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NASCAR Cup: Chase Elliott returns to family number

Chase Elliott (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chase Elliott (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chase Elliott’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports will carry a different number in 2018, as the driver moves from the No. 24 to the No. 9, the number he raced to the Xfinity Series championship in 2014 and his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, raced in the Cup Series before that.

“I wasn’t sure I’d ever drive the 9 again,” Elliott said. “It’s a huge deal to my family and everyone back home, and I hope all of our fans will be pumped to see it back on the race track. There’s a legacy attached to that number, and I want to carry it on. I think it’s awesome that Hendrick Motorsports and NAPA wanted to do this. It’s impossible not to be excited.”

Hendrick Motorsports will keep the No. 24, as that’ll be the number on the side and roof of the car driven by the organization’s newest driver and 2018 Rookie of the Year candidate, William Byron. Byron will be the driver on the team for which Kasey Kahne currently races with the No. 5.

Byron looks forward to racing the number carried by former driver and four-time champion Jeff Gordon.

“Jeff and Jimmie (Johnson) are the drivers I’ve always watched most closely and tried to learn from,” Byron said. “I didn’t think I could be more motivated, but when Mr. (Rick) Hendrick (team owner) called to tell me, it took things to another level. I have so much respect for all the people who have contributed to the success of the 24. I know it’s rare to have the chance to be part of something like this. I’m going to make the most of it.”

Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson will maintain his No. 48, and Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 in place of the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“I’m excited about the future,” Hendrick said. “We’ve made some management decisions recently that I feel really good about. Looking at next year, Jimmie will continue to be a leader and help set the tone. Alex is chomping at the bit and ready to go. When you add the Chevrolet Camaro race car into the mix, it’ll definitely be a new look for us. Everyone’s energized.”

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on August 30, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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