Chase Elliott blogs about his upcoming K&N races
- Sep 20, 2011
- Team Hendrick
This is the first blog post for “Catching up with Chase.” About once a month, the Hendrick Motorsports driver will take time between high school classes, racing in various series and just being a teenager to let us know how he’s doing. Currently, Chase and his team are preparing for back-to-back events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
CONCORD, N.C. – Right now, it’s all about momentum. My team won three races in August and then finished third in the most recent NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. Plus, I’m almost all caught up on my homework – high school is no joke. Overall, I’d say things are moving in the right direction.
Running well last month was huge for us. Winning in the late model series carried over to the K&N side of things, where we had been struggling somewhat. After picking up those wins in Florida, Michigan and Alabama, we rolled right into a top-three finish in the K&N event at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. It was like our team finally put an entire weekend together. We qualified well, ran up front and finished strong. That’s the first time we’ve been able to do that, and we’re all really excited.
Our team has been working hard, and we’ve been gearing up for the next two weeks, which will involve back-to-back K&N races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Right now, everybody has the time to go through everything carefully. We only have a couple races left to finish strong.
But with all of our preparation, the one area I really needed some practice was in pit stops. We don’t do too many of those in the K&N Series – maybe once a race, every couple of months or so. I work with the developmental members at Hendrick Motorsports, and earlier this week, we spent time putting in reps (Check that out here). I know I needed the practice more than they did. In our series, we might go two or three months without having any pit stops, which is pretty hard on a driver. The Cup guys make anywhere from two to four pit stops during a race, and we might do one, so we definitely have to make that one count whenever we get the chance to do it.
The cool thing about racing at New Hampshire and Dover for the K&N Series is they’re Cup ractracks. Guys go to them twice a year on the Cup schedule, and that’s huge for me because the experience might come into play in the future. Not only is that cool, but racing at any track twice helps. That made a huge difference at Greenville. That was our second time racing there when I finished third. It makes an unreal difference to go back somewhere and say, ‘Well, this didn’t work the first time.’ For us to go back to Loudon and have some notes, we’re really excited. We didn’t run awful there, either. We were in the ballpark. But we still had room to improve and run with those guys up in the front.
This will be our first trip to Dover, so we’ll have to treat it the same way we do any track we haven’t seen before. We’ll watch some race footage from previous events at that track and then we’ll just go old-school and talk to people who have raced there before. Between my dad and other drivers, I feel pretty fortunate to have so much experience to lean on. And then, we always can go back to iRacing for a simulation run on the one-mile concrete track. The nice part is that we won’t be the only new ones there, so it should be a pretty even playing field. Every racetrack is different, but hopefully we’ll pick it up quick and just roll from there.