KISSING THE BRICKS: Chase Elliott had an opportunity to kiss the bricks after a Brickyard 400 victory once before; however, the now 20-year-old driver was only 6 at the time. Elliott’s father, Bill Elliott, captured the checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002 with the younger Elliott watching from the pit wall outside of Gasoline Alley. Now, as Elliott looks back on one of the only trips to Victory Lane that he remembers with his dad, one thing stands out – Elliott did not kiss the bricks. Elliott is seen in several of the photographs standing in the background while his father carried on the tradition, but if he wins this weekend it will be Elliott’s first time kissing the legendary bricks.
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits 11th in the standings with 499 points. The rookie trails leader Kevin Harvick by 137 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.
GOING HOME: No. 24 team engineers Dustin Shoulders and Thomas Gray both originate from Indiana – Shoulders lived approximately 16 miles west of the Brickyard in Danville, and Gray was located just south in Indianapolis. Shoulders and Gray both earned their degrees in mechanical engineering with Shoulders graduating from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, while Gray earned his degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The No. 24 engineers also both have a passion for driving. Shoulders raced dirt late models capturing titles such as the 2010 Lincoln Park Speedway Track Champion as well as the 2015 ILMS Series Rookie of the Year. Gray also competed in late models as well as ARCA and ASA divisions before moving to the engineering side. During the NASCAR season, the duos’ view is a little different as they are atop the pit box alongside No. 24 team crew chief Alan Gustafson and the other No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS engineers.
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) July 20, 2016
TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Indianapolis by 48 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 90 points over third-place Brian Scott. Elliott has accumulated a total of 242 rookie points this year through the first 19 points-paying races.
TOP-10 FINISHES: Elliott earned his career-best finish last month at Michigan International Speedway, when he led 35 laps en route to a second-place finish. Only six drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have more top-10 finishes than Elliott’s 11 with all but one driver (Carl Edwards) being a Sprint Cup champion.
GET BACK AND GIVE BACK: NAPA AUTO PARTS has a long history of supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. In February, the company announced that it had raised more than $2.1 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund through its annual “Get Back and Give Back” campaign. This July, NAPA AUTO PARTS is donating $1 for each redeemed mail-in rebate for batteries, alternators and starters purchased, and $2 for qualifying installations. Customers also have the ability to donate all or a portion of their mail-in rebates directly to the IFHF. One hundred percent of the donation goes to the IFHF’s mission of building nine Intrepid Spirit centers around the country.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“Indy is such a special place. It’s definitely even more special to me with my dad having won there in the early 2000s – one of the first handful of races that NASCAR held there. That was one of the few races that I vaguely remember going to Victory Lane with him and being a part of. Even if I don’t remember a lot of it, just being in the pictures is neat. I think Indy is already special with a lot of the history that they have there from the Indianapolis 500 for so many years and, but I think with my dad’s success to me it’s always been a special place. I enjoy going there and am looking to get back there and hopefully bettering the run we had last year.” -Chase Elliott on Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NASCAR Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV Schedule (all times ET)
Friday, July 22
1:30 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice NBC Sports Network
4:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 23
1:30 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 24
3:00 PM NASCAR Brickyard 400 NBC Sports Network
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 265 points-paying race victories and a record 13 car owner championships in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. Headquartered in Concord, NC, the organization fields four full-time Chevrolet teams on the Cup circuit, including the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet driven by Chase Elliott.