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NASCAR Legend In The Making

Apr 17, 14 NASCAR Legend In The Making

For all of you hardcore NASCAR fans, you know what I am talking about. However, for the remaining bunch that occasionally watch a race or don’t watch any at all, there is an up and coming racing star. His name is Chase Elliott, son of the already legend, 16 time most popular driver and 1988 NASCAR champion, Bill Elliott.

Bill also holds the record for the two fastest recorded qualifying speeds at any track. Set in 1987 at Talladega, 212.809 mph and the same year at Daytona, 210.364 mph. With the implementation of restrictor plates these speed will most likely never be topped. In his career he managed to race in 828 Sprint Cup races in 37 years with 44 victories.

Bill’s son Chase, who currently drives in the NASCAR Nationwide series, is picking up where Bill left off: winning. Chase is not a stranger to racing; he has won just about everything he has driven from racing go carts as a child to currently winning in the Nationwide series.

He started racing full-sized racecars in 2009 at local tracks in Georgia and managed four wins in 31 races with 24 top tens and 13 top fives. In 2010, Chase raced in four different series where he finished first in points on three of them. In 42 races, he won 13 times, finished in the top five 29 times and had 39 top tens.

In 2011, Chase moved up to the next level of racing and became champion of the CRA National Championship Series, finished fourth in the CRA Southern Six Pak Championship series, and ninth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Out of 37 races, Chase won eight times, had 25 top fives and 28 top tens.

In 2012, Chase moved up again to more powerful racecars and higher competition, but still kept his winning ways. With tens wins in 39 races, he had 24 top fives and 32 top tens.

In 2013, Chase once again moved up to several other series and began racing with NASCAR’s elite drivers, especially the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), ARCA and other popular series, where he continued winning with one win each in NCWTS and ARCA. With 13 wins in 32 races, 24 top fives and 29 top tens, he was well on his way to joining the ranks of NASCAR’s best, which he has done.

At the young age of 18 and still in school, he has now joined the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide series and has surprised even the big names of racing. On January 26 he won a Speedfest SLM race and finished ninth in an ARCA race on February 15 at Daytona. After finishing 15th in the opening Nationwide race at Daytona, Chase has finished in the top ten in each of the next six races. He drives a car owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

On April 4, in just his sixth Nationwide race, he won at Texas Motor Speedway. What is surprising to most is that Chase had never raced on that track before.

“I thought to myself, ‘I know he’s going to win one day or another, and then just start railing off run after run after run and become the next best thing, It ain’t going to be long until he’s going to be swarmed with attention,” car owner Earnhardt said a few hours later.

Well, it didn’t take but another week when Chase’s next victory came. On Friday night, April 11, at the Darlington Raceway, he proved that his last win wasn’t a fluke. With only a few laps to go and Chase in the lead, the caution came out. Pitting for four tires while other drivers only took two, Chase came back on the track in sixth place for the restart.

When the green flag dropped on the track dubbed ‘Too Tough To Tame,’ and with only two laps to go, Chase powered his way around the cars ahead of him and won his second race in only seven starts, becoming the only multiple win rookie in the Nationwide series. Not to mention he is now the points leader in the series.

What makes this special is that he drives the number 9 car, the same number father Bill Elliott drove and won the majority of his races with.

We will see at the end of this Nationwide series year if he moves up to Sprint Cup and competes against the top drivers in the world next year.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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