16-Year-Old Chase Elliott Ready for ARCA Racing Series Go at Berlin; Past Experience on Marne, Mich. Short Track Key to Victory
(TOLEDO, Ohio) - The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour is all new to Chase Elliott. After all, at 16 years young, most things are.
However, in just three ARCA Racing Series starts, despite racing on tracks that he hasn't, for the most part, seen before, he's on the fast track towards the front. Elliott, the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, finished 10th in his series debut at Mobile Int'l Speedway in early March. It got better from there when Elliott placed fourth at Salem in April. Then, in his career-first road course race, he wowed the ARCA regulars with a second-place finish, losing the lead only on the final lap at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Now, fast-forward to his next scheduled ARCA race at Berlin Raceway Saturday, August 11, where it could arguably be the very track at which he may have the best shot at Victory Lane. Elliott, despite his age, actually has prior experience on the quirky little, less-than-a-half-mile oval in Marne, Mich., experience that includes a second-place finish to Kyle Busch in the Rowdy 251 late model race earlier this summer.
"We have had some decent late model runs at Berlin in the past, and we had a strong run at our last trip there this summer when we finished second to the No. 51 car driven by Kyle Busch," Elliott said. "But I know we are capable of beating him and that team, and I won't be satisfied until we do."
In addition to Elliott's ARCA schedule this year, which includes upcoming events at Madison Int'l Speedway on August 26 and at Salem Speedway on September 15, he's currently second in points in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series standings, running full-time on the K&N tour.
"I don't think we will be testing up there (at Berlin) just simply because of how busy our schedule is."
At each ARCA race so far, his famous father has accompanied him, lending advice and spotting as necessary. However, in regards to Berlin, the younger Elliott has 'one-up' on his father because the elder Elliott has never raced on the historic fairgrounds oval.
"My dad has never been to Berlin other than when I have gone to race, so I don't feel like he can do as much there as he does other places."
When asked if he was surprised by his near victory on the New Jersey road course, Elliott responded, "I knew we could do it because we really had an Aaron's Dream Machine-Hendrickcars.com Chevy that was very capable of winning. It was just a mistake by me that took us out of it."
Elliott's crew chief is NASCAR veteran Lance McGrew, which, no doubt, helps.
"It helps a ton really. Lance has a ton of experience in pretty much everything, and his racing knowledge is very helpful to me."
Drivers will prepare for the 200-lap race with the first of two practice sessions from 2-2:45 p.m., followed by a final practice from 3:15-4. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell goes off at 5, and fans will be treated to a driver autograph session on the track at 6:15. Pre-Race for the Berlin ARCA 200 gets underway at approximately 8.
ARCA Celebrating 60th Anniversary Season
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards' 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama's Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota's Elko Speedway for the first time.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.
Griffin Hickman, ARCA
(419) 574-2685 (mobile)
Don Radebaugh, ARCA
(419) 450-0611 (mobile)