Despite a decent qualifying start for Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, short-track racing in NASCAR's premier series proved difficult for Dawsonville's Chase Elliott.
The 19-year-old reigning Xfinity Series champion struggled in his debut Spring Cup race, spending much of the 500-laps behind the wall for repairs.
He finished 38th, 73 laps behind the leaders.
Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag, followed by Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth.
David Ragan, of Unadilla, rounded out the top five.
"We need to get a little better and get used to these cars," Elliott said in a post-race interview.
Driving the No. 25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, Elliott plans to run four more Sprint Cup races in 2015.
Next up will be April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, followed by Charlotte Motor Speedway May 24, Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 26 at and Darlington Raceway Sept. 6.
Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series are off this weekend for Easter.
Elliott returns to the track April 10 at Texas Motor Speedway where he won his first race on the way to securing the 2014 championship.