NASCAR Cup Series 65th Annual Daytona 500

The 2023 Pala Casino 400 is set to begin on Sunday (February 26) at Auto Club Speedway and Chase Elliott is one of the favorites to win at the two-mile low-banked, D-Shaped Superspeedway. The #9 Chevrolet driver had a decent record in Fontana, but he has never won at Auto Club Speedway. Elliot’s 12.17 average finish at the track is third-best among drivers in Sunday’s field.

Heading into Fontana, Chase Elliott is optimistic to perform better as he really enjoys running at the track. He also feels that the two-mile-long track is a unique and cool place to race.

Speaking to the media ahead of the race, Elliott said:

“I’m looking forward to kicking off the West Coast swing at Fontana. I really enjoy going out there. The track is unique and it’s just a cool place. It’s one of those places you kind of forget about until it comes up on the schedule because you only race there once a year and it’s so early in the season.”

“I felt like we had a pretty good run going there towards the end last year but didn’t end up with the finish to show for it. Hopefully, we’re able to improve upon that this weekend.”

Due to inclement weather, the starting lineup for Sunday’s race is set based on the metric.

Chase Elliott will return to the track this weekend, where he has three top-10 finishes with a best finish of fourth place in 2020 and made six Cup Series starts. Last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the #9 Chevrolet driver had a rough weekend as he got caught up in a multi-car incident in stage two and ultimately forced an early exit from the race.

“Fontana is kind of special for me” – Chase Elliott’s crew chief

Alan Gustafson, the crew chief of Chase Elliott, returns to the track where he has some special connections. He won his first career Cup Series pole as well as his first Cup win at Auto Club Speedway.

Speaking about his return to the site of his first win as crew chief, Gustafson said:

“Fontana is kind of special for me. It’s where I got my first win and I just really enjoy going there. It’s a really fast track and it’s super unique. It’ll be interesting this weekend with the weather. Hopefully, it holds off and we’re able to get some practice time in, but it could be a situation where we’re starting the race on Sunday without any track time.”

Catch Chase Elliott in action at the Auto Club Speedway on February 26, 2023.

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