Elliott gears up for first road course race in Sunday's ARCA event
MILLVILLE, N.J. – Chase Elliott always has been a fan of road courses, and this weekend, the 16-year-old will get his first chance to compete on one in a stock car. Elliott will make his third ARCA Racing Series start when he lines up his No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet on Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway.
“I’ve always liked road courses and have done a little of it in the past, but not in a stock car,” Elliott said. “I’m really excited about it, though. It’s something I don’t get to do very often, and I really enjoy road racing.”
Elliott recently spent time working on his road course skills during a test at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C. with veteran crew chief Lance McGrew and his Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com team.
“Our test went really well,” McGrew said. “Chase has never driven a stock car on a road course before, so our main goal at Kershaw was to get him comfortable with shifting and just make a lot of laps. Looking towards the ARCA event at New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend, our priority is to make sure the No. 9 Chevrolet is mechanically sound and that Chase finishes every lap.”
With the help of his father Bill at the test, a road course winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Chase Elliott also developed a sense for how to navigate a track layout that features both left- and right-hand turns.
“I really enjoyed the test a lot, and I had a blast with it,” Elliott said. “The biggest things I learned were just the overall feel, shifting and braking that I will be able to carry to New Jersey this weekend. Dad just helped me try and get the feel for it the best he could. He has always run well at road courses, and I feel like he will be a huge help to me when we get up there for the race.”
Elliott made his ARCA debut on March 10 at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway, where he led 22 laps and finished 10th. On April 29, Elliott earned his second top 10 in the ARCA Racing Series after he finished fourth at Salem (Ind.) Speedway.
Elliott will participate in the ARCA autograph session at New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 1 at 12:15 p.m. local time.
Sunday’s 67-lap ARCA Racing Series event at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway will start at 1 p.m. local time. For live timing and scoring during Sunday’s race, please visit www.arcaracing.com. For race weekend updates, please follow Cindy Elliott on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CindyElliott9 and Chase Elliott at www.twitter.com/ChaseElliott.