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The son of a legend, Chase Elliott is looking for his own path to success in NASCAR’s Truck Series.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Chase Elliott is not the average 17-year-old.
He has a famous father, a major league employer and a growing fan base.
The spotlight will again be bright for the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott in today’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Connections are nice, but Chase is eager to make his own way.
“No matter what your last name is or what type of family you come from, when it comes down to it we have to get the job done,” Elliott said. “Things are different now, and they can’t drive the cars for you. We have to figure it out on our own.”
That research and discovery process intensified Aug. 5 when Elliott joined several truck series teams for an all-day test in the heat at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Relying on the advice of an all-star crew, Elliott adapted quickly to the high banks in his No. 94 Hendrick Motorsport Chevrolet.
“This place looks a little more intimidating than your average half-mile and short track, but you still have to do the same things,” Elliott said.
In addition to his father, the Bristol mentors for Chase included former NASCAR Cup crew chiefs Billy Wilburn, Lance Mc Grew and Pete Wright.
Wilburn helped guide Rusty Wallace to Victory Lane at BMS. Mc Grew has worked with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“We have a lot of information and a lot of guys I can lean on for help,” Elliott said. “Obviously having Billy here at Bristol doesn’t hurt. He’s a really good guy and easy to talk. We’re on the same page a lot.
“With Billy and Lance, we know what each other is talking about. That goes a long way in this sport.”
In his first four truck races, Elliott has finished outside of the top five only once. He recorded a sixth-place finish at Martinsville in his April 6 truck debut.
The Elliott resume includes two starts at Bristol in the NASCAR K&N East Series. He finished 10th in the 2012 K&N race.
“I’ve never raced here since they ground off the top of the track,” Elliott said. “I’m not sure if we will venture up as high as the Sprint Cup cars do, but I don’t see it as much of a change.”
Chase said he feels a comfort zone having his father around the track. While Bill now avoids press conferences, he’s quick to offer advice to his son.
“My dad helped me in the other two races I ran here, and I definitely plan to lean on him for this race,” Elliott said.
In 20 NASCAR national series starts on tracks shorter than one-mile in length, Chase Elliott has one win, nine top-five finishes, 13 top-10s and one pole.
Officials from Turner Scott Motorsports announced Monday that Bristol’s Chris Carrier will serve as crew chief today for the team’s fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series No. 96 entry driven by Ben Kennedy.
Carrier has served as crew chief for 329 events throughout the three major NASCAR series, earning five wins, 24 top fives, 52 top 10s and seven poles. His most recent work in the truck series includes serving as crew chief on the No. 30 last season, leading Nelson Piquet Jr. to two wins.
Kennedy can relate to Elliott in terms of having a high profile. He’s the nephew of NASCAR chairman Brian France and son of International Speedway Corporation chief executive officer Lesa France Kennedy.
While Kennedy has never competed in a truck race at BMS, he has recorded a pair of top-10 finishes in K&N events.
“This is a really cool track to make my debut,” Kennedy said. “You carry a lot of speed here and things happen really quick.”
Carrier will also be the crew chief for the No. 96 truck in the races at Iowa, Chicago, Martinsville and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kennedy and Cale Gale will share driving duties.
Today’s racing program begins with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series Titan 150. That event will mark the 11th head-to-head, points-paying combination race between the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours.
Through the first four editions of the TitanRoof 150 at Bristol, northern drivers have won each time. Ron Silk is the defending race champion.
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues