Now 17 races into the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season, it’s safe to say that Chevrolet hasn’t improved.
The manufacturer did show some promising signs after winning at Talladega, but never really managed to build up on it.
Chevy’s victory at Talladega remained its solitary triumph in 2019 until last weekend at Chicago.
Chase Elliott, still the leading driver, has dropped out of the top 4 and is now 7th in the standings.
But if there is one kind of track where Chevrolet has done well in recent years, that’s superspeedways.
Daytona could provide a much-needed spark to reignite the 2019 season.
What: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 400
Where: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL
When: Saturday, July 6th at 7:30 PM EST
How: NBC (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
When it comes to outright speed, it’s hard to make a case against Chevrolet at superspeedways.
The manufacturer has dominated qualifying at these tracks like no other.
In 26 races since the Gen 6’s introduction, Chevy has scored an impressive 16 poles at Daytona and Talladega.
Ten of those have come at the track hosting this week’s race.
Chevy is coming off five consecutive poles at Daytona.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that it has never missed out on the pole for the 500 in the Gen 6 era.
In other words, that’s a great demonstration of outright pace.
Of course, qualifying and racing are two different things.
When other factors such as drafting, race pace and obviously crashes come into play, the picture changes.
Chevrolet has translated its qualifying pace into five wins at Daytona, tied with Ford in the Gen 6 era.
However, Chevy has only won three times in the last ten starts at the superspeedway.
The most recent triumph came with Austin Dillon in the 2018 Daytona 500.
Coming off a four-win season in 2018, many expected Chevrolet to bounce back this year.
The manufacturer endured some growing pains with the new Camaro last year.
With a full season of development and three wins towards the end of the season, 2019 looked slightly more promising.
Closing in on the halfway mark for 2019, however, this clearly hasn’t been the case.
The first win came in round 10, at Talladega, in convincing fashion.
Richard Childress’ Austin Dillon scored the pole, while Hendrick Motorsports dominated the race.
Chase Elliott led a 1-2-3 for Chevy, followed by teammate Alex Bowman and JTG’s Ryan Preece.
The week before, Jimmie Johnson had scored the pole while Hendrick placed two cars in the top 10.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski went as far as saying that their Chevrolet rivals had the best car at that point.
But ever since, things have somewhat gone back to square one.
Elliott has dropped from third to seventh in the standings, and Chevy has three pole-positions as the highlight.
Last weekend’s race at Chicago could lead to some positive momentum heading to Daytona.
In similar fashion to Talladega, Chevy had something of a dream weekend.
RCR’s Austin Dillon scored his third pole of the season as the manufacturer placed an impressive four cars in the top 5.
Alex Bowman led Kyle Larson home in an exciting finish, scoring a one-two for the Camaros with different teams.
With Daytona up next, it could be the perfect situation for Chevrolet to get back into form.
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