WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Chase Elliott recorded three straight victories during the month of May, including his first win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, and the 16-year-old is hoping to carry that momentum into this weekend’s K&N Pro Series East event at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday, June 2. The 150-lap race will broadcast Thursday, June 7 on SPEED at 3 p.m. ET.
During May, Elliott drove his No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet to two super late-model victories — Gresham Motorsports Park on May 12 and Five Flags Speedway on May 25. In-between those late-model wins, Elliott achieved a career-first when he went to Victory Lane in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination event at Iowa Speedway on May 19. Elliott, who recorded the win in just in his 18th career start, extended his lead in the K&N Pro Series East championship standings to 20 points over second-place Brett Moffitt.
In 16 career K&N Pro Series East starts, Elliott has posted one win, five top-five finishes, 10 top-10s and led 50 laps. Crew chief Lance McGrew has been impressed with Elliott’s progress so far this season as he continues to mentor the young driver.
“I think that both Chase (Elliott) and the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com team have progressed quite nicely this season,” McGrew said. “It’s hard to believe that he only has a few of these K&N Pro Series races under his belt. He adapted to these cars really fast, and his racing experience really shows on the racetrack. We figured a few things out early on in the season and started working on our setups. Things are really coming together for us. It’s great that we got that first win at Iowa a couple weeks ago.”
In the inaugural K&N event at Bowman Gray last year, Elliott started from the seventh position. Nine laps into the race and under a caution, the battery of his No. 9 Chevrolet stalled and that affected Elliott’s ability to keep pace with the field. As a result, he was penalized and sent to the back of pack. A few laps later, Elliott was collected in an incident that unfolded in front of him. He received some damage to his hood, but it was still drivable. Elliott continued to battle through electric issues throughout the race and finished 18th.
Earlier this month, Elliott was given an opportunity to make some new memories at the track when he participated in the K&N Pro Series East test session with his No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com team at the .25-mile oval track on May 10.
“The K&N Pro Series East test was very important in my opinion,” said Elliott, who has tallied one win, two top-five finishes and four top-10s in four K&N Pro Series East starts this season. “I felt like we learned a lot over there that will help prepare us for this weekend’s race. We can definitely be better, and I know going back, everybody’s going to work hard to be as best prepared as we can. Anytime you have an opportunity to go test, it’s great.”
Saturday’s event will be the first time McGrew has raced at Bowman Gray in his 20 years of racing experience.
“The first time I had been at Bowman Gray was a couple of weeks ago for the K&N Pro Series East test session,” McGrew said. “It’s a challenging little racetrack, that’s for sure. It took us a while to get the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevy dialed in, but we ran some really fast lap times before the session concluded. Chase (Elliott) loves the place, and we have a great No. 9 Chevrolet, but that’s not enough for Bowman Gray. We are going to need a lot of racing luck to win.”
Elliott just concluded his sophomore year of high school, and now he plans to spend his summer in Charlotte, N.C., working with McGrew and his No. 9 team at Hendrick Motorsports.
“I’m really looking forward to going up to the shop (Hendrick Motorsports) for the summer,” Elliott said. “It’s going to be a good time, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot.”
Elliott will participate in the K&N Pro Series East autograph session at Bowman Gray Stadium’s frontstretch on June 2 at 6:45 p.m. local time. For race weekend updates, please follow Cindy Elliott on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cindyelliott9.