GREENVILLE, S.C. – Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet, earned his second top-10 of the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season on Saturday evening when he finished sixth at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. This is Elliott’s ninth K&N career top-10 finish in a total of 16 starts.
The starting grid for the K&N Pro Series East field was set by the 2011 owner standings after rainstorms on Saturday canceled the qualifying session. Elliott started the event 10th, and within the first couple laps, he reported that the No. 9 Chevrolet drove well but its handling was slightly tight.
A string of cautions occurred early in the event, which made it hard for Elliott to gain momentum. Under caution at Lap 17, Elliott was running 14th and reported over the radio that the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevy drove really well, but he just needed longer green-flag runs to work his way to the front. On the restart at Lap 22, Elliott gained a couple positions. He was running 10th a lap later.
Elliott, 16, had worked his way up to the fifth position by Lap 61, and crew chief Lance McGrew radioed to him that he was driving smart and doing a great job. Eighteen laps later, Elliott was running third.
When the race reached Lap 120, Elliott was fourth and reported that the No. 9 Chevrolet was still really good, but the handling was now slightly loose. Elliott continued to battle hard for the remainder of the event at Greenville, and when the checkered flag waved at Lap 150, he finished sixth.
Next up, Elliott will drive his No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet in the late model event at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga., on April 7. After that, Elliott will race in the K&N Pro Series East event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 26.