DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2014) – Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) debut in the DRIVE4COPD 300 this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Having never raced at Daytona, Elliott earned approval from NASCAR to compete in Saturday’s Nationwide Series season-opener by entering last week’s ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) event. With support from NAPA Brakes and Hendrickcars.com, Elliott started fifth and was in contention for the win before a scramble in the final laps shuffled his No. 9 car back to ninth. He completed all 80 laps and achieved his main initiative – gaining NASCAR’s approval to compete this Saturday.
Now Elliott can dedicate all his attention to the two NNS practices on Thursday, the round of qualifying on Friday, and the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday. This race will call a start to NAPA’s sponsorship of Elliott’s No. 9 team, as well as Elliott’s bid for Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year.
“I’m very fortunate to have such great support from NAPA and my team at JR Motorsports, and I can’t wait to start racing and make the most of this opportunity. I think we can build something special with NAPA and this race program.
“We left Daytona testing (in mid-January) feeling very optimistic. All of the JRM cars had speed. It was the first time I had driven one of these cars. They’re different than what I’m used to, for sure, but I’ve got some of the best restrictor-plate racers of all-time around me. Two things I can promise you I’ll be doing this week – driving and listening.”
The NASCAR Nationwide Series gets underway on Saturday with the running of the DRIVE4COPD 300 from the “World Center of Racing”, Daytona International Speedway. Live coverage will begin at 12 noon ET on ESPN and MRN Radio.