Elliott, Blaney respond to Bodine comments
Chase Elliott practices for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Photo by Ryan Willard/The Racing Experts

By Dominic Aragon
May 29, 2016

CONCORD, N.C.On Thursday, The Racing Experts Driver Analyst Geoff Bodine talked about the 2016 Sprint Cup rookie class and an advantage they may have entering the Coca-Cola 600. Two of the five rookies in Sunday’s race commented on his thoughts.

“I think the rookies are looking forward to the race this weekend, and youth does have its advantages,” Bodine said in the article. “They don’t know how difficult the 600 is, but they’re probably going into it with an open mind, compared to somebody that has run it a few times.”

Chase Elliott, who currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, will start 12th in NASCAR’s longest distance race of the season.

Elliott will be making his second start in the Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 18th in the Coca-Cola 600 last year.

“Well, I think I still have a lot to learn, personally, but you hope it goes our way,” he said. “We’ll try our best and see what happens.”

Ryan Blaney, starting 18th, will also be competing in his second Coca-Cola 600 and third overall race at the track in the Sprint Cup Series.

Blaney is currently second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

Ryan Blaney practices for the Coca-Cola 600 Thursday.
Photo by Ryan Willard/The Racing Experts

“I made about 475 miles last year and we had some problems, but it’s a really physically demanding race,” he said. “Lot of physical and mental kind of degradation when it comes to this race. Just got to make sure you’re hydrated.”

“The veterans, they’ve got experience, they’ve done the 600 many times. Us young guys, it’s kind of new to us, but I wouldn’t say we have a huge advantage.

“I think, maybe, physically, we do, but I want to say mentally, the veterans probably have more of it because they know what the track does when it cools off and they kind of know how this race plays out, so I wouldn’t say we really have an advantage.”

Elliott and Blaney were the two highest qualifying rookies for the Coca-Cola 600. Fellow rookies Chris Buescher, Brian Scott and Jeffrey Earnhardt will start 22nd, 30th and 39th, respectively.
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