Busy Charlotte Week Has Arrived for NAPA and Elliott
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 19, 2015) – Racing in Charlotte would seem to mean a little less tension for NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Chase Elliott, but the May weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway is anything but relaxing. The demanding schedule and full-throttle approach to what amounts to a home race is unlike any other on the schedule. Centered in the stock car racing Mecca, Charlotte typically means business.
Fresh off a runner-up finish on Sunday at Iowa Speedway, there was no rest for Elliott. His Charlotte week began bright and early Monday morning with Rick Hendrick’s Celebrity Golf Classic at Carmel Country Club. On Tuesday, Elliott kicked off a 600-focused media tour at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the morning and later made an appearance on the JR Motorsports Up Front podcast on Dirty Mo Radio with teammate Regan Smith. The segment will be released for download Thursday.
This is a double-duty weekend for the 19-year-old Elliott, who in addition to racing the No. 9 in the XFINITY Series race on Saturday, will make his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start Sunday night in the 600 with the No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports. After an off-day Wednesday, Elliott will be back at it on Thursday. Elliott will float between garages, with two practice sessions at the wheel of his No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet Camaro and another in the cockpit of his No. 25 NAPA Chevy SS Cup ride before qualifying it to conclude the evening.
Friday is JR Motorsports Fan Day, and Elliott and JRM teammates Smith, Kevin Harvick, Ben Rhodes, Kasey Kahne and team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will entertain fans and sponsors.
Although Elliott has only raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice in his NASCAR career, the young driver has seen quite a bit of variety at the speedway through two XFINITY Series races. After his first run in May last season, Elliott’s day was cut short by a mechanical failure. However, in his second attempt last October he entered with a comfortable championship point lead and earned his second career pole position. Elliott led 66 of the 200 laps and finished eighth. Tune is Saturday for the Hisense 250 airing on FOX and PRN/Sirius XM at 2 p.m. ET and 6pm on FOX for the Coca Cola 600.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I love the constant switching between race cars. It absolutely is a great thing to me. I look at my schedule and know that I’ll have that much more time to prepare for each race with the back-to-back seat time. It’s important to me that I give my NAPA KNOW HOW team a fair assessment of what needs to take place during practice in order to have our setup race ready.”
Charlotte Motor Speedway:
“Charlotte is a fun track. We’ll practice in conditions that will be so different than what they’ll be once green flag time rolls around, but that’s what makes Charlotte, Charlotte. Last year we sat on the pole here for the fall race, which was awesome, but we have to build on that and compete for a win this weekend.”
NASCAR Memorial Day Weekend Race Schedule
All times Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Thursday, May 21
2:30 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice FOX Sports 1
4:00 PM NASCAR XFINITY Series Practice FOX Sports 1
5:30 PM NASCAR XFINITY Series Final Practice FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying FOX Sports 1
Friday, May 22
**NO TRACK ACTIVITY**
Saturday, May 23
10:00 AM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice FOX Sports 1
11:00 AM NASCAR XFINITY Series Qualifying FOX Sports 1
1:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice FOX Sports 1
2:30 PM NASCAR XFINITY Series Race FOX
6:00 PM NHRA Topeka Qualifying (tape delayed) ESPN2
Sunday, May 24
6:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race FOX
10:00 PM NHRA Topeka Final Eliminations (tape delayed) ESPN2
RADIO: PRN & Sirius XM Ch 90 (Sat 2 PM ET, Sun 6 PM)
Chase Elliott: @ChaseElliott
JR Motorsports: @JRMotorsports
Hendrick Motorsports: @TeamHendrick
Nick Palermo is a freelance automotive writer and NAPA Know How blogger. Since becoming an auto news and reviews contributor at AutoTrader.com in 2011, he has broadened his coverage of the automotive industry to include topics like new car technology, antiques and classics, DIY maintenance and repair, industry news and motorsports. A committed advocate for automotive media professionals, Nick is a member of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association.