The Hendrick Motorsports star took some major steps in 2019. Elliott nabbed three victories and four pole positions en route to his fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Unfortunately, he and the No. 9 Chevrolet team suffered a collapse during the second half of the playoffs and took an early exit from the Chase for the Cup. Still, Elliott’s three victories tied a career-best mark, and his 601 laps led for the campaign set a new season-best mark for the young driver. A lack of consistency was really the only major hurdle for this driver and team last season. We believe they’ll overcome that problem in 2020. We should see the 24-year-old driver continue to mature, and continue to improve to the point where Elliott becomes a major contender for the championship this season. We expect to see new career-best marks in wins, Top 5’s, Top 10’s and laps led for this driver and team.
Elliott figured things out in a big way last season. After the breakthrough win at Watkins Glen in the summer, the young driver would stack up two more victories before the season was through. The three wins and 21 Top-10 finishes were career-best marks for the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet. It all added up to a sixth-place finish in the final driver standings for this driver and team. Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson are definitely on the rise. Now with one full season under their belts with the new Chevy Camaro, things will be even easier this season. The dynamic Elliott will look to raise the bar higher in 2019, and set new career-best marks. It will all be in the hopes of challenging for the championship. With the Chase playoff format still in play this season, we can’t rule this out as a possibility. Elliott is poised for stardom, so the upcoming season has tons of potential, and a very high ceiling.
The lack of victories is all that keeps Elliott from being higher in the pre-season driver rankings. However, he showed tremendous progress towards that first win and climbing into the top tier of drivers during the final races of 2017. Half of his 12 Top-5 finishes, including four runner-up finishes came during the 10-race Chase for the Cup. Despite being winless, the Hendrick Motorsports driver finished a stellar fifth in the final driver standings. There is tremendous upside with the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet, and the fact that Elliott has not won in his first 77 starts in the Monster Energy Cup Series could devalue him on fantasy draft day. If you’re looking for a driver in 2018 to make a quantum leap like Kyle Larson did last year, Elliott would be that guy. The breakthrough potential here is very sizeable.
Although the rookie didn’t win any races in 2016, Elliott was far better than most imagined with two poles, 10 Top-5 and 17 Top-10 finishes in his rookie campaign. The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet had a couple near brushes with victory throughout his first full season of racing at NASCAR’s top level, so it wasn’t like Elliott was way off from winning. He’ll return to an intact team, and the same crew chief in 2017 to build on what they started last season. Alan Gustafson gave this young driver some great guidance and will again get to mentor with Elliott in the crew chief-driver relationship. Although most could be wary of a sophomore slump, we really don’t see this driver and team in that realm of possibility. Elliott should continue his upward trajectory in the upcoming season and challenge the 10th-place finish he posted in last year’s final driver standings.
With Jeff Gordon’s retirement, we’ll see a new face inside the No. 24 Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports this season. The long-awaited debut of Bill Elliott’s son is at hand. Elliott is coming off two stellar campaigns in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The 19-year-old won three races and won the championship in his rookie 2014 season. Elliott followed that up with a one-win, 27 top-10 and runner-up finish in the standings last season. He’s done all he can do at that level and now he’s ready to take over one of the premier rides of the Sprint Cup Series. Elliott will pair with Gordon’s old crew chief, Alan Gustafson, and look to develop chemistry right away. When looking to forecast this talented youngster upcoming season, Kyle Larson’s rookie 2014 season comes to mind. 6-8 top-5 finishes and 15-18 top-10s are well within the realm of possibility. Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 is a foregone conclusion.
Signed a development driver contract with Hendrick Motorsports in February 2011. Elliott will continue to race in lower racing series until he meets NASCAR’s age requirements. The son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott is carving out quite a reputation in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and USAR Pro Cup Series. Elliott will turn 17 in 2013 and inch closer to a truck series or Nationwide Series driving gig.