Chase Elliott blogs about racing at Martinsville and Rockingham
- Apr 19, 2013
- Team Hendrick
Well, the next chapter of my racing career has officially begun. These first two weeks of racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have been an incredible opportunity for me and the No. 94 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet. We’ve been able to not only run inside the top 10, but finish there as well. Everyone here on this No. 94 team has worked extremely hard, and with our performances at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway, I can’t wait to get back to the track and run up front again.
Martinsville is everything that I thought it would be and then some. There’s beating and banging, good old short track racing. We started off the weekend strong, qualifying inside the top 10, which is always a good thing on a short track since it’s pretty hard to pass. Once the green flag waved, man we fought hard; banging fenders with veterans and rookies alike. As the race went on, I was able find a rhythm and catch on to the Martinsville style of racing. (Crew chief) Lance (McGrew) did a great job dialing my truck in. Ultimately, we were able to come home with a sixth-place finish, my first top-10 in the Truck series.
Once Martinsville ended, I couldn’t wait to get back to the track. Luckily, it was only eight days before we took the green flag at Rockingham. I knew we had a great chance to run well at The Rock since it’s such a great, racey track. You can run on the top, the bottom, basically wherever you want around the 1.017-mile oval. It’s just a lot of fun, and we had a good truck. With the team’s help, we were able to go from running 13th in the first practice to first in the last one. And during qualifying, we were one of about 10 drivers to post a time faster than the 2012 qualifying speed (24.933 seconds at roughly 144.387 mph)—which was the record at the time. I laid down a lap in 24.646 seconds at 146.068 mph to qualify fourth. With that starting position, I felt like we had as good a shot as anyone to run up front and get the win. That was until contact around the midway point of the race forced us to the pits. Lance and the guys did a great job repairing the truck, and we were able to battle our way back towards the front for a fifth-place finish.
I’m happy about the start to our Truck schedule, but I’m not satisfied. I want to put this No. 94 Chevrolet in Victory Lane, not only for myself, but for everyone who works so hard day in and day out. Our next opportunity will be Dover (Del.) International Speedway on May 31.