Following the ARCA race Saturday in which Chase Elliott and Dylan Kwasniewski were given the opportunity to prove themselves, the two 18-year-old drivers have been approved by NASCAR to compete in speedway racing. Kwasniewski started in pole position at Daytona International Speedway and finished the race in fourteenth position, while Elliott crossed the finish line in ninth place. Grant Enfinger took the checkered flag, being his first victory at Daytona, and the third of his career. Frank Kimmel and Clay Campbell took second and third places respectively.
Born on November 28, 1995, Chase Elliott is the son of 1988 Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott. He has been a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports and will reportedly be driving the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In 2010, Elliott 12 of the 40 races he competed in, and finished in the top ten no less than 38 times. He was selected as the Georgia Asphalt Pro Late Model Series Rookie of the Year in 2010, finishing the season with a victory at the Winchester 400.
In February 2011, Elliott entered into a driver development contract with Hendrick Motorsports. Highlights in 2011 included finishing ninth in series points in the K&N Pro Series East and competing in the CRA where he won the National Super Late Model Championship. Elliott became the Snowball Derby’s youngest winner just after his sixteenth birthday in 2011.
In 2012 Elliott returned to the K&N Pro Series East claiming his first career victory at Iowa Speedway in May of that year and finished fourth in series points. Driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott became the youngest winner at Pocono Raceway in ARCA history in June 2013. Also in 2013, he became the youngest driver to earn pole-position in the NASCAR Truck Series, and at the age of 17 years, 9 months and 4 days, became the youngest winner in Truck Series history. With his victory at the All American 400 in November 2013, Elliot became the first driver to win the largest four short-track races, being the Snowball Derby, the Winchester 400, the World Crown 300 and the All American 400.
With the jury still out on the role Elliott played in the multiple car crash during the ARCA race, it is unclear as to whether he will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year. The NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Daytona International Speedway on February 22 with the DRIVE4COPD 300.