He may be only 17, but Chase Elliott already has years of competitive racing under his belt.
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Now he will be doing so in an even more intense arena. Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday that Elliott will run nine Camping World Truck Series races this season.
Elliott benefits from NASCAR’s decision to lower the age limit to 16 this season for Truck races on tracks of 1.1 miles in length or less.
The son of 1988 NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott, Chase has been aligned with Hendrick as a development driver since 2011 and most recently has been competing in the K&N Pro Series East and the ARCA Series. He will continue to run ARCA races this year.
“Chase, to me, his pedigree and the way he handles himself, his professionalism really attracted me as much as watching him run those Late Models,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “When you can run wheel to wheel with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin and actually beat them, or run 30 laps with Kyle and hold your own and you’re 15- or 14-years-old, you’ve got a lot ahead of you.
“Knowing the Elliott name and how well (his parents) Cindy and Bill have raised him, and how neat and sharp and polite and all he is, but he gets in the race car and drives the roof off of it. If I had to write a prescription for what I want, it would be just that.”
NASCAR Vice President of Development Doug Duchardt said that Elliott has been impressive against some tough competition in recent years and has shown maturity in his efforts.
Now Elliott will get the chance to face some tougher competition.
“I think any time you can run against good competition like that in good equipment is helpful,” Duchardt added. “Then we’ll try to make sure he gets some laps in testing so he gets experience in other cars and some time behind the wheel.”