DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Chase Elliott will run the Feb. 15 ARCA Racing Series season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway, seeking experience for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race Feb. 22 at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
Like so many before him, Chase Elliott’s road to NASCAR has traveled through the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
As the youngest superspeedway winner in stock car history with his ARCA win at Pocono Raceway last year, the second-generation driver has made good use of his time in ARCA, with 10 top-10 finishes in 11 starts dating back to 2012.
“The biggest thing I see is having an opportunity to race at Daytona before the NNS race,” said the son of two-time Daytona 500 winner Bill Elliott. “Getting used to how the draft works under race conditions and getting used to how spotting is going to go will be key as well. It is a completely different type of racing than I’ve ever done, so all the experience I can get before the 22nd will be helpful.”
Elliott participated in an ARCA test at Daytona in December and a Nationwide Series test in January.
“It was really exciting for me,” Elliott said of his first laps driving the No. 9 Chevrolet around Daytona. “I told Dad this when we were flying down here, it’s weird coming down here and not to come watch him (drive). It’s kind of a weird feeling for him and me both.
“When we get a chance to do a little bit of drafting in the ARCA race, that’s where I’m going to have to learn a lot. The superspeedway stuff is different for me.”
As one might expect, Elliott will lean on his father for advice.
“I think his knowledge and his experience is going to be more so beneficial when it comes time to be around other cars,” Elliott said. “I think he’s one of the best when it comes to understanding the air and what it takes to take advantage of it when you’re with other guys around you and trying to get runs on people. Whenever that side comes into play, I’m sure he is going to have some tips for me.”