There is a new racer in the Elliott family and he is truly taking after “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville.”
Chase Elliott’s performances throughout the 2012 racing season were impressive to say the least considering he doesn’t turn 17-years old for two days. Elliott is the son of 16-time Most Popular Driver and 1988 Winston Cup Series champion, Bill Elliott. The popularity has followed from father-to-son one could say as the 16-year old was voted the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
In his second full-time season as a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott was able to finish ninth in the standings after the 14-race schedule was completed. Lance McGrew, who led Brian Vickers to his first career Sprint Cup Series win in 2006 and also was the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin for a total of five season, worked with Elliott throughout the 2012 season after being demoted within the company. McGrew led Elliott to his first career victory within NASCAR competition in after two-years of involvement within the sport.
Iowa Speedway was the sight of Elliott’s win as made his way up from the 14th starting position and climbed his way through the pack in the 154-lap race, leading 10-laps en route to the victory. He also won the pole at the Langley Speedway, but ended up finishing third after leading 20-laps in that event.
For a 16-year old, nine top-10 finishes in just 14 events proves that he is capable of running up front which can probably make him eligible to run some Camping World Truck Series races in 2013 with the new rule of drivers which are 16-18 years of age can race at road courses and tracks shorter than 1.1 miles long which can give him the exposure he needs to boost his popularity even more. Elliott collected 56 percent of the popular vote for the voting which is the highest among those eligible within the NASCAR touring series.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.