In the Camping World SRX Series Finale, Chase Elliott won the race against his father, Bill Elliott, at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
“I don’t know what lit a fire in him tonight but he was as aggressive as I have seen him in years,” Chase Elliott said after the race. “It was amazing and a lot of fun. I thought it was going to be between him and I but he got a little high in the one and missed the restart but other than that it was so much fun. Those are the moments that I remember forever so I’m just having a blast.”
Saturday night’s race was only the second time in their professional careers that the father-son duo from Dawsonville have raced against one other. Chase won their first meeting as well, on October 20, 2013 at Alabama Motor Speedway.
“Just to have fun opportunities like this typically don’t come in a lifetime so I’m certainly not gonna take it for granted,” Chase Elliott said. “This place is packed, which I think it’s just amazing, so I’m checking two boxes this weekend by having a race with dad and back out at the Nashville Fairgrounds. I hope this is a sign of great things to come here.”
Bill seemed to know at the beginning of the race that his son was going to be the team to beat, not because of his current Cup Series success, but his ability to manage his tires. He knew he was right, recalling at the end of the race his prediction. He finished the finale in third place.
The SRX series runs two 12-minute heats prior to the race to determine the placement of the drivers by their average finish in the two heats. After the heats, a 77-lap race, referred to as the main event, takes place with a winner being named at the end of that.
Fellow SRX series opponent and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart gave Bill the pole position to start the first heat and he did not disappoint, holding the lead throughout the entire 12-minute heat, with Chase right behind in second place.
Heat two starts the drivers inverted from how they finished heat one, so the Elliotts started in 11th and 12th. The two continued to push track position throughout the entire 12-minute heat. Bill finished in sixth place and Chase finished in seventh. At the end of the two heats, Chase said he knew things would have to change on the track for him to be victorious.
“We’re definitely going to make a bunch and see if we can make any changes,” Chase Elliott said. “I was just super free and can never get a break so we’re going to go work on it. Rick is going to take a couple guesses and hope we land in the right spot.“
Bill’s average finish in the two heats was good enough to start the 77-lap race in the pole position, with Chase in fourth. By the time the first yellow flag restart happened at lap 31, Bill was still in the lead with Chase in third place. Chase cleared Helio Castroneves at the restart to move back into second place.
On the second restart, Bill took the high lane and got bumped out of contention, giving his son the lead. Chase would hold the lead for the remainder of the race.
“I messed it up,” Bill said at the end of the race. “I didn’t get all the stuff out of my car. I just rolled uphill and I was in it. I was trying to get back to Tony but then I lost my drive up and I was really having a hard time trying to control my wheel spin up off the corner.”
In victory lane, Chase thanked everyone on the ground for showing up and bringing glory back to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Chatter over the Nashville Speedway coming back to the Cup Series has amplified throughout the last season, with drivers commenting that they would love for the track to be added back into the mix.
Elliott hopes to return to victory lane again on Sunday when the NASCAR Cup Series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. The race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.