott will no doubt look back on the first week of August 2019 with fond memories.

On Wednesday he had the privilege of taking a ride aboard a Tennessee Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter as he was the featured driver in Bristol Motor Speedway’s media day in Nashville.

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Then, a few days later, he raced to the pole position at Watkins Glen. On Sunday, he showed off in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy Camaro ZL1 by leading 80 of 90 laps and claiming his second straight victory at the New York road course.

It was quite a week’s work for NASCAR’s most popular driver. Elliott will look to keep the momentum going when he arrives at The LastGreat Colosseum, August 15-17, for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

Elliott has shown flashes of brilliance at Bristol in his seven Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series starts at the all-concrete bullring.

Elliott has completed an incredible 99percent of his laps run at Bristol and has posted two top-fives and three top-10s. He finished third and led 112 laps in last year’s Night Race, a thriller that many are calling an ‘Instant Classic’ for the many plot twists and turns that unfolded over 500 laps that evening.

In another of his Bristol highlights, he claimed the pole for this April’s Food City 500. His finish last August remains his best at Bristol, but Elliott is focused on improving his overall performance at the track known for producing dramatic finishes.

“I always look forward to going to Bristol, it’s a cool place,” Elliott said. “I was able to get a pole there at the beginning of the year, which was nice.

“We’ve had some hit or miss runs there. It’s been kind of odd. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a lot of consistency.”

In addition to his win at Watkins Glen, Elliott also won earlier this year at Talladega so he’s locked into the NASCAR Playoffs and won’t be one of the drivers desperately needing a Bristol victory to secure a spot in the postseason.

Elliott says he would love to grab a win at Bristol, a historic old-school type of track that reminds him of some of the short tracks he cut his teeth on coming up through the racing ranks.

“There’s always been a magic about that Night Race at Bristol,” Elliott said. “It’s a cool event that only happens once a year. With the atmosphere at the track, it’s really not like anywhere else.”

Next weekend, NASCAR fans will once again be able to cheer on their favorite drivers and watch some amazing finishes as the greatest stock car drivers in the world battle on the all-concrete high banks.

In addition to Elliott, Bristol dominator Kyle Busch, his brother and defending Night Race winner Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, defending series champion Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney will all be looking to take home the Gladiator sword from The Last Great Colosseum during the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.