Chase Elliott Best Rookie Since Jimmie Johnson To Start the Season

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 - PracticeChase Elliott – Not Your Average Rookie
Chase Elliott has already joined some elite company.

The No. 24 Chevrolet driver’s five top-10 finishes this season are the most by a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender since Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002.

Elliott leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings (21 points ahead of second-place Ryan Blaney) on the strength of his five top 10s and two top fives. He produced a career-best fourth-place finish on Sunday at Bristol, topping his previous-high result of fifth set at Texas one week earlier.

If the season ended today, Elliott would make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the 12 seed. The only rookie to ever make the Chase was Denny Hamlin (2006).

NOTE: To clarify this story blurb came from NASCAR and we believe they mean in the first 8 races of the season, yet that was missing from the post.