Elliott, Truex or Blaney: Who’s the Favorite for Sunday?

NKP #12: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Duracell

Do numbers lie? According to Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, they do.

Or at least they don’t tell the whole story.

Elliott has the best average finish on road courses among all active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, 11.56. Does that make him a favorite for Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway?

Not so fast, Elliott said.

“I think (Martin) Truex (Jr.) has pretty well asserted himself as the best road racer in our series as of late,” Elliott said. “He’s won the majority of them and has finished second or third in the others, so I think until you’re beating him regularly, you’re probably not the guy to beat.”

Ryan Blaney, last year’s Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 winner, is taking his reigning success in stride.

Blaney won after Truex and Jimmie Johnson collided in the final chicane before the finish, giving Blaney – who took the white flag in third place – an unforgettable victory.

But Blaney was more interested in seeing the new backstretch chicane than touting his potential for a repeat win.

“Coming back here, it’s nice coming back to a place you’ve won at, no matter how you win it, how you do it,” Blaney said. “Honestly, I was more excited coming back here to see the new chicane. That’s pretty unique and a lot different than we had last year. We’re talking about adding more braking markers (before the chicane) because there’s only six of them, and we’re braking at the hypothetical seven, so we’re going to add a couple more.

“It’s nice coming back. That’s kind of all I’ve heard this week was ‘past winner.’ I don’t really think about that stuff too much. I think about the next one coming up.”


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