By Matt Weaver — Hendrick Motorsports development driver Chase Elliott is close to announcing his plans for the 2014 season but is keeping them under wraps until they are set in stone.
A clue may be found in his participation in this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series open-test at Daytona International Speedway. The session, which includes over 70 entries, contains several prospects — like Elliott — who hopes to earn his NASCAR and ARCA superspeedway licenses.
And while a driver has to be at least 18-years-old to compete at Daytona or Talladega, they must also receive approval from the sanctioning body. This weekend’s test is also open to 16-and-17-year-olds and is an important first step.
It’s the same for 18-year-old Elliott, as all that separates him from full-time ARCA or NASCAR national touring eligibility is earning the restrictor plate track license.
“We’re not completely sure about our plans right now,” Elliott told Popular Speed on Dec. 8 prior to the Snowball Derby Super Late Model race. “We’re working on a lot of things right now and we’re looking for the funding that will really dictate what we’re going to do.”
Elliott had a breakout season in 2013, scoring his first victories in both ARCA and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Pocono International Raceway and the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park respectively.
In a Wednesday interview with Speed 51’s Bob Dillner, Elliott reiterated the same verbiage but added that things could come together over the next few weeks.
“I’d hate to jinx anything before it’s done,” Elliott told Dillner. “I feel good about our opportunities. I wish I could share what we have going on, but right now I can’t. I look forward to 2014 and I think things are heading in the right direction.
“We have to make sure that everybody does their job these next couple of weeks and hopefully we can get something together.”
The Daytona test begins on Friday and runs through Sunday.