CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chase Elliott has signed a four-year contract extension to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2022. The current contract ran through 2018 for Elliott, driver of the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet.Elliott originally signed with Hendrick Motorsports as a development driver in February 2011 as a 15-year-old high school freshman. He replaced Jeff Gordon last year in the Cup Series and was the top rookie. Elliott qualified for the playoffs and had 10 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s. He also won two poles, including the season-opening Daytona 500.
Elliott, 21, is the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. His deal comes on the heels of one just two weeks ago, in which seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson signed to stay with Hendrick through 2020. Johnson, 41, has a handshake lifetime agreement with Hendrick, but this deal officially extends his contract three more years.
Two-time Daytona 500 winner and NASCAR's most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is stepping down from full-time Cup racing after this season. Team owner Rick Hendrick has not announced a replacement for the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet. And Kasey Kahne, 37, the last of the four-driver stable, has a deal that ends after the 2018 season. Kahne hasn't won since August 2014 and has said if he hasn't turned things around by 2018, it's time for him to leave.