Strengths – Chase Elliott has become one of the top overall drivers in NASCAR. He’s a viable option at many different track types. In 2018 look for him to be at his best at intermediate tracks. On that track type which comprises much of the season he ranks as one of the very best drivers in the series.
Weaknesses – Chase Elliott doesn’t have any real significant weaknesses other than that he can’t seem to close out winnable races. Last year he had quite a few races won, but failed to reach victory lane.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium-High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Chase Elliott is an elite intermediate track performer. He’s never won on this track, but as soon as he does it will be hard for the competition to keep him out of victory lane. After Martin Truex Jr. on this track type Chase Elliott belongs on the short list of who’s the next best driver.
Last year at intermediate tracks Chase Elliott had a great season. He scored the 4th most points, finished in the top five 59% percent of the time, in the top ten 82% percent of the time, had an 8.6 average finish and a 10.5 average running position. In 2016 on this track type he scored the 9th most points.
In 2018 at intermediate tracks I would look for Chase Elliott to have a great season and once again rank as one of the top performers. All he really needs to do is learn how to close out races.
The intermediate tracks where Chase Elliott’s level of performance really stands out are Michigan, Dover, and Chicagoland.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – High
Chase Elliott is a very strong flat track driver. At both the bigger flat tracks and the smaller flat tracks he should compete for a top ten every race. Last year at flat tracks he scored the 14th most points, in 2016 he scored the 13th most points.
At the bigger flat tracks he’s come close to victory lane at Pocono, but has had a tough time at Indy. At Pocono he’s finished in the top ten in 3 of his 4 races, and would be a perfect 4 for 4 but he was caught up in an accident in summer 2016. Last year he had results of 8th and 10th. At Indy he has a best result of 15th, last year he had a short race and finished 39th after having an engine failure.
At all three smaller flat tracks in incident free races Chase Elliott has typically been right around 10th place good. Last year in 4 of the 6 races he finished between 10th to 12th. Last fall at Phoenix Elliott led 34 laps and finished 2nd. Last spring at that venue he was also strong there leading 106 laps but fading to a 12th place finish.
Short Track Fantasy Value – High
I think Chase Elliott will have a great 2018 season at short tracks. He now has plenty of seat time at all of them and I wouldn’t be surprised if he competes for wins this upcoming season.
Between the three short tracks Martinsville is looking like his best. Last spring he finished 3rd, and in the fall he nearly won until he was wrecked while leading. At Bristol, Elliott has an 11.0 average finish. At that venue he’s finished in the top 7 in both his spring races and has a teens result in both his summer races. At Richmond Elliott hasn’t been at his best, but he was good in both races last year. Last fall he finished 10th, in spring 2017 he was around 10th place good but got a late pit penalty which led to his 24th place finish.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
In 2018 look for Chase Elliott to carry the Hendrick banner at plate tracks. This upcoming season I think he’ll definitely be a driver to be reckoned with on this track type. Last year he came close to victory lane at both Daytona and Talladega. He didn’t walk away with any good results, but I think he’ll be one of the drivers to beat at these venues in 2018.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – High
Chase Elliott showed improvement during his sophomore season at road courses, and this upcoming year I think he’ll perform at a slightly higher level. Last year on this track type he scored the 10th most points and had a 10.5 average finish.
Last year Elliott finished 8th at Sonoma, and walked away with his second 13th place finish at Watkins Glen.
On 2018 on this track type look for Elliott to compete for a top ten at all three road courses on the schedule.