Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Chase Elliott carries nice Atlanta momentum to Vegas

Chase Elliott is 25/1 to win at LVMS.
Chase Elliott on observing Johnson's test at Las Vegas
“I thought Jimmie (Johnson) had a really good test, which I think was encouraging. He was really fast compared to some of the guys that were there. I think that’s good news. He always has really good feedback and I think it’s good to just kind of go and listen to his communication and how they go about their weekend. You can’t do that in other sports, to go and be able to watch that closely with one of your competitors -- although he’s a teammate, you’ve still got to compete against him. I tried to learn as much as I could and I’m excited to get out there.”

NAPA AUTO PARTS ON THE NO. 24 CHEVROLET SS: NAPA AUTO PARTS will be the primary partner onboard Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and will be the primary sponsor on the car for 22 additional Sprint Cup Series races this year.

TESTING: While Elliott did not drive in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway test in January, he was present and taking notes alongside No. 24 team crew chief Alan Gustafson as teammate Jimmie Johnson logged laps. Elliott will participate in the two testing sessions offered Thursday, March 3, at Las Vegas prior to the regular race weekend.

HOME TRACK SUCCESS: Elliott -- a Dawsonville, Georgia, native -- is coming off of his career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish as he heads to a similar track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this weekend. Elliott earned an eighth-place finish at his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway, last Sunday. He also took the checkered flag as the highest-finishing rookie driver in the 500-mile race.

TRACK STATS: Elliott has had his share of success in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, owning two top-five finishes at the 1.5-mile oval. In the Sprint Cup Series, the No. 24 Chevy has also recently found speed at the Nevada track as the team, led by crew chief Alan Gustafson, sat on the pole for the 2015 race.

DOUBLE DUTY: Elliott heads into his first full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in 2016 and the 20-year-old rookie isn’t letting off the gas. In addition to racing the No. 24 for Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott will also run a limited schedule in the NXS, piloting the No. 88 for JR Motorsports. His second NXS race will be Saturday, March 5, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

USAF THUNDERBIRDS: Elliott earned his private pilot’s license in July 2015, but on Tuesday, Feb. 16, the 20-year-old handed over the pilot’s seat to ride along with “America’s Ambassadors in Blue” – the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Elliott’s ride in the Thunderbirds’ F-16 pulled 9.5 G's moving at approximately 720 mph. This weekend Elliott will be racing in the Thunderbirds’ home town, a mere four miles from their hangar at Nellis Air Force Base. For footage from Elliott's flight, please contact Caitlin Barry.

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