Elliott reflects on Martinsville debut

Photo by Daniel Shirely/NASCAR via Getty Images

Chase Elliott's crew works behind-the-wall on the No. 25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway.

April 2, 2015


Chase Elliott’s first appearance in the Sprint Cup Series may not have gone according to plan, but the 19-year-old driver is looking forward to his next opportunity at Richmond International Raceway April 25.

Elliott, who qualified 27th, finished 38th, 73 laps down Sunday at Martinsville Speedway after his team made repairs behind-the-wall. Repairs included the radiator and the power steering.

“It was a tough day for our NAPA Auto Parts team, but we gained a lot from it,” Elliott said post-race to HendrickMotorsports.com. “We are looking forward to the opportunity at Richmond in a few weeks to get more experience competing against these guys.”

Elliott suffered damage from contact with Brett Moffitt early in Sunday’s race.

Elliott’s day draws comparison to the driver he replaces, Jeff Gordon, and his debut in 1992. Both finished below 30th with involvement in an on-track accident. 

Yet, the defending Xfinity Series champion remained thankful for his opportunity to drive a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry at NASCAR’s shortest track.

Chase Elliott

“I want to thank NAPA and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization, from the chassis and engine shops to Mr. Hendrick himself, for believing and giving me the opportunity,” he said. “…I’m so incredibly thankful for them and look forward to building on this performance.”

Elliott will be running four more Sprint Cup races in 2015; Richmond later this month, Charlotte in May, Indianapolis in July and Darlington in September.

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