Chase Elliott Daytona International Speedway Preview
PRIMARY SPONSOR DEBUT: For the first time in the 2016 season, SunEnergy1 will be the primary partner on board Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
TOP-10 TEAR: Elliott earned his career-best finish earlier this month at Michigan International Speedway, when he led 35 laps en route to a second-place finish. Only two drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have more top-10 finishes than Elliott’s 11 (Kevin Harvick with 13 and Kurt Busch with 14 — both Sprint Cup champions). Additionally, Elliott is tied for the third-most top-five finishes in the Cup Series with his six top-five finishes, trailing Kyle Busch and Harvick with nine and seven top-five finishes, respectively.
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits sixth in the standings with 473 points. The rookie trails points leader Harvick by 89 markers. The 20-year-old is younger than any other driver currently inside the top 16 – the amount of drivers NASCAR takes into its playoffs – while also being the highest ranked rookie.
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TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Daytona by 50 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 87 points over third-place Brian Scott. Elliott has accumulated a total of 227 rookie points this year through the first 16 points-paying races. Among active drivers, his 11 top-10 finishes are the most through the first 16 races of any Sprint Cup rookie season.
GUSTAFSON GOES HOME: No. 24 team crew chief Alan Gustafson grew up just down the road from Daytona International Speedway in Ormond Beach, Florida, the “Birthplace of Speed.” After graduating from Seabreeze High School, he enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Gustafson now leads the No. 24 team piloted by Elliott. The veteran crew chief will be looking to capitalize on the team’s strengths this weekend in front of his hometown crowd.
SUPERSPEEDWAY POLE PROWESS: Elliott has laid down quick qualifying laps in both plate races this year, earning pole awards at Talladega Superspeedway as well as in the prestigious Daytona 500. The rookie became the youngest driver (20 years, 2 months and 17 days) to land the top spot in NASCAR’s biggest race with a speed of 196.314 mph. Elliott is tied for the second-most pole awards of the season thus far.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I think it will be fun to get back to Daytona with SunEnergy1 on the car. I’ve known Kenny for a while and I’m excited to get there. The car looks really cool I think. It will be a good weekend. Daytona is always fun and the Fourth of July race is always one that stands out.”
NASCAR Daytona International Speedway TV Schedule All times Eastern Standard Time
Thursday, June 30
3:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice NBC Sports Network
5:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 1
4:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 2
7:45 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race NBC