NASCAR’S NEW BREED
MOVES TO THE FORE
Seniority rules in NASCAR, but if the pool
of young talent in the Sprint Cup has any
say in the matter, that might soon change.
Chase Elliott has already made a mark
with his surprise pole at the Daytona
500, although the 20-year-old only
lasted 18 laps in the race before crashing
out. That notwithstanding, Rick Hendrick
has described Bill’s kid as “mentally
tougher” than Jeff Gordon was at the
same point in his career.
Elsewhere, Ganassi Racing’s Kyle
Larson has done plenty to show his
potential, but the 23-year-old need to
rebound from a disappointing sophomore
season. Helping him do that is new crew
chief Chad Johnstone, who formerly
worked with Tony Stewart.
Also worth watching is Ryan Blaney,
who starts his first full-time job with Wood
Brothers after a part-time gig last year
that included a fourth at Talladega.
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Chase Elliott was given big race boots to fill
when he was named as Jeff Gordon’s
replacement in Hendrick’s No. 24, but Gordon
himself is a fan. “He’s such a talent. Expect
great things from him sooner rather than later.”
Chase Elliott’s pole at Daytona
underlines a wealth of young talent.
SPRINT CUP STORYLINES
2016 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT A GLANCE
The 2016 NASCAR season opened with a major change to the team ownership
structure. The new system grants automatic race slots to 36 “Charter teams,”
which the series says will translate into greater long-term security.
entries gain ‘Charter’ status,
which grants a guaranteed spot
in every Sprint Cup race.
grid spots are left open at every
race for non-Charter teams
to compete for.
Wood Brothers Racing missed
out on a Charter due to its
recent part-time status.
A holding-pattern year
at HScott while he waits
to replace Tony Stewart
at Stewart-Haas in ’ 17
Has to grab his chance to
reassert himself among
Another year of being
Dale Earnhardt Jr – with
all that it entails.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.
Furniture Row has
become the little team
that could. Can it keep
Danica Patrick is carrying new colors this year, but
after another season outside the top 20 in points, the
mission remains all too familiar for the Stewart-Haas
driver – prove she can be a genuine contender...
Hamlin joined a select group with his Daytona 500
win: he became just the sixth driver to win both the
“500” and the Sprint Unlimited in the same year.
The last to do it was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR...