For race fans native to Georgia, the Elliott name conjures up impactful moments. Bill Elliott rose to stardom beginning in the 1980s, becoming the 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion en route to being one of the sport's most popular drivers.
Elliott's son, Chase, is quickly carving out his own NASCAR legacy. At just 18-years old, he snagged his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Without question, the win conjured up memories for long-time fans of "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville." It is especially true for those who considered themselves diehard fans of Elliott, who has not raced full-time in NASCAR's top division since 2003. With Chase Elliott not only racing but being a factor each week, they now have another Elliott to root for. And as was the case during Bill Elliott's career, a siren atop the Dawsonville Pool Hall blared following Chase Elliott's win on Friday night.
"It's really, really cool that they kept that going for me," Chase Elliott said, "and hopefully they can ring that bell some more this year."
The win was also a feather in the cap for our Legends and Bandolero summer racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Thursday Thunder. Elliott is the latest on the growing list of Thursday Thunder racers to achieve success in NASCAR's top level, joining David Ragan, Joey Logano and Reed Sorenson- among others.
Chase Elliott's win was hardly a flash in the pan. Elliott was not only a top-five contender for most of the race, but he passed Kevin Harvick near the finish of the event. He then held off Kyle Busch, a driver noted for his ability to outrace competitors during short runs close the end of the race.
It was a scenario that would cause some inexperienced drivers to crack under pressure. Elliott didn't. His resolve came as no surprise to Elliott's team owner of JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"You throw him out there in the middle of all these guys like Kyle and Harvick, and he just runs right with them and motors along and races hard," Earnhardt Jr. said. "You know, it seems like he's just really prepared himself mentally for what he's doing and nothing -- he's not arrogant about what he's doing or overconfident."
The win by Elliott has been building throughout the season. He has finished in the top ten in the past five races. In three of those events, he posted a result of no worse than sixth.
With his first win out the way, it should take pressure off of Elliott's shoulders and allow him to more easily contend for a Nationwide Series title, in which he is the current points leader.
The best may be yet to come for one of NASCAR's brightest starts. When you factor in the past two Nationwide Series winners — Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, it is very safe to say that the future of the sport is indeed very bright and will be extremely fun to watch!
Be sure you are here on Labor Day Weekend when Chase Elliott goes for a NASCAR win in his home state in the Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed The Children!