By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – What is in a number? For one driver, namely Chase Elliott, a return to a familiar car and number could mean success. Recently, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Elliott would shift from the No. 24 to the newly rebranded No. 9 starting with the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
The No. 9 is synonymous with the Elliott name. Chase’s Hall of Fame father, Bill Elliott, earned 38 of his 44 career victories in the No. 9 car. Bill Elliott also won the 1988 championship, 1985 and 1987 Daytona 500s, and the Winston Million while campaigning in the No. 9.
For Chase Elliott, he won the 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship, as well as four races (three in 2014, one in 2015), while driving the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro SS for JR Motorsports. Now, he finds himself behind the wheel of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 in NASCAR’s Premier Series.
Elliott hopes he can rekindle the success he once had in the No. 9 Camaro a few years ago,
“Yeah I hope so. I don’t see why not. I think that we have the opportunity to do so. I think that we have all of the pieces in the right places and the executions, the efforts being where they should be, and with everyone doing their jobs, I think we can, so we’ll see.”
Chase Elliott has driven the No. 9 throughout much of his young career. He drove to victory lane in Late Models as well as ARCA Racing Series competition in the No. 9. To date, Elliott has just four victories that have not come while driving the No. 9.
Currently, Elliott is seeded 10th in the Playoff Standings after the reseeding for the Round of 12. While he waits for 2018 and his return to the No. 9, Elliott will look to become just the second driver to claim a victory in the No. 24, a car number with 93 wins with Jeff Gordon behind the wheel with just seven races left in the season.
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