DRIVER: Chase Elliott / No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS
RACE: Pennsylvania 400 (Race 21 of 36)
TRACK: Pocono Raceway
DATE: Sunday, July 31, 2016
SEASON STANDINGS: Elliott currently sits 11th in the standings with 525 points. The rookie trails leader Kevin Harvick by 146 markers. The 20-year-old is younger than any other driver currently inside the top 16 – the amount of drivers NASCAR takes into its playoffs – while also being the highest ranked rookie.
SUCCESS AT THE TRIANGLE: Earlier this year, Elliott battled for the win at the “Tricky Triangle” logging a race-high 51 laps as the leader through various cautions on the track. With 50 laps remaining in the race, Elliott continued to battle for the lead as another caution set him back in the field, although still within the top 10. After a solid restart with 38 laps to go, Elliott found his way up to third behind teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Once Earnhardt took over control of the lead, Elliott, then in the runner-up position, went head-to-head with his teammate in an attempt to regain the lead ultimately finishing fourth. Elliott is looking to contend for the win again this weekend.
MAKING HISTORY: Elliott competed in five ARCA Racing Series races in 2013 in order to gain experience at larger circuits, running two of those races at the "Tricky Triangle." On June 8, 2013, after capturing his first victory at Pocono Raceway, Elliott became the youngest winner in ARCA superspeedway history at the time.
TOP-RANKED ROOKIE: Elliott leads the 2016 Rookie of the Year contender standings heading into Pocono by 49 points over second-place Ryan Blaney and 89 points over third-place Brian Scott. Elliott has accumulated a total of 244 rookie points this year through the first 20 points-paying races.
GOING HOME: The “Tricky Triangle” is a trip home for several NAPA AUTO PARTS team members. Car chief Josh Kirk hails from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, 165 miles southwest of the raceway. Kirk, a longtime Hendrick Motorsports employee, is looking forward to heading to his home track, recalling past victories in front of his hometown crowd and special memories growing up. In addition to Kirk, No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS hauler driver Heath Edler will also be returning home this weekend. He grew up just under 100 miles away from the “Tricky Triangle” in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Matt Barndt, race engineer on the No. 24 Chevrolet, will make a close return to his hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as well, located a mere 40 miles from the three-turn track. “It's always nice going back to Pennsylvania to race close to home and getting to spend time with family and friends,” said Barndt, who started racing quarter midgets when he was just 5 years old. “Those who were involved with my racing career growing up get to see where their time and effort advanced me in my career in the sport outside of the seat.”
GET BACK AND GIVE BACK: NAPA AUTO PARTS has a long history of supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. In February, the company announced that it had raised more than $2.1 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund through its annual "Get Back and Give Back" campaign. This July, NAPA AUTO PARTS is donating $1 for each redeemed mail-in rebate for batteries, alternators and starters purchased, and $2 for qualifying installations. Customers also have the ability to donate all or a portion of their mail-in rebates directly to the IFHF. One hundred percent of the donation goes to the IFHF’s mission of building nine Intrepid Spirit centers around the country.
Driver Quotes | Chase Elliott
“I thought we had a really good car at Pocono earlier this summer. It was certainly one of our best days of the year I think. I thought for us to be able to contend and lead laps all day and have a car that could fight for the lead the majority of the day was great. I’m hoping we can take what we had and learn from there to try to make it better. I definitely have some things that I learned. Hopefully we can clean it up and try to do the best we can to give ourselves a chance to contend.”