Chase Elliott’s high hopes dashed by early trouble at Martinsville

There were high hopes for 19-year-old Chase Elliott going into his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, but the rookie driver had a rude introduction to the .526-mile short track.

Starting 27th on the field in his debut, Elliott was caught up in a chain reaction incident with Brett Moffitt, causing damage to both the front and rear of his No. 25 NAPA Chevrolet.

Despite trying to ride out the damage, the team brought Elliott’s car behind the wall under the fourth caution of the day at Lap 73 of 500.

The team went to work replacing the radiator and working on the power steering, which Elliott had lost prior to his trip behind the wall.

As the race reached the 100-lap mark, Elliott’s car remained behind the wall and was listed 43rd on the leaderboard.

After lengthy repairs by his Hendrick Motorsports crew, Elliott was able to rejoin the race. He finished 38th, completing 427 of a possible 500 laps.