On April 30, a fourth-generation Earnhardt will take to Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Ralph, Dale, Kerry, Kelly and Junior have all made starts at the legendary short track that claims to be the “The Birthplace of NASCAR Stars.” Perhaps another NASCAR star will be born when Karsyn Elledge takes to the race track for the first time in a full-bodied race car.
While she may not share the famous Earnhardt last name, Elledge is most definitely an Earnhardt. The daughter of Kelly Earnhardt and Jimmy Elledge runs a black No. 3 Outlaw Kart at Salisbury, North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway. And while she’s only 15 years old, she’s not at all scared to make contact with other karts.
In fact, fear is something Elledge just doesn’t seem to have. Instead of being scared or nervous to make her first start in a full-bodied car on pavement, Elledge is excited to be doing what her family that came before her have done.
“I’m definitely trying to carry on the family thing here,” Elledge told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Right now, two starts in a Limited Late Model prepared by JR Motorsports are planned for Elledge. One on April 30 and one on June 4, and both will be at Hickory. Elledge said right now her schedule revolves around when teammates Josh Berry and Christian Eckes aren’t running their Late Model Stocks.
Speaking of Berry, Elledge has one of the best tutors in the business in Berry. The Tennessee native is a former track champion at Hickory.
Elledge explained that Berry is going to be watching her when she’s on track to be able to explain what she’s doing right, but also coach her on what she may be doing wrong.
As of Wednesday night, Elledge had been in the Limited Late Model three times, with a couple more test sessions planned before her debut. She explained that she’s quickly taken a liking to the new vehicle.
“I got the hang of it pretty quick,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun running that, and running the box stock out here (at Millbridge) is kind of similar. You have to run that pretty straight and that has helped with the asphalt car.”
Elledge has modest goals for her debut. She isn’t expecting to take the green flag and set the world on fire with a win in her first start. It’s all about experience.
“Just to finish and avoid wrecks,” Elledge said. “Hopefully if I get a top five that would be nice, but I just want to get experience and get seat time.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com