The NASCAR Cup Series season has crossed the 11-race mark of the 2021 season and Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, has posted four top-five finishes – two of which are runner-up results, five top-10s and has led a total of 76 laps. He has one stage win and has spent 667 laps inside the top five and 1,620 laps running in the top 10.
LAST YEAR AT DARLINGTON: Elliott and the No. 9 team showed speed in all three events last year at Darlington. In those events, he led a total of 142 laps – the third-most of all drivers. During the first race on May 17, the 25-year-old driver overcame a speeding penalty to collect a fourth-place finish – a career best at the South Carolina venue. On May 20, Elliott finished in the top 10 in both stages and led 28 laps before being spun out by a competitor while running second on the final green-flag lap of the rain-shortened event, relegating him to a 38th-place finish. Finally, on Sept. 6, Elliott led 114 laps before finishing 20th after suffering damage from an accident with Martin Truex Jr. while battling for the lead in the closing laps.
‘TOO TOUGH TO TAME’ STATS: Elliott is set to make his ninth NASCAR Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway this weekend. In his previous races at the 1.366-mile track, he has two top-five finishes and three top-10s. Elliott also has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the South Carolina venue, where he won in his 2014 track debut. He is one of only four drivers to win at Darlington in their first race there.
GUSTAFSON AT DARLINGTON: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson has called 19 Cup Series races at Darlington. Leading five different drivers, he’s collected one win, four top-five results and seven top-10s. Gustafson’s Darlington win came in 2009 with veteran Mark Martin, the second-oldest driver (50 years, 4 months) to win at the track.
WELCOME BACK, HOOTERS: On Sunday at Darlington, Hooters will make its 2021 season debut on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE with the Hooters Throwback paint scheme. A casual dining establishment with a deep history in NASCAR, the Atlanta-based company will be a three-race primary sponsor of the No. 9 team this year. Elliott will also pilot the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet later this season at the Indianapolis Road Course and in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway.
HONORING A CHAMPION: Earlier this year, Elliott revealed the No. 9 Hooters Throwback paint scheme he will drive this weekend at Darlington. The design honors Alan Kulwicki, who drove the Hooters look in 1992 when he won the NASCAR Cup Series title. Click here to check out the scheme.