As expected, there are no storm clouds rising yet around the two NASCAR Cup Series champions, especially with the focus being on Chase’s trip across the Midwest for some USAC Midget racing.
“There hasn’t been a lot of trash talk yet, he came out here to race with me in Oklahoma last night, racing in Kansas tonight,” said Chase Elliott. “We’ve been together trying to tackle these USAC Midget races and trying to learn for myself, and try to get better.
He’s been helping me out, so the trash talking hasn’t begun, and I don’t know if it will. Neither one of us are really trash talkers, but I don’t know this might bring a side out of us that we’ve never seen before. We’ll have to wait and see.
Rumor has it that veteran NASCAR car owner Rick Hendrick is laying the odds in favor of the younger Chase. But ‘Million Dollar Bill’ is very determined to defy the odds.
“I’d like to prove him differently, but we’ll see. I’d say the odds are more in his favor than they would be mine. I felt like the first couple of races were going pretty well from my standpoint, then I had the deal at Eldora with messing my hand up, and that’s been a challenge. Hopefully, we’ll get things turned around at Nashville. I’ve enjoyed the speedway over the years, but Chase has run there as well,” Replied Bill.
While Bill Elliott competed at the Nashville Fairgrounds in the early 1980’s with the NASCAR Cup Series, it has just been too long to retain that knowledge. Plus, his own racing schedule in recent years has not been as extensive as his son’s.
“I look at it from the standpoint of the more experience you got, the more you are in a racecar, the better you are. For me, I’ve run just a little bit of road race cars over the past few years. Running ovals, doing what we’re doing today is a whole different level.
These guys are good, and they’ve shown that over the years. I think Chase will be really good Saturday night with what he does, I think the last time he went to Nashville he won there. I don’t expect any different.
However, Chase believes that his dad along with the rest of the SRX field have the advantage following five straight weeks of wheeling the SRX cars around America. But, it’s that challenge along with the chance to make a great family memory at one of America’s most famous short tracks that has him wired and ready to roll.
“I think these guys have the upper hand, I’ve never raced these cars before. But, I’m just excited to get back to Nashville. There’s two pieces of the puzzle that made me want to do it. One, you don’t have an opportunity to race with your dad all the time, especially on a platform like this in a series like this,” Chase explained.
“Number two, to support the Fairgrounds has been a major topic of conversation in the NASCAR community, I feel like if a guy has an opportunity to support that race track, support the cause, and show the folks of the area what we can bring as a racing community to the City of Nashville, I think we have to take that opportunity and show that support.”
Always eager to learn and gain any advantage, Chase has been asking questions of those close to SRX including his dad. Not just of the racecars, but on the whole racing program.
“I’ve tried to ask some questions here and there. Obviously the cars are I would say similar to a Late Model the most, just looking at them and watching them. I think the big thing for me is the format of the race and really understanding that. When you get tires, the heat race time limit with how many laps is that going to be roughly, and just understanding the rules of that.
“We get a little bit of practice time Saturday, probably time to make a few adjustments and go from there. The biggest thing I can educate myself on is the rules, how to treat your tires, and what the smartest play is. I’ve tried to pay attention to that and we’ll see how it goes.”
See the epic conclusion to the inaugural Camping World SRX Series this Saturday, July 17 from Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on CBS and Paramount+.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51