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Chase Elliott to Race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014?

June 17th, 2013 at 8:20 PM
By Mark Eddinger

On Sunday Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said he would like to have Chase Elliott in a NASCAR Nationwide Series ride for the 2014 season. Hendrick signed Bill Elliott's son to a developmental contract in 2011 and Chase has raced in three Camping World Truck Series races this season for Hendrick.

'Chase Elliott' photo (c) 2012, Mike Kalasnik - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Truck Series has allowed drivers under 18 years of age to drive at tracks 1.1 miles or less in length which opened the door to the 17-year old Elliott to get his first national touring series experience. He has impressed in his No. 94 Aaron's Dream Machine Chevrolet Silverado in those three starts.

He started eighth and finished sixth at Martinsville Speedway in his Truck Series debut. He then started fourth and finished fifth at Rockingham Speedway. His last race out in the trucks was at Dover International Speedway when he started second, led 15 laps and finished fourth.

At Pocono two weeks ago, Chase Elliott scored his first career ARCA Racing Series victory after leading 21 of the 80 laps in a car sponsored by Aaron's.

When Hendrick was asked about his 2014 plans for Elliott at Michigan on Sunday he hinted toward the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

"Hopefully, in the Nationwide Series," Hendrick said and then expanded upon sponsor Aaron's role. "They like him a lot. They've been with him since he started. We've had a lot of interest in him — a lot of interest. I tell you, his record in Trucks, and that [Pocono] race, it was pretty awesome.''

Hendrick is a co-owner of Dale Earnhardt Jr's JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. Currently Regan Smith is the points leader for JR Motorsports by 58 points after picking up his second win the year at Michigan on Saturday.

Aaron's is currently the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsor for Mark Martin in his slate of races for Michael Waltrip Racing in the No. 55 Toyota. Martin is out of that ride after this season and it is thought that Brian Vickers will be full-time next year in the 55 car but Aaron's might not stay on which would open the door for the company to sponsor Elliott with Hendrick. It is too early to tell exact plans but the stones are in place in this story and should start to fall later this summer into the fall.

Tags: Bill Elliott, Brian Vickers, Camping World Truck Series, Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports, JR Motorsports, Mark Martin, Motorsports, Nationwide Series, Regan Smith, Rick Hendrick

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