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Elliott truck series debut Saturday at Martinsville

POSTED: April 3, 2013 4:00 a.m.

Dawsonville's Chase Elliott will make his national debut Saturday in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

The 1:30 p.m. race will be televised on Fox Sports and shown on the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame's 24-foot projection screen.

"This is a big deal for Dawsonville and a big deal for Chase," said Gordon Pirkle, local racing historian and president of the museum. "We want everybody to come out and watch and hopefully see Chase make Dawsonville history like his dad did."

At 17, and driving the No. 94 Aaron's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, the son of NASCAR champion Bill Elliott will be one of the youngest drivers in the field.

In November, NASCAR lowered the age requirement from 18 to 16 in the truck series on ovals a mile or shorter in length and on road courses.

Two months later, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Elliott would run nine races in this year's series.

Pirkle said the announcement shows Hendrick Motorsports' confidence in the young driver.

"I was kind of surprised when I saw that, because I knew he was going to trucks, but Hendrick don't run trucks," Pirkle said. "This will be a big effort on Hendrick, so I know he's going to have good equipment. I look forward to him doing well."

If last weekend's late model races are any indication of Elliott's upcoming season, Pirkle said the community can expect to hear the siren sounding Saturday at the Pool Room.

The longstanding tradition became popular when the elder Elliott "put Dawsonville on the map" with his wins, speed records and the 1988 Winston Cup Championship.

Chase Elliott won Friday night in the Crate Late Model Series season opener at Tri County Race Track in North Carolina. The next night, he won the Larry Fleeman Memorial 198 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson.

"I hope we're going to get to ring the siren on Saturday for Chase," Pirkle said.

He also plans to have a poster on display for everyone to sign Saturday night to commemorate Chase Elliott's first NASCAR race.

"I think it will be something we'll be proud of in the future," Pirkle said. "There's no doubt he's going to be one of the finest drivers [to] come along."

Access to Saturday's viewing party in the Gordon Pirkle Victory Lane room is included with admission to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame museum at $4 for adults and $2 for children.


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