DRIVER: Chase Elliott / No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS
EVENT: Daytona Duel 150
LOCATION: Daytona International Speedway
SERIES: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
DATE: Feb. 18, 2016
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, finished sixth in the first of Thursday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duels at Daytona International Speedway.
Already locked into the Daytona 500 with his pole award from qualifying on Sunday, Elliott opted for the outside of the front row to start the first Duel. The rookie grabbed the early lead over teammate Earnhardt as the green flag dropped and maintained the lead for the first two laps. Throughout the first 25 laps of the race Elliott raced within the top-15. Then, just before the halfway mark, the driver of the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS broke back into the top 10. After a green flag pit stop and a Lap 44 caution for a one-car incident in Turn 1, Elliott returned to green-flag racing within the top five, driving the remaining 12 laps to a sixth-place finish.
“I felt like whichever lane Dale was in was moving forward,” Elliott said after completing his first Sprint Cup Series race in the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet. “He was really fast. He just does a good job working the air. That is just something I struggle with. I think you’ve just got to be aggressive with the side drafts and keeping guys pinned down at times. The good guys make that happen and they can recognize that and I just didn’t tonight.”
Elliott’s teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., led the four-car Hendrick Motorsports contingent to the checkered flag after winning the first Duel under the lights at the Great American Speedway. Kasey Kahne earned a seventh-place finish.
In the second Duel, Jimmie Johnson was running third when he was caught in a multi-car incident on the final lap that landed him a 13th-place finish.
The No. 48 team will move to a backup car for the Daytona 500.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule will be the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 21. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX.