At age 19, Chase will attempt to qualify for first Sprint Cup race Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Think about this for a moment: Chase Elliott , son of the ever-popular Bill Elliott , will attempt to make his Sprint Cup Series debut at Martinsville Speedway , a track steeped in history and tradition, for Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Not only does he need to qualify for the race -- with Team Xtreme withdrawing, there are 45 cars on the entry list; 43 make the race -- but Elliott also will need to do it without having the benefit of much time spent in a Sprint Cup Series seat. And if that's not enough, if he qualifies for the race -- which is expected to be attended by none other than Richard Petty -- Elliott will do so at a younger age than Jeff Gordon did in 1992. Throughout his short history as a national series driver, Elliott has shown an unflappable, even-keel approach en route to such heights as last season's XFINITY Series title. But if any weekend were to test his Zen-like calm, who could blame him if this were the one? "If I wasn't nervous come this weekend, then I'd think something was wrong with me," Elliott said. "I think that should be the case. With as much excitement as this weekend brings I think you're going to have some nerves to go along with it. I'm looking forward to experiencing both of those sensations." If his nerves indeed need some calming, then Elliott can go to bat knowing he will have Gordon on his side. Jeff just happens to be tied with HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson for the most Cup wins at the track among active drivers with eight, so it's not like he's coming at Chase with a blank slate. "I think for me, Jeff will probably be the guy I lean on most this weekend," Elliott said. "One, our car is being prepared out of the 24 and 5 shop. Just to be familiar with that group of guys and how they do things, I think that only makes sense to kind of lean on those guys more than anybody else with the plans for next year. Last time I checked, Jeff had run a handful of races at Martinsville; I feel like he'll have some good information and a lot to be learned talking to him." Elliott said he hasn't driven a Cup car since January of 2014, and most of that experience was at Nashville Superspeedway , a 1.33-mile concrete track that was used for testing. Plus, in the time since Elliott drove a Cup car, a lot has changed thanks to the 2015 rules package. Add in the fact that Elliott will be working with crew chief Kenny Francis for the first time, and there are a lot of challenges he'll be facing beyond just the normal task of driving on a tough, tight 0.526-mile track. But besides having Gordon and the entire HMS team on his side, Elliott also has the benefit of it being a break in the XFINITY Series schedule. Therefore, he can concentrate on the very tall task at hand. But as one might expect, his own expectations for his first Cup race sound pretty reasonable. "Hopefully, for me, I just want to execute all weekend and put together a solid week," Elliott said. "I think for us, if we can run all the laps and stay on the lead lap and battle to run in the top 15, I feel like that's a great day to shoot for. I feel like that's possible and that would be a really good day." Of course, if he does something more than that, then it could add to the track's already thick history. It's a history that will be on the young driver's mind. "I think back of all the times I've gone to Martinsville to watch my dad race," Elliott said. "Even not that long ago. Weird to think I'm going to go run a Cup race and not be watching. ... Such a great opportunity and I want to make the most of it." Senior writer Holly Cain contributed to this report. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Nashville -based NeXovation purchases property with new business plan for facility
New structure to feature two rounds to determine pole winner
NASCAR reserves right to have more than one vehicle on track at Daytona, Talladega
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck breaks down the modifications to the qualifying format for all three national series at superspeedways.
A new year and a new season brings reduced ticket prices for fans of Nashville Superspeedway . Single event tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday. Fans can take advantage of the reduced ticket prices by reserving their seats in advance to receive the best pricing available. Tickets for Nationwide Series races at Nashville on April 23 and July 23 start at $30, while tickets for Camping World Truck Series races on April 22 and July 22 start at $25. Nashville has also increased the age and reduced the price on all junior tickets for fans 14 and under. Juniors can attend any of the four events for just $10 when purchased in advance. Tickets purchased at the gate will increase by $5 for juniors and $10 for adults per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-RACE-TIX or online at NashvilleSuperspeedway.com. "Our new ticket prices give fans many affordable ways to experience a NASCAR race," said Cliff Hawks, vice president and general manager of Nashville Superspeedway . "Fans who purchase in advance can reap the benefits of locking in a great seat at a reduced price from what will be available at the gate. Coupled with the debut of the new Nationwide Series car at Nashville , there's a lot for fans to be excited about this season." Season ticket packages are also available starting at $129 for adults, and just $40 for juniors. Season ticket packages include tickets for both the April 22-23 and July 22-23 race weekends, a Season Ticket Holder Day at the Superspeedway that gives fans the opportunity to drive their vehicle on the track, and the highly popular ALL ACCESS pass that includes many behind-the-scenes amenities. The ALL ACCESS pass can also be added to any Nationwide Series race ticket for $30. The pass allows fans unprecedented access at the track prior to the race. Fans can attend the pre-race driver's meeting, walk the grid near the cars on pit road, visit Victory Lane and experience the Fan Walk prior to the start of the race.
Waltrip, Curb among investors ready to renovate former NASCAR short track
Chat with NASCAR fans while following the races at Talladega Superspeedway
Alabama superspeedway the latest to make safety enhancements Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Talladega Superspeedway announced plans on Thursday to add SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barriers to its existing barrier system ahead of the NASCAR weekend on May 1-3. The track will add SAFER barriers in three locations -- along the inside wall at entrances to pit road, Turn 1 and Turn 3. "We are committed to making Talladega Superspeedway a safe environment for drivers as well as for our fans," Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch said. "Safety is our top priority and will continue to collaborate with ISC, NASCAR and ARCA on any future safety enhancements." The 2.66-mile track will host the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 on Saturday, May 2 (3 p.m. ET, FOX) and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 3 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Since Kyle Busch 's accident in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway , in which the Joe Gibbs Racing driver hit a wall that did not have a SAFER barrier, tracks have been analyzing their protective barriers and making immediate enhancements where possible. Busch suffered a compact fracture to his right lower leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot from the accident and is out indefinitely. Drivers have also been more vocal about the need for more SAFER barriers. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman met with NASCAR officials recently, and safety was among the topics of discussion. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Longtime track promoter built Ohio track in 1954 RELATED: Big Bill's path to Talladega Eldora Speedway founder and longtime promoter Earl Baltes died Monday morning at an Ohio hospital. He was 93. Baltes built the rural Ohio dirt track in 1954, then switched its configuration four years later to the high-banked, half-mile oval that still exists today. In the decades that followed, Eldora became one of the premier dirt tracks in the United States. For the past two years, it has hosted NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. In addition to the eventual Truck Series races, the promoter had a relationship with NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., and assisted France in recruiting cars for the inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway . Following a 50-year run as owner, Baltes sold the track to NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in 2004. Stewart promptly erected statues of Baltes and his wife, Berneice -- who survives Baltes -- to honor the track's founder. "Earl was the yardstick other track promoters measured themselves by," Stewart said in a track release. "He constantly raised the bar, and he did it by creating events everyone else was afraid to promote. He did them himself, too. Not as a fair board, or a public company, or with major sponsors or millions of dollars in TV money. He put it all on the line with the support of his family. "He and his wife, Berneice, created a happening at Eldora. They turned Eldora into more than just a race track. They made it a place to be. They were integral to the evolution of dirt-track racing and the sport as a whole. Earl will be missed, but he won't ever be forgotten because of his devotion to auto racing." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today