Points Finish 6th, 3 Wins, 11 Top Fives, 21 Top Tens, 29 Top Twenties, 12.3 Average Finish, 11.3 Average Running Position, 325 Laps Led, 94.22 Driver Rating
Chase Elliott is poised to have a big 2019. He’s a well rounded driver who’s entering his prime as he begins year #4. This upcoming season he’s capable of performing at a high-level on any given Sunday. Closing out the 2018 season he was impressive. In the Playoffs minus the three races he wrecked he finished in the top 7 every race and had a 4.5 average finish.
In 2019 I would look for Elliott to be at his very best at intermediate tracks, shorter flat tracks, short tracks and road courses.
Chase Elliott doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses on his resume. That said, plate racing could be more friendly to him. He performs well at those venues, he just doesn’t finish well.
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – A-
Chase Elliott is a strong performer at intermediate tracks and without a doubt he’ll compete for wins this upcoming season, but I’ll stop short of calling him elite. I’m not confident Hendrick Motorsports can continuously crank out the speed that would allow him to be a consistent threat to win.
Last year at intermediate tracks over the 17 combined events he scored the 12th most points. In the two prior seasons he scored the 4th (2017) and 9th (2016) most points.
In the second half of the 2018 season he was fast on this track type. From Kentucky until Homestead minus Las Vegas (crashed) he had a 5.6 average finish. His two wins on this track type last season came over this stretch in the Playoffs at Dover and Kansas.
In 2019 on a weekly basis at intermediate tracks I would look for Elliott to be about a 5th to 10th place performer.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – A-
Chase Elliott is a strong performer at flat tracks. On this track type I like him especially at the shorter venues. Last year at the shorter flats he performed at super-elite level and minus the fall Phoenix race he finished in the top five every race and had a 3.5 average finish. This upcoming season at the shorter flats I expect him to continue to perform at a high-level at all three venues (Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire).
At the bigger flat tracks by no means is he a slouch, but its important to note his level of performance isn’t as high. I think it would be best to view him as a high-single digits driver at both venues. Over the last four Pocono races he’s finished between 7th to 10th. Last year his results were 7th and 10th. At Indy, minus a 2017 engine failure all of his results are between 15th to 18th. In 2019 I think he’s poised to have his best result there.
Short Track Fantasy Value – A
Chase Elliott is a quality option at short tracks. Last year on this track type minus the spring Bristol race (crashed early) he had a 5.0 average finish, an 8.6 average running position and finished in the top ten every race.
At Richmond I think he’ll be a factor next year. Last year he swept the top four and had results of 2nd and 4th. Currently he has three straight top tens there.
At Martinsville he’s been one of the better performers and in 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished in the top 12. Last year he had results of 7th and 9th.
At Bristol I think he’s capable of being very competitive. Last summer he led 112 laps and finished 3rd. In the spring he didn’t get to show his hand because he had trouble in the opening laps.
Plate Track Fantasy Value – A-
Chase Elliott is ready to win at a plate track, and in 2019 I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he wins the season opening Daytona 500. His results don’t show it but he’s truly one of the better plate racers in NASCAR.
At Daytona his track record is pitiful, but trust me he’s ready to win. In points paying races his best result is 14th, and in his other five races he’s finished 22nd or worse. Last summer he showed potential but wrecked and finished 34th. In the race he finished 4th in Stage #1 and one lap prior to his demise he was running in 6th. In last years Daytona 500 he looked like a top five contender but wrecked and finished 33rd while he was battling for 2nd. In non-points paying races it should be noted he’s won his last two qualifying races. One notable strength for Elliott at Daytona is his qualifying prowess. In half his starts he’s won the pole.
At Talladega he’s been competitive and his stats aren’t quite as bad. Last fall he showed potential but wrecked at the end. Last spring he finished 3rd. In fall 2017 he was a contender to win but wrecked late.
Road Course Fantasy Value – A
Chase Elliott was a fantasy ace at road courses last year. Over the combined events he scored the most points, had a series best 3.7 average finish and had the second best average running position (6.0). I’ll note “performance wise” I thought Martin Truex Jr. was better than him.
Last year at Watkins Glen he had a great performance. He led 52 laps and raced his way to his first career win. In his first two Watkins Glen races he finished 13th in back to back races.
At Sonoma he’s been solid and has back to back top tens. Last year he finished 4th. In 2017 he finished 8th.
Last year at Charlotte when the road course made its debut he finished 6th.