A busy week for Chase Elliott will get even busier this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
In the first major doubleheader weekend of his NASCAR career, the defending Xfinity Series champion will race in Friday night’s Toyota Care 250 while also attempting to qualify for Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400, which would mark his second start in the Sprint Cup Series.
Elliott, who moves into NASCAR’s premier series to take over the No. 24 Chevrolet being vacated by Jeff Gordon, finished 38th for Hendrick Motorsports in his Cup debut March 29 at Martinsville Speedway.
“This is a tough deal for a four-car team to bring an extra car to the racetrack,” Elliott, who will be trying to join Hendrick teammates Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne, said in a release. “That’s asking a lot out of an organization. For them to do it, and the way that they did it in Martinsville, I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team. I just want to go out and do my part the best that I can this weekend in Richmond.”
As the son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott continues his march toward Cup, he also remains a focus in Xfinity, where he is ranked third in the standings at 12 points behind co-leaders Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon. Elliott is the latest star in a series of videos produced by series title sponsor Xfinity to showcase the circuit’s rising stars (the first two featured Darrell Wallace Jr. and Dillon). In the video (which is above), Elliott’s championship lineage is noted (he drives a No. 9 just as his father did) as well as his breakthrough rookie season last year.
Elliott, who finished 22nd Thursday night in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston Speedway, finished second in both Xfinity races in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Richmond last year. He also finished second at RIR in a 2012 K&N Series race.
“I’ve been looking forward to Richmond ever since we left there last season,” he said. “It’s a great race track with a lot of character. The surface is worn which makes a great show for the fans. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we’ll be able to get back into form this weekend.”