During the offseason, NASCAR announced that it would lower its minimum age requirement in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 18 to 16 at tracks a mile or less in length. The circuit will head to its first short track race of the season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on April 6. Among the drivers on the entry list for that race will be 17-year-old Chase Elliott, son of 1988 Sprint (then-Winston) Cup champion Bill Elliott. He'll follow that up with the Truck Series race at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway on April 14.
Despite his young age, Elliott has already tasted victory at Rockingham. He won a Sunoco National Tour race there at the age of 14 and visited the Rockingham victory lane again before the age of 16, winning a Pro Cup race there in 2011.
"We won the 2011 Pro Cup race at Rockingham," Elliott said. "And I think that was my most memorable time at the track. That was a big race and it was cool because dad had won there in the Cup car right before the series stopped racing there. I remember being in victory lane with him when he won, so it was cool to get back there on my own."
Although Elliott is used to winning, he knows he'll face some stiff competition when he joins the Camping World Truck Series.
"Those guys having laps in a truck in general, and having run there last year - they'll have some knowledge," Elliott said.
Elliott is a developmental driver for Hendrick Motorsports. HMS will support a No. 94 Chevrolet truck for the young driver for a partial Truck Series schedule, expected to include about nine races in trucks fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports and supported by Hendrick Motorsports. He's also expected to compete in five ARCAR Racing Series events this year.
In 2012, Elliott competed in the NASCAR K&N Series East, finishing fourth in that series' championship points standings.