The defending XFINITY Series champion will take over the No. 24 Chevrolet after Jeff Gordon completes his final season of full-time competition in NASCAR. Sponsorship for his 2016 rookie campaign will be announced by the organization at a later date.
“Chase brings the kind of intangibles that make him the total package as a driver,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said. “Not only is he a special talent inside the race car, but there’s a natural combination of competitiveness, work ethic and smarts that you rarely see. Chase’s personality and demeanor make him popular with fans, teammates and sponsors. He’s a great fit for our organization on many levels, and we feel he and Alan will be a successful combination. There’s a lot to be excited about.
Elliott will also make his Cup debut at Martinsville Speedway in March as part of a five race deal with NAPA Auto Parts, piloting the No. 25 Chevrolet. He will also run Richmond in April, Charlotte in May, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and Darlington in September with Kenny Francis atop the pit box.
“Chase has been a fantastic ambassador for NAPA,” said Gaylord Spencer, senior vice president of marketing for NAPA AUTO PARTS, primary sponsor of Elliott’s JR Motorsports XFINITY Series ride. “As he embarks on this important next step in his career, we’re proud to support him across both series in 2015 and look forward to an exciting year on and off the track. The NAPA Family is behind Chase 100 percent.”
Last season, Elliott became the youngest NASCAR national series champion, just shy of his 19th birthday. He was also the first driver in the sport’s history to win Rookie of the Year alongside a series championship. During his 2014 XFINITY Series campaign, Elliott scored three wins, 16 top 5s, 26 top 10s and an average finish of eighth in 33 starts.
“So many people have been behind me, and the first thing I want to do is thank them,” Elliott said. “My parents especially have believed in me every step of the way, and I know this wouldn’t be possible without all the sacrifices they’ve made to focus on my racing career. This is such a big week for our family.
“I’m also extremely grateful to Mr. Hendrick and my teammates at both Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports for believing in me. NAPA has been a huge supporter, and I’m honored to represent them on and off the track. Of course the fans have been amazing to me, and I’m so appreciative of that. I know how rare this opportunity is and will work as hard as I can to make everyone proud.”
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Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A childhood transplant to Texas, Beth is a 15-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.