Chase Elliott during the NASCAR NNS Gardner Denver 200 Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.

Crew Chief Greg Ives Returns to No. 9 NAPA Team

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 24, 2014) – Crew chief Greg Ives had never been more nervous watching his No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet negotiate the complicated 14-turn Road America course last week.

His anxiety wasn’t due to the rainy weather in Wisconsin, which forced teams to race with rain tires.  It wasn’t even because his driver, Chase Elliott, took the lead on a green-white-checkered restart in a bid for win No. 3 on the season.

No, Ives was nervous because he wasn’t there.

Ives, the second-year crew chief who has four wins to his credit already, missed last week’s race to be with his wife, Jessica, as they welcomed the arrival of their son, Parker Rogers Ives, on Friday.  Parker was born approximately 53 minutes before practice began in Wisconsin, allowing Ives to simultaneously communicate with his team, while Parker rested in his arms.  During the race Saturday, Ives conversed with Ernie Cope and the engineers, glued to Elliott’s every move.

“I was more nervous watching it on TV than actually being there on the pit box,” said Ives.  “It was quite the balancing act to make sure I kept attention on my wife and also the car at the race track.  I am fortunate and grateful to have the depth at JR Motorsports to allow me to enjoy such a miraculous experience.”

Ives returns to his usual role this weekend as the NAPA team returns to oval racing.  Kentucky Speedway is a mile-and-a-half oval in which Elliott debuted last year in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Series.  The John R. Elliott 300 begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Elliott enters the weekend leading the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with a 46-point advantage over Ty Dillon.  He trails Regan Smith by only 11 points in the overall point standings.

Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott

On Greg Ives’ return:
“It will be good all-around to have Greg back this weekend.  JR Motorsports has talent across the board, but a driver always wants his crew chief.  I know Greg is looking  forward to being back, and I’m excited as well.”

On Kentucky Speedway:
“I had a great time last year during the ARCA race at Kentucky.  It’s a unique track, because even though it’s a mile and a half, it doesn’t have the banking that most of those style tracks have, which makes it stand out.  I’m looking forward to a good race for this NAPA team.”

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES TV SCHEDULE

All times Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Thursday, June 26
6:30 PM                      NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Practice                  FOX Sports 1

Friday, June 27
9:00 AM                      NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Final Practice         FOX Sports 1
3:40 PM                      NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Qualifying              FOX Sports 1
7:30 PM                      NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Race                            ESPN

RADIO: MRN & Sirius XM Ch 90 (7:00 pm ET)

2014 NATIONWIDE SERIES DRIVER POINTS

1. Regan Smith…………………………………….. 516
2. Elliott Sadler…………………………………….. -10
3. Chase Elliott……………………………………… -11
4. Ty Dillon…………………………………………… -41
5. Brian Scott……………………………………….. -58

2014 SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR POINTS

1. Chase Elliott…………………………………….. 208
2. Ty Dillon…………………………………………… -46
3. Chris Buescher………………………………….. -78
4. Dylan Kwasniewski…………………………… -104
5. Ryan Reed…………………………………………-107

NAPA AUTO PARTS: @NAPAKnowHow
Chase Elliott: @ChaseElliott
JR Motorsports: @JRMotorsports

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Elliot Mabe

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