Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chase Elliott to race in K&N Pro Series East season-opener at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Chase Elliott will drive the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/ Chevrolet in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East’s season-opening event at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17.

“Bristol is always something to be excited about even if you are going there just to watch,” Elliott said. “But to be able to race there is going to be awesome and to be at a place like Bristol that has so much history makes it even more special for me as a driver.”

It might be the first time the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has visited Bristol, but Elliott has raced there before. In September 2010, he finished fifth driving in the USAR Pro Cup Series, which is now the CARS Pro Cup Series.

“Racing at a track that you’ve raced at before is always beneficial because it helps the process go by a lot quicker,” Elliott said. “Instead of me having to take the time to get use to the track this weekend during practice, we can start making changes on the No. 9 Chevy right away to get better and better. So it’s good that I have a decent idea already of what it’s like to race at Bristol. That Pro Cup race there two years ago will help us be one step ahead this weekend.”

Elliott, who will compete full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this season, also received another confidence boost recently when he participated in the K&N Pro Series East’s test session in February. Elliott, 16, will look to capitalize on what he learned during that opportunity, which he hopes will benefit him this weekend.

“I felt like we learned a lot at the test that will really help us this weekend,” Elliott said. “There are improvements that need to be made on my end to be better, and I feel like the Aaron’s Dream Machine/ Chevy will be better when we go back as well.

“This year I obviously want to get as many wins as possible. But at the same time we just need to be smart, and I would be happy with consistent top-five finishes.”

Crew chief Lance McGrew enters the Bristol race weekend with both Cup and Nationwide Series experience. In 16 combined starts there, he has posted two top-five finishes and five top-10s. As McGrew continues to acclimate himself with the K&N car, he will rely on the notes the team took during the recent K&N Pro Series East Bristol test session.