He made his debut in 2001, running his first race at Las Vegas for Akins and started the race in 32nd. It was a solid race for Elder, as he finished 23rd. Elder had decent results in his other starts in 2001. In sixteen starts, only managed two top-20s (a pair of 20ths at Bristol and Dover). However, he did manage to complete most of the laps and for the most part, finished the races.
Elder began running races for Akins in 2002 full-time. However, troubles plagued Elder. He wrecked constantly and did not make many races. After six races, his schedule was scaled down. His best finish of the year was 26th at Kentucky. The end finally came during the Chicagoland event, when a hard practice crash injured Elder and effectively ended his career.