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Ives and wife Jessica are expecting their third child so Ernie Cope will sit atop the No. 9 JR Motorsports NAPA Chevrolet box in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Cope's regular ride, the No. 5, is sitting out this week's race.
Elliott sits in third place in the driver standings, 20 points behind leader and JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith.
"I've always enjoyed road racing," Elliott said. "It has always been really fun for me. My dad has always enjoyed it. He's been a big fan of it and that's probably where I got my liking from. It's really cool because it's something we don't get to do a whole lot of. Fortunately for us (in the Nationwide Series), we get to race at three road courses (Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen International are the others) this season."
It's Elliott's second start at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course. He started third, led five laps and finished fourth last summer in an ARCA race at the facility. Elliott won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory on a road course last season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
"Road America is a very unique place," Elliott said. "You don't find many road courses that big with so many characteristics. It's easy to make mistakes at a big place like that. One lap has so many different variables to it and you certainly have to prove your worth on Saturday."
The Gardner Denver 200 Fired Up by Johnsonville rolls off Saturday at 2:45 p.m. ET on ABC.
FULL SERIES COVERAGE
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Ernie Cope
- JR Motorsports