Opinions will continue to float around the many fan groups and discussion boards over the next few months in regards to the up and coming star, Chase Elliott. Elliott, the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, has grown up in the racing world, and we have seen him become a star over the last few years. The 20-year-old has been crowned a winner, a champion, a 2-time most popular driver, and the new driver of the iconic #24 car in the Cup Series. Regardless of what your opinion is of the Georgia native, he has earned his stripes. In this blog post I want to give three reasons why I think Chase Elliott is destined for greatness and why he could be the next big star of NASCAR. Well, enough talking, let's get to it!
1. It's In His Blood
Chase Elliott has racing in his blood. Son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, Chase has been around the sport since he was a kid. This may not guarantee success but knowing the sport and having a legend to ask for advice can only help a young driver. Bill Elliott was before my time, but I know he was known for being a quiet driver who let his results do the talking. Chase seems to fit this mold perfectly. While driving the #9 the last couple of seasons, Chase has quietly crafted two championship contending seasons, walking away with the Xfinity title in 2014. He has not been one to flaunt his success and carries himself well in the garage. Much like his father he takes care of business on track and stays calm off. Trying to match his father will be no easy feat considering 'Awesome Bill from Dawsonville' won 44 Cup races and took home a championship in 1988, but his confidence shows he has a chance. If Chase turns out to be anything like his father, we should be in for a great ride in the coming years.
Maturity is a quality any 'great' driver must learn. The ability to handle tough situations on-and-off track are key to being successful in the eyes of fans, drivers, and sponsors. NASCAR deals with it's fair share of tempers and tantrums, but one driver you always see focused on the big picture is Chase Elliott. Chase has avoided drama in his first two full-time seasons, and has managed to earn a solid reputation among fans. I can't speak for drivers, but from the outside looking in Chase has painted himself to be a very consistent and classy racer. He has shown maturity since the beginning, and has become a role model in the garage. Watching Chase on-and-off track I see a poised driver who is focused on his team and finding success. In such a short amount of time his maturity has earned him a solid fan base, committed sponsor, and a legendary ride. NAPA and owner Rick Hendrick have committed to Chase for the next three seasons (2016-2018), which shows their level of confidence. Based off what I have seen thus far, Chase seems like the perfect package, he is talented, young, and focuses on winning, not whining.
3. Track Record
Don't get me wrong, I know numbers can lie, but with Chase I believe them. Looking at his resume from a handful of Truck series starts and two years running the Xfinity Series, you can make one conclusion, he is consistent. In his 66 Xfinity starts Chase has finished in the top-5 a solid 27 times, which calculates to roughly 40.90%. This stat alone proves Chase knows how to run up front throw out the season, but let's not stop there. In addition to 27 top-5 finishes, Chase has finished in the top-10 a total of 53 times, which equals a whopping 80.3%. At this pace Chase would finish tenth or better in 8 of every 10 races. Still not convinced, how about the fact that in addition to beating the likes of Regan Smith, Elliot Sadler, and Ty Dillon, Chase has won four Xfinity races that included Cup competitors such as Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Matt Kenseth. Add to the list a Truck series win, ARCA win, and a Snowball Derby victory in 2011, the kid has a nice resume to be only 20-years-old. Chase will have to prove himself again in the Cup garage, but based on what we have seen, another Dawsonville, Georgia native could become a racing star.
Overall, I know that speculation is all we can base our arguments off of. No one will know how Chase will perform until the season begins, but I think all signs are pointed in a positive direction. He has been born and raised around racing and knows the sport. Add to that his maturity at such a young age and his accomplishments in a short period of time. All that mixed together and you have a young driver who is destined to be great. After all, the last young buck to step into the #24 car at Hendrick won 4-championships and 93 races, so history may very well be repeating itself.
Thanks for reading!! Hope you enjoyed, and as always feel free to comment or tweet at me your opinions!! Do you think Chase will be a success in Cup?? Let me know!! Have a great holiday season and remember to follow me on Instagram: NASCAR OPINION and on Twitter: @nascar_opinion!!! Hope you have a great rest of your day!!