SPORTING SUNENERGY1: For the second time in the 2016 season, SunEnergy1 will be the primary partner on board Rookie of the Year contender Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Watkins Glen International. It will mark the first time this year that Elliott and SunEnergy1 owner Kenny Habul will compete in nearly identical paint schemes — Habul in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series while Elliott will continue his 2016 campaign in the Sprint Cup Series. Elliott plans to head out to the pre-race grid on Saturday to see the SunEnergy1 Chevrolet off prior to the XFINITY Series event.
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits 13th in the standings with 533 points. The rookie trails leader Kevin Harvick by 176 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.
ROAD COURSE ROOKIE: Elliott will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup road course start this weekend at Watkins Glen International. However, the road course rookie will have a few additional miles under his belt as he took part in a test at The Glen on July 26 and July 27. In addition to his Sprint Cup road course debut at Sonoma Raceway earlier this year, the 20-year-old driver has competed in six road course races in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series, earning four top-five finishes. He has also competed in one Camping World Truck Series road course event and three ARCA Racing road course races, earning one victory and three top-five finishes, respectively.
TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Watkins Glen by 47 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 76 points over third-place Brian Scott. Elliott has accumulated a total of 245 rookie points this year through the first 20 points-paying races.
Wake up, guys! It’s almost time to go green! 💚🏁 pic.twitter.com/OUBsPLexPv
— Sunoco Racing (@SunocoRacing) August 1, 2016
RADIO CHATTER: Alan Gustafson and spotter Eddie D’Hondt won’t be the only voices that Elliott will hear on the radio this weekend as his father Bill Elliott will once again perform second spotter duties for his son. A NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1998 NASCAR premier series championship driver, the elder Elliott owns one victory and 10 top-five finishes on road courses in his career and is looking to help his son excel at the road course circuit this weekend. This will be the third race that the two Elliotts have worked side by side. Bill Elliott was in the second spotter role at Sonoma Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!: Elliott is adorning newsstands in Georgia this summer as he graces the cover of Georgia Magazine’s August issue. Earlier this year, Elliott talked with his home state magazine on growing up in Georgia, his parents’ role in his success thus far and racing for Hendrick Motorsports. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native is accompanied in the issue by fellow Georgian athletes Reese Hoffa, Jenny Arthur and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock – all of which whom are competing in the Rio Olympics later this month. To read more on Elliott’s cover feature click here.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“We were the car that was picked to go do the Watkins Glen tire test. The repave is a change in some aspects, but it’s also the same Watkins Glen. It still has a lot of grip – the place has not lost that character. I’m just going to try to focus on the fundamentals of road course racing and do that correctly. The rest should take care of itself. We have SunEnergy1 on the car again this weekend too, so I’m looking forward to having those guys back as well. Kenny (Habul) will be in the same colors on the XFINITY side so that will be neat.” –Chase Elliott on Watkins Glen International
NASCAR Watkins Glen International TV Schedule (all times ET)
Friday, August 5
10:00 AM NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice NBC Sport Network
12:30 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice NBC Sport Network
3:00 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice NBC Sport Network
Saturday, August 6
Noon NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying CNBC
Sunday, August 7
2:30 PM NASCAR Sprint Cup Race USA Network
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 (291) and laps led (over 77,000). 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 Camaro ZL1 driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.