NASCAR: Chase Elliott breaks through in Texas

Many people complain that NASCAR Sprint Cup stars, racing in the Nationwide Series, ruin the show for the series regulars. Just don’t tell that to Chase Elliott, the rookie who scored his first series win, in Texas, last Friday.

This was only Elliott’s sixth race in NASCAR’s junior series.

The 18-year old son of former NASCAR champion, Bill Elliott, beat some of the Sprint Cup stars including Junior Motorsports teammate, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. More importantly he won, going away, by 2.666 seconds. The win was so popular that Busch (not known for a good mood when he gets beat) and others came to Victory Lane to congratulate the second-generation driver.

“We didn’t get beat tonight. We got our butts handed to us,” Busch said.

“Chase Elliott kicked us tonight. I like him because he’s a really good kid and I’ve raced against him in Late Models coming up and he’s always been a class act. He deserves it here and I’m sure he’ll get plenty more. Certainly it was fun battling with him there at the end. I know that we come up a little bit short, but he beat the best out there.”

“I can’t it believe it, man,” Elliott said after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. “It’s crazy. I went to him (Harvick) for a lot of advice this week, and helped me out, gave me some tips. … To pass him for the lead is really crazy. I can’t believe it. It’s awesome, and I can’t thank everybody enough.”

NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott, Chevrolet Camaro. (Photo: NASCAR)

And the proud father, Bill Elliott, who had been keeping a low profile throughout the race, was moved.

“I’m about speechless,” Elliott said. “I can’t thank Rick Hendrick, all the guys at HMS (Hendrick Motorsports), JR Motorsports for pulling this deal together, and (sponsor) NAPA for putting together at the last minute. Everything was on the fence all the way till January.

“I keep saying it. Never to have been at some of these places like Vegas, California and now here at Texas, and to come out and beat the kind of guys he beat — I’ll tell you what, you’ve done a heck of a job.”

On Monday it was back to school for the youth, but, he spoke with the media on Tuesday.

“I don’t know that it’s completely sunk in yet.  It is really, really cool to look back at that and to know that those guys, I’ve learned a lot from them.  Kevin has been a guy who’s really reached out and offered a lot of advice and help, and I really appreciate that.  And Kyle is a guy who I’ve raced a lot of big super late model races over the years.  We’ve had some good races.

So it was cool just to have the opportunity to go race with those guys on a weekly basis in the Nationwide Series I feel like is definitely just a privilege in itself, and to have a car and a team and effort to try to go and outrun them, that’s just unbelievable to me to just be in an opportunity to be able to go do that,” said Elliott.

When you consider that Elliott had never been to this track previously and won in only his sixth race it won’t be long before he’s ruining the races for the Sprint Cup interlopers.

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