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Chad Boat added to 2014 Nationwide rookie ranks

January 07, 2014, Holly Cain, NASCAR.com

Chad Boat added to 2014 Nationwide rookie ranks
Son of former Indy 500 pole-sitter to compete in minimum of 15 races in 2014

Chad Boat is set to join a distinguished list of previous open-wheel young talent such as Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, in officially turning his career path to NASCAR.

Billy Boat Motorsports announced Tuesday that the 21-year old Boat will campaign for 2014 Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors driving the No. 84 Chevrolet owned by his father, 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Billy Boat.

Veteran crew chief Dan Deeringhoff -- who won the 2008 Nationwide championship with driver Clint Bowyer -- will lead the effort, which will include a minimum of 15 races, perhaps more.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to compete at the next level in my career," said Boat, who will participate in Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend, but who will make his first Nationwide start April 4 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Boat, a Phoenix native, began his racing career competing and winning in the USAC ranks before periodically venturing into stock cars the past couple years.

He has seven starts in the NASCAR K&N Series West from 2010-12, posting a pair of top-fives and five top-10s including a best of fourth place at Iowa Speedway in 2010. He has 19 starts in the NASCAR K&N East Series during that same time including a top-10 finish.

Boat had six top-10 finishes and four top-five efforts in 10 ARCA Series races in the past two years leading 64 laps and posting a career-best third place at Iowa Speedway in both 2012 and last season.

"I have been around racing my entire life and it is an honor to have the opportunity to form a NASCAR program like this," said team owner Billy Boat.  "Chad has shown so much promise in stock car racing, especially with our limited ARCA program last year, we felt it was an appropriate time to take this next step. 

"We are lucky to add Dan Deeringhoff to our team and we are confident his knowledge and experience will lead us in the right direction as we get ready for this season."

Boat’s announcement marks the second high-profile "next generation" driver to join the Nationwide Series ranks in 2014. Chase Elliott, the son of 1988 Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott, was introduced as a rookie contender Monday and will drive the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

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