The meteoric rise of second-generation star Chase Elliott will culminate in 2016 when he makes his full-time debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, succeeding the legendary Jeff Gordon as the driver of the iconic number 24 Chevrolet. On Thursday, 19-year-old Elliott was confirmed as Gordon's replacement at Hendrick Motorsports after the four-time former Cup Series champion Gordon retires from full-time competition after the 2015 season. Elliott's crew chief will be Alan Gustafson, who currently serves as Gordon's crew chief, and has previously won races working with the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, and Terry Labonte. “Chase brings the kind of intangibles that make him the total package as a driver,” said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. “Not only is he a special talent inside the race car, but there’s a natural combination of competitiveness, work ethic and smarts that you rarely see. Chase’s personality and demeanor make him popular with fans, teammates and sponsors. He’s a great fit for our organization on many levels, and we feel he and Alan will be a successful combination. There’s a lot to be excited about.” In preparation for the 2016 season, Elliott will contest a second season in the second-tier NASCAR Xfinity Series at the wheel of the number 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro fielded by JR Motorsports. Elliott is the reigning and defending champion of this series, winning three races, scoring two pole positions, and recording a staggering twenty-six top ten finishes from thirty-three races. By prevailing as the series' champion, Elliott became the youngest champion of any one of NASCAR's top three championships at 18 years of age, and also became the first-ever rookie champion of a NASCAR national series. Elliott will also contest five Sprint Cup races in 2015, the first coming on March 29th at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway. NAPA will return to the Sprint Cup Series for the first time in over a year to sponsor Elliott's number 25 Chevrolet over this limited slate, which also includes appearances at three marquee events: The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, now restored to its traditional date on Labor Day weekend beginning in 2015. In a tweet that was sent Thursday afternoon, Elliott remarked on his role as Gordon's successor: "Jeff Gordon will never be replaced. And it will be a true honor to drive the 24 next year. This is one of the biggest days of my life, a childhood dream come true. I simply hope to do my job for my team." Chase's father Bill, nicknamed "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville", is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, the first million dollar prize winner of the Winston Million in 1985, and in 1988, claimed his lone Winston Cup title. He was voted NASCAR's Most Popular Driver a record sixteen times over the course of a legendary career that spanned from 1976 to 2012, and on Friday he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame's 2015 class.