SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits seventh in the points standings. The rookie trails points leader Kevin Harvick by 77 markers. The 20-year-old driver is younger than any driver currently inside the top 16 – the amount of drivers NASCAR takes into its playoffs – while also being the highest ranked rookie.
LOOKING FOR A WIN: Consistency continues for Elliott as he has earned four top-five finishes in the past six races, accumulating eight top-10 finishes through the first 12 races. Only three drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have more top-10 finishes this year (Harvick, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch — all Sprint Cup champions). The Dawsonville, Georgia, native secured his first top-10 finish of 2016 at his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway. He earned his career-best finish, third, at Dover International Speedway earlier this month.
600 MILES OF REMEMBRANCE: In 1993, Justin Robert Martone, a Virginia native, joined the Marines, fulfilling his lifelong dream. He quickly worked his way up through the ranks driven by his determination to serve our country. In 1998 he reported to explosive ordinance disposal school and in turn became a member of an elite team of Marines whose job it was to dismantle explosives leading a team of seven. Martone died on March 7, 2006, in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq. This weekend, Elliott will ride with his name on board the No. 24 Chevrolet while also hosting the Martone family. Justin Martone and Elliott likely would have had a lot to talk about as they both shared a love of flying – each having earned their private pilot’s license – among other shared outdoor interests.
TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year standings heading into Charlotte by 28 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 57 points over third-place Brian Scott. Elliott has accumulated a total of 164 rookie points this year through the first 12 races. Among active drivers, his eight top-10 finishes are tied with teammate Johnson for the most top-10 finishes through the first 12 races of a rookie season.
DARLINGTON PAINT SCHEME PREVIEW: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Contender Elliott is set to give fans an exclusive tour of his retro NAPA AUTO PARTS design for Darlington Raceway’s Southern 500 this Friday. Fans are encouraged to get a sneak peek of the actual NAPA car at 4:50 p.m. ET via Hendrick Motorsports’ Facebook Live account followed by the official reveal on FS1 at 5 p.m. ET, when Elliott will explain the design alongside on-air talent Kenny Wallace. The design is part of an overall throwback weekend at one of NASCAR’s oldest venues. Built in 1949 by Harold Brasington, Darlington has hosted Sprint Cup races since 1950. The very first Southern 500 at Darlington took place on Labor Day in 1950 courtesy of a deal made between Brasington and NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.
MARK, SET, GET ANIMATED: Nickelodeon shifts into high gear with a series of six all-new race car-themed episodes of the hit animated preschool series Blaze and the Monster Machines featuring Blaze as a high-octane race car and guest voice appearances from superstar race car drivers including Johnson, Elliott and Kahne. The first special, “Race Car Superstar,” premieres this Monday, May 30, at 1:30 p.m. (ET/PT), followed by “Race to Eagle Rock” on Thursday, June 2, at 1:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. The remaining four race car episodes will roll out this fall. Elliott voices the race car character Mark Set-Go – a sensational race starter who kicks off each racing adventure with rock-star style and a signature rhyme.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“We were fortunate enough to run the 600 last year. I think that’s good experience to have. That place is so temperature sensitive so it was good to get all of that information. I’m excited to get back and hopefully take what we’ve learned and get a little bit better.” Elliott on racing at Charlotte
“I think it will be a cool honor to have Justin’s family at the race this weekend and to have his name on our car. What guys like him do for our country is far more important than anything we do at the race track each week and it allows us to go and do what we love to do. We certainly appreciate their efforts and sacrifices overseas to fight for our freedom. It means a lot.” Elliott on Gunnery Sgt. Justin Martone
NASCAR Charlotte Motor Speedway TV Schedule All times Eastern Standard Time
Thursday, May 26
2:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM NASCAR Sprit Cup Series Qualifying FOX Sports 1
Saturday, May 28
10:00 AM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Second Practice FOX Sports 1
1:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice FOX Sports 1
Sunday, May 29
11:00 AM 100TH Running of Indy 500 ABC
6:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race FOX
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (280) and laps led (nearly 75,000). Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, the team fields four full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.