NASCAR: Hendrick Motorsports name new driver for Pocono race

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

As hard as it might be to believe, Chase Elliott has never competed in a NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Hendrick Motorsports. But that is set to change at Pocono Raceway.

Chase Elliott competed for the Hendrick Motorsports-affiliated JR Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series for two full seasons back in 2014 and 2015, winning the championship as a rookie.

He has also competed in select races for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team in four seasons since becoming a full-time Cup Series driver for Hendrick Motorsports in 2016.

Now the eight-year Cup veteran is set to do something he has never done before: compete for Rick Hendrick’s team in the Xfinity Series. Hendrick Motorsports returned to the Xfinity Series last year for the first time since 2009.

Chase Elliott was the only one of Hendrick Motorsports’ four NASCAR Cup Series drivers who did not compete in an Xfinity Series race for the team in 2022.

Kyle Larson drove the No. 17 Chevrolet at Road America and Darlington Raceway, Alex Bowman drove it at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and William Byron drove it at Watkins Glen International.

Elliott wasn’t initially part of the team’s plans in 2023 either. Byron has already driven the No. 17 Chevrolet again this season at Circuit of the Americas, while Larson drove it again at Sonoma Raceway.

Bowman is set to drive it at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 19, while Larson is set to drive it again at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, September 2.

Now Elliott is indeed set to drive the No. 17 Chevrolet in next Saturday’s Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway. He is set to compete with sponsorship from

The 27-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia native has not competed in an Xfinity Series race since he drove the No. 1 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course back in August 2021.

He was supposed to compete for the team behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet at Darlington Raceway in May 2022, but with the qualifying session rained out, the No. 88 team’s lack of points in the owner standings meant that he did not qualify, marking his first DNQ in any NASCAR series.

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The Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from Pocono Raceway beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 22. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!