“Man, man,” local Dawsonville legend Gordon Pirkle said, admiring the crowd that had formed around his restaurant. “This is something special, ain’t it?”
A sea of people outside the Dawsonville Pool Room swarmed Pirkle, looking to take a picture with the local legend in charge of sounding the sirens after every Elliott family NASCAR victory.
The siren rang extra loud on Sunday evening after Dawsonville-native Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship, becoming the third youngest driver ever to earn the title. He and his father, Bill Elliott, also became the third father-son duo to ever secure the coveted championship trophy in NASCAR Cup Series history.
Pirkle hosted Chase Eliott fans at the pool room and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame all throughout the Cup Series championship on Sunday night. After Elliott crossed the finish line, people rushed outside to listen to the siren sound in celebration.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Pirkle said after the race. “I think the only way I could be happier is when he gets his eighth championship.”
Hundreds filmed videos on their phone outside the Pool Room as the letters on the Pool Room sign banner were changed to read “Chase Elliott wins the Nascar Cup Championship.”
“As soon as we saw that [Chase] won, my dad and I knew we had to get to the Pool Room,” Dawsonville native Tate Adkins said during the celebration.
Late in the race, Elliott lost his lead for 10 laps to fellow playoff driver Joey Logano, but Pirkle said that he knew there was no way Elliott was going to lose his lead.
“I wasn’t too worried because Chase is the best I’ve seen that can start from the rear and come up,” Pirkle said. “When I saw how fast he was doing it, I knew something bad had to happen for him not to win.”
Car horns blared past the Pool Room as Fox 5 News interviewed Pirkle during the celebration. Firetrucks and police cars offered their car sirens to multiply the thunderous gathering.
People came from all over Georgia to watch the championship in Dawsonville.
“It’s awesome to see so many people come from out of town and risk their Sunday just to see if Chase was gonna win or not,” Chase Elliott fan Bobbie Crawford said during the celebration.
Elliott’s cup series victory is the first Cup Series championship being brought back to Dawsonville since 1988 when ‘Awesome Bill from Dawsonville’ won the Winston Cup Series trophy.
Though the festivities at the Pool Room ended around 8 p.m. on Sunday night, the celebrating isn’t over in Dawsonville. Chase Elliott will be escorted through downtown Dawsonville on Monday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. Immediately after, there will be a ceremony in the winner’s circle at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. No meet and greet will occur due to COVID-19 restrictions.