Chase Elliott had an exciting weekend of firsts at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina last weekend. He started his Aaron’s 2010 Ford Mustang in the Sunoco National Tour series for the first time. He sat on the pole for the event and led every lap to post a win in his first race on a one-mile oval racetrack.
Elliott was unable to bring home back-to-back victories though. His debut in the USAR Pro Cup Series on Saturday at Rockingham got off to a bad start when he was black flagged when his window net fell down. Elliott pitted under green on lap 14 and lost two and one-half laps to the field in the process. He spent most of the rest of the day playing catch up and fighting an ill-handling racecar. He wound up with an 11th place finish.
“All and all we had a really good weekend,” said Bill Elliott, the driver’s team owner and father. “We did what we came to do. We were focused on running well with our Mustang [in the Sunoco National Tour Ford], and we did that and then set our focus on learning how the USAR series worked and what we were up against.”
Bill Elliott figures that the USAR cars, which are more like Sprint Cup cars than anything else his son had raced, were a logical next career step. So he worked a deal to purchase a car previously raced by the late Matt Hawkins.
The Aaron’s team started off strong, topping the chart in speed during the last practice session, but their chassis set-up wasn’t the best for long runs on an abrasive racetrack.
Elliott was fast for about 20-25 laps then his left front tire would wear thin. His competitors were getting 100-115 laps of even wear on their tires.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to be competitive with these guys,” Chase Elliott said. “Hopefully, we’ll get there. I know we are up for the challenge.”
And the young driver also is ready to dig in and work with his crew even more now than he has been able to so far this season.
“I just can’t thank our team enough for everything they do,” Chase Elliott said. “They worked so hard to get everything just perfect on that Mustang and then jumped right in when Dad wanted to try and get ready for the USAR race too.
“I wasn’t much help because I was studying for finals every day, but I am out for the summer now and can’t wait to be at the shop with them.”