Series will be at road course back-to-back weekends
Current pit boss Greg Ives moving to Sprint Cup with Dale Jr. RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live Chase Elliott 's crew chief vacancy for the 2015 Nationwide Series season was filled on Monday. JR Motorsports announced that veteran crew chief Ernie Cope will serve as the crew chief for the No. 9 team next season. Elliott's current crew chief, Greg Ives, is making the move to the Sprint Cup Series to serve as Dale Earnhardt Jr. 's crew chief for the No. 88 team of Hendrick Motorsports next season as Steve Letarte heads to the broadcast booth with NBC. "It became clear rather quickly that the best option for Chase and the NAPA team next year is already in this building," JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a release. "Ernie builds fast cars, has a good rapport with Chase, and is familiar with the inner-workings of our company. Hopefully that will create a seamless transition at the end of the year, and the No. 9 team will continue its championship form right into 2015." Cope has been the crew chief for JRM's third, part-time car this season, which has usually been the No. 5 car. He has three wins this season atop the pit box, two coming with Kevin Harvick and one with Kasey Kahne . "Kevin and I have enjoyed a lot of success, and we're not done yet," Cope said in a release. "There is a lot of racing left this year, but in putting the pieces together for 2015, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to compete the full race schedule." Cope later added: "Chase Elliott is an extremely talented race car driver." Cope and Elliott were paired together at Road America when Ives had to miss the race due to the birth of his third child. Elliott finished fourth. A crew chief for the No. 5 team in 2015 has not yet been determined, according to the release. In his rookie season, Elliott has nabbed three wins and currently leads the Nationwide Series point standings. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Take a look ahead at all the action this weekend as the Sprint Cup Series head to Sonoma and the Nationwide Series goes to Road America .
Chat with NASCAR fans while following the races at Sonoma and Road America
Check out the full programming guide for the week RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today All times ET Monday, August 11 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America , NBC Sports Network 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, August 12 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America , NBC Sports Network 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Wednesday, August 13 4:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America , NBC Sports Network 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 8 p.m., 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Eldora (re-air), FOX Sports 2 9 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Iowa (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Thursday, August 14 10 a.m., TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Race at Road America (re-air), FOX Sports 1 1 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Iowa (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America , NBC Sports Network 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship (re-air), FOX Sports 2 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Friday, August 15 11 a.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Most Outrageous Moments (re-air), FOX Sports 1 11:30 a.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Closest Calls (re-air), FOX Sports 1 Noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, FOX Sports 1 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Practice, FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Final Practice, FOX Sports 1 4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 8:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 3 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4:30 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 Saturday, August 16 8:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice, ESPN2 9:30 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, ESPN2 9:30 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, ESPN2 Noon, NCWTS SetUp, FOX Sports 1 12:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Michigan, FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NNS Countdown, ESPN 2:45 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Mid-Ohio, ESPN 3 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Michigan (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 a.m. (Sun.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Iowa (re-air), FOX Sports 1 Sunday, August 17 9 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Watkins Glen, FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1 Noon, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Road America , FOX Sports 1 Noon, NSCS Countdown, ESPN 1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Michigan, ESPN 5 p.m., Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Race at Road America (re-air), FOX Sports 2 7 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 1 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Michigan, ESPN2 MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Next challenge: Master road courses like Mid-Ohio RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live Though Chase Elliott wound up a best-in-class sixth after his first visit to Watkins Glen International , he still described it as "a tough place to come into blind." Drawing on those parallels, this weekend's stop for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is also a dark spot in the rookie's field of vision. For the second consecutive week, Elliott will compete on a road course he's never seen when the circuit visits the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , site of Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN). The unfamiliarity hasn't stopped Elliott from excelling on the sport's twisty tracks before, including his most recent effort when he finished first among Nationwide regulars behind five veterans of the Sprint Cup ranks at the Glen. Even with plenty of room to grow and learn, his toughest criticism last weekend came from within. "I just look at where I'm at as a road racer personally, and I obviously need to step that up," Elliott said. "(Saturday) was a decent day, but I think we're capable of running inside the top five at all these events, including the companion races, road courses or whatever. And I think we had the car to do that today. So I think just myself personally needs to step up and be a better road racer. Just try to figure out how to keep up with those guys and then try to figure out how to beat them." Meanwhile, his father -- NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott -- had a slightly different perspective, watching his son's JR Motorsports crew load a relatively clean No. 9 Chevrolet onto the team's hauler. The 58-year-old former driver made 18 starts at Watkins Glen in NASCAR's big leagues, noting that road racing wasn't an easy learn in the early stages of his career. "He's got to understand, he looks at what he's got to be against the best guys that have been here a lot," the elder Elliott said. "Sometimes, you've just got to back up and take it a step at a time. I think he did a great job today. He did what he needed to do, and sometimes that's what you've got to do. I think that goes to show he can figure it out." Chase Elliott figures to have less competition with Sprint Cup experience since Saturday's race isn't a companion event to NASCAR's premier series, which races at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. Still, his path to victory may have to go through road -course veteran Alex Tagliani , who battled fiercely with Elliott in the top five in June at Road America and will again be behind the wheel of the Team Penske No. 22 Ford at Mid-Ohio. Though Elliott will encounter a much slower layout at Mid-Ohio this weekend, he hopes to carry over the experience from his first dance with the Glen. "As far as next week at Mid-Ohio goes, I think I learned a lot today," said Elliott, who has a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win under his belt from 2013 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park . "Regardless of who's driving, those same cars are going to be there next week, and they're still going to be just as good as they were today. So I expect it to be just as tough next week. Another new race track for me so I've got a lot of studying to do this week throughout the weekdays. Just trying to prepare for another tough week I'm sure." Thought Elliott's name has been linked to potential advancement into the Sprint Cup tour by 2016, the 18-year-old shrugged off the projections last weekend, saying such a move was merely "a thought." He's taken a similar stance to the current season, refusing to look too far forward in the Nationwide Series championship hunt even as he rides a 12-point lead with 12 races to go. "As far as the points deal goes, like I've said all season long, I don't get too caught up in it," Elliott said. "I don't pull it up during the week. I don't worry about it. In my book, it's very important. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to be in the position we are. But we've got to take it a week at a time. When you get caught up in it, that's when I think things can go south. So just trying to focus running well and contending for wins is the best way to go about the championship. "Right, wrong or indifferent, that's how I'm going to approach it probably throughout the rest of my career, and I hope we're in this position again." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Get race details, storylines ahead of Saturday's race RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live What : Second annual Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 Where : Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Lexington, Ohio When : Saturday, August 16 TV/Radio : ESPN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2:45 p.m. ET) Distance : 90 laps; 203.22 miles Last August's race winner: AJ Allmendinger , Team Penske No. 22 Ford Fastest in practice : First practice: Sam Hornish, Jr. , Joe Gibbs Racing , No. 54 Toyota (95.245 mph) Second practice: Justin Marks , Turner Scott Motorsports, No. 31 Chevrolet (95.187 mph) Front row starters: Sam Hornish, Jr. , Joe Gibbs Racing, No. 54 Toyota Alex Tagliani, Team Penske, No. 22 Ford Former Mid-Ohio winners in the field: None He said it: "They've got an announcement on Tuesday?" -- Sam Hornish Jr., when asked if he was going to be involved in Joe Gibbs Racing's announcement on Tuesday. He said it II: "No, definitely not." -- Chase Elliott , on if he considers himself a " road racer," despite his first NASCAR national series win coming at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and a pair of top-10s at Road America and Watkins Glen this year. He said it III: "I haven’t been here in two decades. That's longer than some of my teammates have even been alive." -- Brendan Gaughan , on making his return to Mid-Ohio. The favorite : Sam Hornish Jr. finished third here last year for Team Penske and has been the class of the field so far this weekend in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, topping the first practice session and finishing third in the second. Hornish grew up two hours from the track, spending countless hours here as a fan and a driver of many different types of vehicles. In six series starts this year, Hornish has one win and four top-fives. Road course revenge?: While Saturday could certainly be a different story, Ty Dillon might have the upperhand on potential road course rival Chase Elliott this weekend, as his No. 3 Chevrolet was faster in both practice sessions than Elliott's No. 9 Chevy. As you'll recall, Elliott controversially spun Dillon in the closing seconds of last year's race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to pick up his first national series win. Dillon do right: Ty Dillon has also been impressive in his Nationwide Series rookie campaign overall, continuing to be in the top 20 week in and week out. In 21 races this season, he's the only driver to do so in every event. Buescher bringing it: Roush Fenway Racing 's Chris Buesche r not qualifying for the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona seems like forever ago because -- well, it was in February -- but also because he's picked it up since then with seven top-10 finishes in his rookie season. His runner-up finish in the final practice on Friday indicates he could be headed for his eighth. Cup half empty: Or perhaps, Cup fully empty, because there are no Sprint Cup Series drivers in the field at Mid-Ohio this weekend, meaning that we could see a full-time Nationwide Series driver win for just the eighth time this year. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See where your favorite drivers will be pitting at the road course
Tagliani's first Nationwide appearance this season will be June 21 at Road America
Drivers prepare for road -course racing at Watkins Glen during this week's Nationwide Series Garagecam.