Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick was a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Tradin’ Paint with Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers on Wednesday morning. While there, the question of whether or not current Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott will run Sprint Cup races in the near future was posed.
Hendrick’s response to the query was essentially “not yet, but it’s likely.”
“No, we haven’t arrived at a decision for sure, but I think you’ll probably see him run a few races next year,” Hendrick said. “Before he ever won a Nationwide [Series] race, I watched him test Jimmie [Johnson]’s car and Jeff [Gordon]’s car at Nashville [Superspeedway]. Jimmie and Jeff both commented to me, ‘this kid is super smooth and super fast.’”
As for a possible debut for the 18-year old Elliott? It could come any time.
“I think he’s going to do a super job whenever the time comes,” Hendrick said. “Probably the second half of next year, we’ll see him in some races.”
Despite Hendrick’s statement about Elliott racing in the second half of the season, Hendrick also expressed enough confidence in the Nationwide Series rookie that he could put him in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway right now and reasonably expect him to finish in the top-15. However, he is still exercising patience with the young phenom.
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Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.