History making doesnt come easy. Just ask Chase Elliott.
The Dawsonville speedster had to come back from a pre-race penalty that sent him to the back of the field to take the lead with 30 laps remaining in Saturday nights All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in Nashville, Tenn., then held off a hard charging Daniel Hemric over the closing laps to score the victory.
The win gave the 17-year-old the coveted Nashville guitar trophy for the legendary event, which saw an incredible race for its 29th installment.
It also marked the first time any race driver has been able to win all four of the Crown Jewel Super Late Model races, as Elliott has previously won the World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park, the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway, and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.
It feels awesome, Elliott said after the win. I still dont know what to think about it. This means the world to me.
After setting fast time in qualifying, Elliott had to fall to the rear of the field after his team changed a broken track bar. The Bill Elliott Motorsports team instantly went into conservation mode. After making his way about halfway through the 36-car field, Elliott began working to save his tires, with the team not making their first tire change until near the halfway mark of the race.
With 75 laps left to go, the No. 9 team made their final pit stop of the night, taking on four fresh tires. Elliott would turn that fresh rubber into positions on the track, as he powered his way through the field.
On a lap 265 restart, Elliott would power around Augie Grill to move to third, trailing leader Johnny VanDoorn and second-place Hunter Robbins. With 31 laps to go, Robbins would move around VanDoorn in turn three for the lead, with Elliott in tow.
Elliott saw his opening coming off turn four, and powered his way to the inside of Robbins. The two raced side-by-side down the front stretch and through turn one, with Elliott clearing Robbins to make the final lead change of the night off turn two. He would go on to hold off Hemric for the win.
Daniel (Hemric) was coming hard, and I knew he was going to be tough because he had a little bit fresher tires than we did, Elliott said. (Im) just glad we could pull it off.
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame President, Gordon Pirkle, was elated by the news.
Chase is the only one to win the big four, said Pirkle. No one has ever won the big four at any age, and for Chase to do it all at 17-years-old is really something. Aint nobodys ever done that.
Pirkle explained that NASCAR superstar, Darrell Waltrip, kept trying but he only won three of the four.
Chase was racing with a lot more experienced drivers career race car drivers. No one has ever won all four at any age, said Pirkle.
Editor/Publisher Kimberly Boim contributed to this report