On Monday, JR Motorsports announced that Chase Elliott, son of former NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, will drive a No. 9 Nationwide Series entry for the team full-time in 2014. The car will be sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts.
"Chase has been extremely successful, and I think the Nationwide Series is only a short step for him," JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. "With the infrastructure we have a JR Motorsports and our close-working partnership with Hendrick Motorsports, we have every opportunity to continue Chase's development as a driver while contending for a championship. He's that good."
Elliott has been a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports since 2011. While competing part-time in the Camping World Truck Series in 2013, he became the youngest winner in the series, at the time, with a victory in his sixth series start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. He is also a race winner in the NASCAR K&N Series and the ARCA Racing Series. Elliott was named the 2013 Driver of the Year by the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
Elliott's No. 9 will be a second full-time entry for JR Motorsports in Nationwide Series competition in 2014, joining the No. 7 driven by Regan Smith. The No. 9 was chosen, as Elliott's father, Bill Elliott drove the No. 9 throughout his NASCAR career (see slideshow of Bill Elliott's No. 9 at the upper-left).
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Elliott said. "My family and I are still trying to believe it all. I couldn't ask to be partnered with anyone better than Dale Jr., Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller) and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick, along with all of the people at their organizations who have put in countless hours to pull this together."