|Chase Elliott Ready To rock|
Chase Elliott, the son of NASCAR champion and fan favorite Bill Elliott, won the All-American 400 Saturday night in Nashville. In doing so he became the first driver ever to win the unofficial “Grand Slam” of late model short track racing. He’d previously won the Winchester 400 (2010), the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. (2011) and the World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. (2012).
Call it the “Chase Slam.” Much as Tiger Woods has the Tiger Slam, winning all four golf majors (although not in the same year), Elliott now has the “Chase Slam.”
No one has ever done that before. Not Darrell Waltrip, not Dick Trickle, not Mark Martin, not Matt Kenseth or any other driver with their roots in short track racing. No one.
And Chase Elliott is only 17 years old.
"I can't believe it,” he said afterwards. “To be in position at the end of these races is the biggest thing, and just to be around is so hard to do. I was really a little worried about our car. I didn't think we were where we needed to be in practice, but we made some good adjustments and we were able to be in position at the end. That's what counted."
Elliott accomplished the feat in style. After qualifying on the pole, he was forced to start from the rear of the 36 car field after making unapproved changes to his car. It took him 270 of the 300 lap race to fight his way to the front against a field that included Ross Kenseth, but once he did, he coasted to victory.
“I really don’t know what to think. To have won all four of these big races — I just can’t tell you how much it means to me,” Elliott said. “It was just a lot of hard work. We put so much effort into this and it means a lot to have it pay off.”
As a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott has the best of equipment. He’s run a handful of Camping World Truck Series races this year, winning in Canada. He’s also won in ARCA in addition to his short track success. At the current development pace, don’t be surprised if Elliott is ready to move into the Sprint Cup ranks about the same time as Jeff Gordon is ready to step out of the No. 24 car.