DAWSONVILLE, GA - Chase Elliott may only be 15, but he is quickly making a name for himself in NASCAR's K&N Series.
After qualifying 19th out of 58 cars from across the country in Saturday's K&N Pro Series East/West Challenge at Iowa Speedway, the young driver from Dawsonville methodically worked his way up to a 11th place finsh in the 175-lap race, which will be shown on SPEED on June 2 at 6 PM.
At 15, Elliott was the youngest driver from the East Series. His efforts won him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award for East series regulars.
“We could have definitely taken to the track one or two more times to get our set-up,” Elliott said. “It would have been nice to have known that my car was going to turn as well as it did during my qualifying laps.”
The race was uncharted territory for Elliott's HendrickCar.com/Aaron’s Number 9 team, which had not raced a K&N car at the track or experienced the unique pit stop procedures in place for the event.
Trying to build on the momentum of his first USAR Pro Cup victory at Rockingham Speedway the week before, Elliott and his partially volunteer crew faced challenges adapting to the K&N circuit’s pit stop rules, which allow only tire changes on one side of the car or refueling per pit stop. To change four tires and add fuel meant three separate pit stops. Also teams are only allowed four crew members over the wall.
Elliott said he was encouraged with his team’s overall effort. “That was definitely better than what we have been,” he said. “We still have a ways to go, but we were better than at least the next four cars ahead of us.”
Elliott’s next race is a 250-lap USAR Pro Cup event at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia on Saturday, May 28.