Chase Elliott Prepares for First Talladega Superspeedway Race

“The Big One” Can Mean Many Things at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 29, 2014) – Often synonymous with Talladega Superspeedway are the words “the big one.”

It could refer to a number of things – the mammoth multi-car wreck that is a familiar result of Talladega’s high-speed, close-quarter racing.  Or the sheer enormity of the speedway itself with its 2.66-mile layout and 33 degrees of banking.  Or the amount of strategy it takes to succeed, luck it takes to survive, and focus it takes to win.  “The big one” can mean a whole lot of things at Talladega.

Despite never having raced there before, Chase Elliott knows all these things about Talladega and embraces the challenge.  Perhaps his confidence derives from several places.  For starters he enters the second restrictor-plate race of the season atop the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings (+19 to teammate Regan Smith) and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year race by 34 points over Ty Dillon.  Also, he is coming off his third consecutive top-two finish.  And then there is this – while Elliott may never have raced at Talladega, his crew chief, Greg Ives, has.  And Ives won this race last year with Smith behind the wheel.

Surviving the carnage of the early wrecks and positioning the No. 9 Chevrolet for a final-lap strike will be the strategy for the NAPA team for this 117-lap Aaron’s 312 (3 p.m. ET on ESPN and MRN/SIRIUSXM).  Elliott will have some experience to lean on, as the 18-year-old racer was shuffled out of line on a late restart in his first race on a superspeedway track this year (Daytona on Feb. 22).  Elliott finished 15th in that race but made a huge impression with his ability to race against the best.

Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott

”You have to take what’s given to you some weeks and move on.  That’s what my NAPA AUTO PARTS team did in Richmond last week.  I think it’s good for our organization with what everyone’s doing, not just at the race track, but back at the shop.  I’ve said this a lot the past couple of weeks, but they’ve made a lot of changes this offseason from cutting bodies off these race cars to front clips, to rear clips, pretty much wholesale changes.  Almost restarting as an organization.  Especially with us running three cars most weeks, it’s put a lot of guys to work and a lot of long hours, but these cars are capable of winning each week.  I’m just fortunate to be in a position to drive them.

“Continuing to learn the draft will be key for me this weekend at Talladega.  The notes my guys have from Daytona this year will also come in handy.  I’m looking forward to getting to Talladega and putting on a show.”

TV SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES EASTERN STANDARD TIME):

Thursday, May 1
3:00 PM                      NNS Practice                                                              NO TV
4:30 PM                      NNS Final Practice                                                     NO TV

Friday, May 2
6:35 PM                      NNS Qualifying                                                          FOX Sports 1

Saturday, May 3
3:00 PM                      NNS Race                                                                    ESPN

Radio: MRN & Sirius XM Ch 90 (2:30 pm ET)

2014 NATIONWIDE SERIES DRIVER POINTS

1. Chase Elliott…………………………………….. 313
2. Regan Smith……………………………………… -19
3. Elliott Sadler…………………………………….. -23
4. Ty Dillon…………………………………………… -35
5. Trevor Bayne…………………………………….. -39
6. Brian Scott……………………………………….. -48
7. Brendan Gaughan………………………………. -74
8. James Buescher…………………………………. -84
9. Dylan Kwasniewski…………………………… -101
10. Ryan Reed…………………………………….. -109

2014 SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR POINTS

1. Chase Elliott…………………………………….. 129
2. Ty Dillon…………………………………………… -34
3. Dylan Kwasniewski…………………………….. -62
4. Ryan Reed………………………………………… -69
5. Chris Buescher………………………………….. -69
6. Dakoda Armstrong……………………………… -74
7. Tanner Berryhill………………………………… -95
8. Ryan Sieg………………………………………… -107
9. Tommy Joe Martins………………………….. -110
10. Chad Boat……………………………………… -120

NAPA AUTO PARTS:@NAPAKnowHow
CHASE ELLIOTT:@ChaseElliott
JR Motorsports:@JRMotorsports

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Elliot Mabe

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