Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports, put on an incredible performance at last weekend’s Round 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Playoffs at Richmond Raceway, securing a fourth-place finish after leading the race for 34 laps. With this result, Elliott has managed to put himself back above the cut-off to advance into the top 12 – at least for now – and has reversed his fortunes after his unfortunate crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Round 1.
Elliott’s fourth-place finish was Chevrolet’s best at the race, although Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 drivers Austin Dillon (No. 3, Richard Childress Racing), Kyle Larson (No. 42, Chip Ganassi Racing), and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48, Hendrick Motorsports) followed close behind, placing sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively. All three of those drivers, like Elliott, are Playoffs contenders.
Chevrolet’s fifth Playoffs contender, Alex Bowman (No. 88, Hendrick Motorsports), placed twelfth. He’s currently above the cut-off to advance to the top 12; the only Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Playoffs contender who isn’t is Johnson. The field will narrow from 16 to 12 drivers after Round 3 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Playoffs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
Two rounds into the Playoffs, Chevrolet is the only manufacturer without a win to its name; Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford Fusion, Team Penske) won Round 1 in Las Vegas, and Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing) won last weekend’s round in Richmond after an impressive push from dead-last on the grid. The Playoffs are still young, but already, it looks as though they could end up mirroring Chevrolet’s Regular Season performance, in which the new 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 stock car struggled to put drivers on the highest platform of the podium.