RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Fancy many drivers in NASCAR’s top sequence, Chase Elliott had a hard time understanding the best way to navigate the layout at Richmond Raceway when he first raced on the track.
Some assume the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval drives like a mini superspeedway, and others revel within the short-track really feel it gives as a track shorter than a mile.
Elliott light isn’t obvious what to make of the track that appears twice on the agenda in NASCAR’s premier sequence.
“The riding at Richmond is honestly very straight forward,” the reigning sequence champion said this week. “I assume that’s what makes Richmond really hard is because it’s fair now not a colossal challenging place, I don’t assume, for the drivers to bustle the fair line.
“Nevertheless what makes it really hard there is to fair be different. And all individuals is doing the exact same factor. … You’re riding that really razor-thin edge worthy such as you achieve at Martinsville, then again it’s unquestionably a challenge. And I assume the reason it’s a challenge is that all individuals is fair doing the same factor.”
Elliott performed fifth at Richmond last fall within the sequence’ best search advice from because of the pandemic, but was 15th and 13th in two starts within the 2019 season.
As the sequence wraps up a three-race stretch of short tracks, Elliott is hoping to increase on his 10th-place accomplish on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway and his second-place bustle last weekend at Martinsville. And he’s now not involved that he’s winless after eight races.
Martin Truex Jr. last week became the primary repeat winner within the sequence this year.
“We all want to steal, but I really feel no different today than I did at the tip of last year and the outcomes had been fair dazzling then,” Elliott said. Elliott gained the last two races in 2020 to steal the championship. “… I know we can shuffle available and accomplish our goals.”
CHANGE OF HEART
Austin Dillon’s relationship with Richmond has performed a total about face.
“It was my least favorite,” the Richard Childress Racing driver said Thursday. “I dreaded going there. I said I wished Richmond would fair now not be a track anymore.”
“And one way or the other, over the years, I’ve made it into a accurate place for us.”
Dillon has performed sixth or better in three of his last four tries on the oval, together with a fourth-place bustle last fall regardless of a penalty for dashing on pit road.
“Richmond is now like my favorite track on the earth,” Dillon said.
He enters Sunday’s race 12th in factors but with fair one top-5 accomplish.
ODDS AND ENDS
Martin Truex Jr., the winner last week at Martinsville and three weeks ago within the truck race on the dirt at Bristol, is the 4-1 favorite, with Denny Hamlin next at 11-2, according to sportsbook.fanduel.com. … Constant but winless, Hamlin remains the factors leader by 76 over Truex thanks to seven top-5 finishes in eight races. Joey Logano is third, 77 factors behind. … Truex gained each races at Richmond in 2019. … Brad Keselowski dropped from fifth to ninth within the factors race after he obtained caught up in a 14-car pileup that ended his day early at Martinsville. … Hamlin led 276 laps at Martinsville and tops all drivers with 487 by eight races. … Kyle Busch leads active drivers with six wins at Richmond.
More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Elliott would love to find a way to be different at Richmond