Is it really possible Chase Elliott could be a NASCAR all-star before he's even a fulltime Sprint Cup Series driver?
We found out Tuesday the answer to that question is "yes."
During a news conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports announced Elliott would enter the May 15 Sprint Showdown preliminary race during all-star weekend. The winner of each 20-lap segment of the race gains entry into the May 16 main event with a chance to earn the $1 million top prize.
"I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to run the Showdown. It allows me to gain more experience before we race again at Charlotte a week later," Elliott said in a statement provided by the team. "I'm grateful to Mr. Hendrick and everyone at NAPA for the chance to do it."
Elliott, who is attempting to win his second consecutive Xfinity Series championship with JR Motorsports this season, is running a partial Cup schedule in preparation for taking over the driving duties of Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet next season. Elliott was already scheduled to compete in the May 24 Coca-Cola 600.
The Xfinity Series is competing next weekend at Iowa Speedway so Elliott will be pulling double-duty while traveling between North Carolina and Iowa.