This is the second part of a recent interview with 13-year old racing star Chase Elliott.
What was it like driving in Colorado?
We moved out there for a couple of years. We knew they were running go-carts in Denver and Grand Junction. We found somebody out there who had been doing go-cart racing.
We went to practice one week on a Thursday and we raced the next Sunday. Actually, I think we won that first race.
On Thursday’s practice we ran some laps and came back in and I asked him if we were pretty decent and can we race on Sunday. It was fun out there. I had an awesome time learning things out there. I started out with TAG go-carts and moved up to Shifter carts. We ended up running both at the same time while we were there.
When asked about the weather conditions in Colorado, Chase answered: I ran in that series for two or three years. The first year we couldn’t run in the rain, the second year it didn’t rain a lick, and the third year it seemed it rained every week.
We ended up having to race in the rain and I think that helped us a lot. One race we ran, the track was located at the foothills of the Rockies. It rained that day and it turned cold. Once you got wet, it was really cold. It rained, then it started snowing on us. It was a blast out there.
The weather’s different, but it was fun.
What other hobbies do you have?
I like to ride dirt bikes. It’s kind of a neat hobby of mine. I like doing that a lot. Watching the X-games has been pretty fun over the last couple of days. I like fishing and just hanging out. I used to play baseball and stuff, but we have been really busy and I haven’t had a lot of time.
If there comes along a few weeks where I have a little bit of time, I may play some baseball.
How do you balance racing with your school?
With school we have been kind of fortunate. They have been really helping us out when I’m away. They have really helped while I’m away and letting me catch back up when I come back. I did pretty good in school last year, making A’s and B’s. They are going to help me a little bit more this year by doing some online classes when I’m not there. It’s good because, especially running Late Models, I’m going to miss quite a bit of school.
What school do you go to?
Kings Ridge in Alpharetta. Going to Kings Ridge was probably the best thing I could have done without doing home school. I don’t think I would have made it cause I don’t have enough patience to sit there and make myself go through all that.
How has the Sports Illustrated article affected you?
A few months back my mom got an e-mail from them saying they wanted to do an article on us. Sometimes they say stuff and end up not doing it. We were kind of hoping they would come back to us.
We ended up getting another e-mail saying they wanted to come down and take some pictures. They came down to Lanier and did some pictures and wrote a story on us. I had a good time doing that. It was a really good experience and got Aaron’s (his main sponsor) out to everybody.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Like I said to Dad the other night, if we ended up winning this GAS series points deal it would be awesome. Being the first year in Late Models I wouldn’t have a broken heart if we didn’t, but I’m going to try just as hard as I would if I really felt like we had to win it. I think being the first year it’s just as important getting some seat time and getting ready for the Super Late Models.
We are really going to focus on it, Super Late Models, for next year. Just getting laps. I would love to win it, you know, it’s definitely a goal, but just more so getting seat time.
What are your long-term goals?
Hopefully, make it to the Sprint Cup one day. That’s my long-term goal. I hope the opportunity kind of comes up and we are in the right place at the right time. Seems like these days that’s what it takes to be there. You have got have some luck to make it. There are a lot of kids out there that are great drivers, better than half them guys in Cup, but they just don’t have the opportunity. I’m just really fortunate I’m in the shoes I’m in.
To have Dad, being who he is, is a good opportunity to get your name out there. I know today, with money being tight and everything, it takes a lot of that. Like I said, a lot of guys don’t make it because they don’t have the funding or don’t know the right people. I’m really fortunate to be where I’m at and hopefully get the right doors open.
Elliott finished 18th in his first Super Late Model race in Pensacola Friday, Aug 7.
Elliott started the Carpenter’s Campers 100 qualifying in 12th.
Elliott won the race at Anderson Motor Speedway Saturday marking his first win at the track and his first victory in the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour.