From one Elliott to another, Chase Elliott will take over the reigns again in the No. 23 Chevrolet for GMS Racing for the next two races on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule. Two weeks ago, Elliott made his fifth start of the season with the organization at Bristol. Last week, his dad Bill Elliott made his first NASCAR start in over five years at Road America. Now, the younger Elliott is back in the car this weekend at Darlington and next at Indianapolis.
Originally, Spencer Gallager was supposed to be back in this ride, as this was his actual seat. This was his second seat in this ride and he even won a race at Talladega back in April but after his win, he was suspended for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. While Gallagher was out, the team had to hire several different drivers to fill in.
Elliott, was the driver who appeared most as these will be his sixth and seventh starts of the year. Johnny Sauter has raced in two races while Justin Haley, AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman, Casey Roerick and Bill Elliott appeared in the other five races.
Gallagher, was reinstated to his ride on July 4 but hasn’t ran in all the races since as the team had already signed contracts with other drivers/sponsors for some of the remaining races. They didn’t know when Gallagher would fully be back so they had to look at the rest of the season. Elliott’s drive in Road America was supposed to be the last as Gallagher was slated to return for the rest of the season.
Also, due to Dalton Sargeant being let go from his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ride, Gallagher was supposed to race the remaining races in the No. 25 Chevrolet in the Truck Series too.
Unfortunately, a shoulder injury has sidelined Gallagher hence the move to sign Elliott.
“Due to Spencer Gallagher’s shoulder injury, Chase Elliott will return to the No. 23 Chevrolet beginning this weekend at Darlington Raceway as well (as) next week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” GMS Racing president Mike Beam said in a statement released Tuesday. “As Gallagher continues to work with his doctor back home in Vegas, we do not have an exact time frame of when he will return to the seat.”
Next weekend’s race in Indy is the last race that any Cup driver can compete in for any of the GMS Racing rides. So, they’ll have to be strategic on who they run in the XFINITY Series or Truck Series rides.