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Elliott makes Sprint Cup debut Sunday
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Dawsonville's Chase Elliott is set to make his Sprint Cup debut in Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

"I'm excited to go to Martinsville. Hendrick Motorsports has had a lot of success there, it's a place they've had a lot of wins," he said in January. "It is certainly good to know that in the back of your mind."

The defending Xfinity Series champion ran two Camping World Truck Series races at Martinsville in 2013, finishing sixth and 20th.

"I know when I ran Martinsville in the truck series I had a lot of room for improvement. I hope I can step up and do my job," he said.

Driving the No. 25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, the 19-year-old will need a good qualifying run to make the field Sunday, as 46 drivers have registered, meaning three drivers will go home.

Excited that Elliott will be taking his first laps in NASCAR's premier series at the track, Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell doesn't anticipate the young driver will be one of the three.

"Considering how good Hendrick Motorsports has been here, combined with the talent Chase brings, I truly feel we could see him in victory lane," he said.

Hendrick Motorsports announced in January that Elliott would compete in five Sprint Cup races this year in anticipation of entering the series fulltime in 2016, when he steps into the No. 24 Chevy of four-time champion Jeff Gordon, who plans to retire.

Elliott, who broke records, set records and literally put Dawsonville back in the racing spotlight in 2014, fast-tracked his way to NASCAR stardom with back-to-back wins at Texas and Darlington, followed by a third win at Chicagoland in his first year competing in the now Xfinity Series.

At the age of 18, Elliott made history by being named rookie of the year and most popular driver in his inaugural championship year.

 

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