Opinion: Chase Elliott, the Epitome of Class and Talent as he Closes in on Record Setting Championship

Photo Credit: Mike Mercurio

Chase Elliott stretched his points lead over teammate, Regan Smith, Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Drive for the Cure 300. Only three races remain in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, and Elliott now has a solid 42 point lead in the championship standings.

What makes this story even more impressive is the fact that last year Elliott appeared, for a short period of time, that he did not have a ride this season. Elliott started nine Camping World Truck Series races for Hendrick Motorsports driving the No. 94 Aarons Dream Machine Chevrolet. It was then announced that Aarons would not return as a sponsor, leaving Elliott’s future, at least to the public eye, uncertain.

That all changed when NAPA Auto Parts decided to partner with Elliott to compete in the Nationwide Series in 2014 for JR Motorsports.  That decision has proven to be a good one for NAPA, who many feared may leave the sport after the Michael Waltrip Racing controversy at Richmond last season.

Elliott has not only compiled exceptional statistics this season with three wins, 14 top-fives and 24 top-tens in thirty races, but he has done so with the class and grace that mirrors that of his father, former Cup Series champion and Hall-of-Famer, Bill Elliott.

Week in and week out, win or lose, this young man always has a positive outlook and positive attitude. He always takes responsibility for any mistakes or poor performance, even when it’s not entirely his fault.

Now, on the verge of becoming the youngest ever champion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, he has become a model of what up and coming drivers should be. Elliott’s on track talent speaks for itself, but his off track demeanor is the essence of what makes a true champion.

It should also be noted that, even with all of his success and attention, he rarely mentions the fact that he is the son of a legend. Sure, his name may have opened some doors for him, but he is definitely not riding the coattails of his famous father. He is earning his own way and writing his own legacy. A lesson that could be learned by others.

Fortunately, for those who can only read stories about the early years of NASCAR legends like Richard Petty, David Pearson, and Dale Earnhardt, they all now have the luxury of watching a story being written before their very eyes.

 

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