Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Chase Elliott named Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year

3 Comments

After the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chase Elliott was named the Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

Elliott, in his first season driving the No. 24 for Hendrick Motorsports, was given the honor out of a class that included Chris Buescher, Brian Scott, Ryan Blaney and Jeffrey Earnhardt.

The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott finished the season 10th in the standings. Chase Elliott went winless, but finished his first campaign with two poles (Daytona 500, Talladega I), 10 top fives and 17 top 10s. He qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup but was eliminated after the second round.

In his brief appearance in the media center, Elliott said he wasn’t deserving of the attention while his teammate Jimmie Johnson celebrated his seventh Sprint Cup title.

“I don’t need to be sitting up here right now, seven championships versus Rookie of the Year. You guys need to be watching him,” Elliott told the media. “But I’m proud of our season for sure. I’m definitely proud to earn the Rookie of the Year honors. It’s been a long season, a lot of ups and downs, but we’re happy to be here and definitely enjoyed racing against those guys for the Rookie of the Year this season. Felt like it was a fun group, and we’re excited to get on to season two.”

In 36 races, Elliott led 358 laps spread out over 14 races. His season-high of 107 laps led came in the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The native of Dawsonville, Georgia, also recorded two DNFs.

After 41 Sprint Cup starts, Elliott says he feels “far from” being a veteran. The 2017 Daytona 500 will be his first race without the yellow rookie stripes on his rear bumper.

“Good news is I don’t have to go to any more rookie meetings, which is nice,” Elliott said. “I think you learn things as you go, but I can’t see the back bumper, so I don’t know what’s there or not. I think you just kind of learn from experiences and things you encounter along the way, not so much whether it’s your first year or first race or whatever it is. I think it’s more of an experience-based kind of feel, whether you have that comfort moving forward.”

Elliott is still seeking his first Cup win. The only rookie to win in 2016 was Buescher, who won at Pocono in a race shortened by fog.

Elliott’s predecessor in the No. 24, Jeff Gordon, was Rookie of the Year in 1993 and didn’t earn his first win until his 42nd start. Elliott’s 42nd start will come in the 2017 Daytona 500.

NASCAR America: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. talks Phoenix finish, racing roots

Leave a comment

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. joins NASCAR America to go over his fourth-place finish at Phoenix Raceway.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver also shares his racing origins in Mississippi and the hobbies he and girlfriend Danica Patrick share with each other.

Stenhouse is in his fifth full-time year competing in the NASCAR Cup Series with Roush Fenway Racing.

NASCAR America: 50 States in 50 Shows: Alaska

Leave a comment

NASCAR America continues its journey through the United States with the second chapter in “50 States in 50 Shows.”

Following South Alabama Speedway, the show features Capitol Speedway and Alaska Raceway Park in Alaska.

Owned by Nancy and Wes Wallace, Capitol Speedway is a 3/8th-mile oval and features sprint car racing and demolition derbies.

 

Kevin Harvick crew chief fined, suspended one race for encumbered finish

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kevin Harvick‘s crew chief, Rodney Childers, has been suspended for one NASCAR Cup Series race and fined $25,000 for an unapproved track bar slider assembly last weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

The penalty, a L1 infraction, results in an encumbered finish. Harvick placed sixth in the Camping World 500.

The No. 4 team has also been docked 10 driver and owner points. Harvick was seventh in the standings after four races. He trailed leader Kyle Larson by 61 points. The loss of points drops Harvick one spot to eighth behind Jamie McMurray.

Harvick has not won a race yet, which would qualify him for the playoffs.

MORE: Brad Keselowski closes crew chief for three races, team docked 35 driver points

 and on Facebook

NASCAR docks Brad Keselowski, Team Penske 35 points; suspends crew chief Paul Wolfe

Leave a comment

NASCAR docked Brad Keselowski 35 points, suspended crew chief Paul Wolfe three races and fined Wolfe $65,000 because Keselowski’s car failed inspection after finishing fifth in last weekend’s race at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR also docked the team 35 owner points for the L1 infraction. NASCAR stated that Keselowski’s result is an encumbered finish.

NASCAR cited Keselowski’s car for failing weights and measurements on the laser platform. NASCAR stated in Wednesday’s penalty report that the team failed the rear wheel steer on the Laser Inspection Station. 

MORE: NASCAR suspends crew chief Rodney Childers one race

Team Penske issued a statement Wednesday:

“We have acknowledged the penalties levied against the No. 2 team following last weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.  The race cars returned to the race shop today and we are in the process of evaluating the area in question. In the meantime, we have decided Brian Wilson will serve as Brad Keselowski’s crew chief at Auto Club Speedway while we evaluate our approach relative to today’s penalties.”

The penalty drops Keselowski from second in the standings to fourth heading into this weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway.

The more significant issue is how this could impact Keselowski, who already has a win, in the playoffs.

The top 10 in points before the playoffs begin earn additional points. The points leader earns 15 playoff points. The driver second in the standings earns 10 playoff points, the driver third in the standings earns eight playoff points, the driver fourth in the standings earns seven playoff points. It goes down to the driver 10th in the standings earning one playoff point.

Those playoff points carry through the first three rounds, which is different from last year. Falling behind in the regular season – or losing points because of a penalty – could have ramifications in the playoffs. 

“I think it’s real important to explain why points matter this year,” Keselowski said on Fox Sports 1’s “Race Hub” on Wednesday night. “Last year, you got a win and you locked in and you got to the next round. This year with points, you still lock in with wins. The difference is there’s a huge points bonus for having the most points at the end of the season that carries all the way through the playoffs, and you only get that bonus if you’re one of the best cars and leading up front at the end of the regular season, which requires having a lot of points. Thirty-five points is a pretty big deal, and so is 10 points for Kevin (Harvick) and his team.”

 

 and on Facebook