LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 22: Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, talk during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 22, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

NASCAR analysts believe this driver has been the biggest surprise of the playoffs

Chase Elliott is still searching for the first win of his career, but the 21-year-old has finished second in three of the five playoff races, and he's positioned himself to advance into the Round of 8.

Elliott is currently sixth in the points heading into Sunday's elimination race at Kansas Speedway. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski are the only drivers who have clinched a spot in the Round of 8, but Elliott should advance barring a disastrous performance.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman have both been impressed by Elliott thus far, and they agreed that he has a chance to advance all the way to the championship race at Homestead in Miami.

"If Talladega had played out, he was either going to be in victory lane or in the top two or three," Petty said. "When you look at that, he has had the most solid playoffs of any driver out there. We keep talking about the big three: Larson, Busch and Truex. This guy is a sleeper. But he's my No. 4."

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"He's been the biggest surprise," Kligerman added. "That 24 team has been incredible through the playoffs. One thing I've noticed about that team, just speaking to (crew chief) Alan Gustafson, speaking to Chase, it's almost as if they want that first win more than they care about the playoffs."

Truex feels like the only driver who is the closest thing to a lock to make it to Homestead, but Elliott is a good wild card pick if he continues hovering near the top of the races.

But before his team can worry about that, they need to ensure they do enough on Sunday to advance to the next round. Then he'll have three more chances to earn his first victory and make it to the championship race.

(h/t NBC Sports)