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Chase Elliott looks to continue hot streak with first Michigan win

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 02: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 02, 2019 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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Chase Elliott is in the midst of the best stretch of his Cup Series career, earning five consecutive top-five finishes, beginning with his win at Talladega on April 28.

That streak is the active leader for top fives.

What’s the best possible track the series could visit to give Elliott a chance to keep his streak alive and possibly deliver his second win of the year?

Well, it’s clearly Dover International Speedway, where Elliott has finished worse than fifth just once in seven starts.

But what about the track after that?

That would be Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend’s FireKeepers Casino 400.

In six previous starts Elliott has never finished worse than ninth.

Thanks to three consecutive runner-up finishes to start his Cup career at the 2-mile track, Elliott has a series-best average finish of 5.3 at MIS.

Among the drivers included in NASCAR’s stat update book for this week, the next closest driver in terms of average finish - since 2005 - is Kevin Harvick at 10.8.

“I feel like we’re really close,” Elliott said in a media release. “I’ll go to work and try to do a better job, and we’ll see what we can do next week.”

But since his last second-place finish, Elliott has results of eighth and ninth (twice) in Michigan. The only laps he’s led there came in his first two starts.

Here are other stat categories Elliott leads in at Michigan ahead of Sunday’s race:

  • Driver rating: 104.5 (Harvick is next at 98.1)
  • Average running position: 9.3
  • Average spots gained: four
  • Average speed early in run: 167.128 mph (Daniel Suarez is second at 166.350)
  • Green flag speed: 181.717 mph (Kyle Larson is second at 181.431)